We understand that not every parish is the same. In this diocese there are broadly three contexts that we serve:
- Rural Multi-Parishes
- Market Towns
- Larger Towns.
Each of these unique contexts need to be handled differently. This is a generalised description of benefices in our diocese:
Rural churches each have a visible role and face outwards as they reach into the local communities. Local people connect to the churches, the villages and the people within them. The churches are loved by local people, offer a focus for life events and are used creatively for the community. It is easy to find and to join in worship and the church welcomes all. The congregations are at the heart of the church and God calls many to a wide range of vocations and faith is lived practically by serving the community.
The incumbent leads with a supportive and energised ministerial team enabling a response to God's will for the Church and the local areas. There is a clear identity for the benefice vision and the PCC teams care, reflect and rejoice in successes.
The town’s church has a positive and valued presence across the community. It is an integral part of the town, connected with the council, schools, businesses, charities, and more. The church’s activities are visible on noticeboards, online and at town events. The congregation celebrates the active and thriving church community which worships together, serves the town and marks life events. A warm welcome is offered. The church is open and in regular use by the local community. Discipleship training is offered and support is provided in exploring vocations.
The incumbent and members of the leadership team are well known and recognised, providing links with different parts of the community. The team works collaboratively, prays together regularly and spends time in theological reflection. The PCC rejoices in and seeks to incorporate an ever broader variety of mission to reach the local community.
There is widespread awareness of the Anglican church in town.
It is recognised as engaging with organisations in the town (council, schools, hospice, charities and other denominations) and its leadership is known in the community. The Church is open and welcoming offering faith and secular activities and there are Christian gatherings in nearby housing estates or community hubs. The congregation is committed, creative, adaptable, engaging and inspiring offering pioneering initiatives in worship and prayer and there is an inspiring youth and family presence.
The incumbent oversees the leadership team and a thriving ministry team so that the church becomes a thriving and active presence in the town offering a place of mission and worship.