Shaping for Mission

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 will work 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. The next stage will be the formation of Shaping for Mission teams in each deanery.

Bishop Michael introduces Shaping for Mission in the video below. Find out more about Shaping for Mission and why you might want to join a Shaping for Mission team in the links below.

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 initial phase of Shaping for Mission will take place from now until the first half of 2021. By summer 2021 we hope that each deanery will have discerned a vision outlining their priorities and vocation.

You can see the template for reviewing your deanery.

The second phase will begin in 2021 when deaneries, 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 stages of phase one 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...

More information on Shaping for Mission is available in these FAQs and in this presentation given to Bishop's Council.

Stay informed

Sign up for our fortnightly update offering news, resources and network-building for everyone with an interest in Shaping for Mission. Tick boxes for The Bulletin and Shaping for Mission, and 'click here to update your profile/preferences' if prompted. Or email Richard Barrett. The journey is also being shared in some episodes of The Ministry Shift.

Generous God

You have provided for your people in every generation.
       In our faithlessness you remained steadfast.
       In our obsession with scarcity you provided abundance.
       In our anxiety you offered us freedom from fear.
       In our despair you gave us hope. 

We receive your gifts, believe your promises and trust you for the future.
May we cease trying to fix the church and join with you in loving your world.
May we hear your call to fullness of life and share it with others. 
May we be shaped by the Good News of Jesus, the light of the world
And may we seek your kingdom as People of Hope. Amen.  

Vision of a healthy deanery
What might a healthy deanery look like?
Open Vision of a healthy deanery

Stages of Shaping for Mission
Who, where, what, when, why?
Open Stages of Shaping for Mission

Forming a Shaping for Mission deanery team
What is a SfM deanery team and how do we form one?
Open Forming a Shaping for Mission deanery team

Shaping for Mission FAQs
Answers some of the more common questions
Open Shaping for Mission FAQs