Our Shared Vision for Mission

Archdeacon Barry writes to diocese about our shared vision for mission.

It is such a joy and privilege to continue serving the diocesan family of church here in the Diocese of Coventry. As I look towards my fifth anniversary I continue to give thanks for the way that so many are embracing our vision for growth. Growth isn’t about simply measuring big numbers but first of all inviting Jesus to grow something deeper within us, showing us how we can live and serve him in the places we worship, live, find community and life. To know we are loved, valued and precious to God grows our sense of purpose to share in God’s mission to our own part of the world!

Numerical growth is relative to our individual contexts because small is beautiful too. Village churches such as Harbury are exploring new ways of meeting and inviting younger adults to explore a faith journey through ‘The Collective’, which meets in the local pub. The Revd Andy Bachelor (top right) says “we have a small number of regulars who have no other contact with the church and we are developing relationships and having some profound conversations.”

In urban areas our mission partnerships with re-vitalisation church plants are growing, and as they serve their communities they are seeing many people come to a living faith in Jesus. In Wyken the ‘Hot Chocolate’ café engages with over 100 people and is moving into the church building as people become more confident relationally. In Bedworth Messy Church is growing with around 100 kids and adults. Through pizzas, a community larder, and sacraments Tile Hill St Oswald’s is growing a reputation for wonderful generosity and advocacy for its community, and seeing new life and growth. Our Hillfields ‘One Family’ congregation is so named as 30 languages are spoken by the new and growing congregation.

Our six Mission Hub churches are fully staffed and working to facilitate explorations about growing in confidence to share our faith, grow in our whole life vocation or call, or starting a new worshipping community. Do please see the questions in the Articles of Enquiry, and make contact with one of the Mission Hub teams to see what’s on offer to resource your church family.

Our rural hub based on Alcester is building an exciting network for rural missions – the Revd Daniel Corlett says “Alcester Minster Mission Hub has been trialing a range of New Worshipping Communities within the benefice - a new family service, a meeting in a pub, a meditative 'Breathing Space' service, various forms of Forest Church, and has seen its Messy Church grow and become firmly established. The Hub is also accompanying a number of rural clergy and lay leaders as they also look to launch and grow new initiatives."

Learning communities for those developing or exploring a fresh expression of church are underway as well as Myriad for lay teams (appointed by their clergy) to develop or explore the possibility of a new worshipping community or congregation in a variety of contexts and styles. The Revd Jenny Irvine says “Myriad is for every day people who are seeking to plant New Worshipping Communities in their context.  We’re inviting lay leaders to join us on the Myriad learning community as we support them to participate in the Mission of God.”

Thank you for all you in partnership with your clergy and congregations to enable local mission to happen every week. May you be encouraged as you continue to share Jesus’ love with those you encounter.

First published on: 1st May 2024
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