Shaping for Mission
West Bromwich Deanery
Strengthening our life of discipleship, vocation and evangelism
Shaping for Mission is the process across Lichfield Diocese to strengthen our life of discipleship, vocation and evangelism while facing a significant reduction in financial income. We are working together as people of hope to make our mission sustainable in helping fulfil our diocesan vision. Shaping for Mission commenced in autumn 2020 with meetings in each archdeaconry for rural/area deans, lay chairs and their assistants. During the autumn, deaneries have formed Shaping for Mission teams and begun the work of reviewing their deanery.
A big shift
Shaping for Mission is a big shift for deaneries. Traditionally, deaneries have had two roles: to provide governance for the diocese; and to provide a support network for those in ministry. We are adding a third task: to discern the mission of the church in their area. Smaller deaneries will be invited to work in partnership with a neighbouring deanery as we look for the gifts, strengths, opportunities and challenges that God has gifted the church with and discern a faithful vision in response to these.
Each of our 28 deaneries is very different, and the vision for sustainable mission will belong to that deanery and will reflect God’s call for developing discipleship, encouraging vocation and inspiring evangelism in that context. Not every parish, chaplaincy, fresh expression or school is called to, or able to, offer all aspects of mission, but across a deanery a range of mission can be offered in creative and sustainable ways.
You can read more about some signs of healthy discipleship, vocation and evangelism here.
No time like the present
The first phase of Shaping for Mission is underway with Shaping for Mission teams carrying out reviews of their Deanery. You can see the template for reviewing your deanery.
The second phase will begin from Easter 2021 when deanery teams move into the vision-setting phase. During this phase the teams will work with the wider deanery to ask questions about who and what God calls us to be and what our priorities for mission are. You can see the template for the vision setting phase here.
The third phase will begin later in 2021 when Bishops’ Senior Staff and APCMs (Annual Parochial Church Meetings) will together begin the process of translating the vision into action and aligning resources accordingly.
You can see an outline of the timeline here.
What about our central teams?
Alongside the work in deaneries, a parallel process is taking place across the diocese’s central sector teams, with three small Shaping for Mission teams reviewing our Central Administrative Support Teams (CAST), DVE teams and Education. These teams, which will include external representatives from across the diocese, will focus on making sure that our work priorities are aligned with our shared mission to effectively serve schools, parishes, chaplaincies and fresh expressions, and that our central resources are financially sustainable.
Details, questions, answers...