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The Vision 2026 Update reached a key milestone this autumn when one of our Bishops, Archdeacons and I visited all Deanery Synod meetings throughout the Diocese to consult on the proposed Vision Implementation Plan for 2021 – 2024, writes Carolyn Barton, our Vision Coordinator.

The Update is a result of extensive conversations during 2020 which began with the Parish Vision Survey. These conversations have considered how things are going in the implementation of Vision 2026 and what else we could be doing as we look to see ‘Healthy Churches Transforming Communities’ across the Diocese of Blackburn.

The exercise has focussed our attention on the Foundations of our Vision (including prayer, repentance, generosity and the requirement for the wind and breath of the Holy Spirit) as well as refreshing the Marks of a Healthy Church and highlighting the key building blocks of Vision 2026:

  • Making Disciples of Jesus Christ
  • Being Witnesses to Jesus Christ
  • Growing Leaders for Jesus Christ
  • Inspiring Children and Young People for Jesus Christ

It was great to continue the conversations, this time with our Deanery Synods, and we were able to overcome considerable obstacles in doing so, specifically the changing circumstances brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the way we do things has likely irreversibly changed bringing opportunities as well as challenges which have had to be reflected in the Vision Update.

There’s was overwhelming sense when we met that the Vision Update is encouraging and inspiring, with one group commenting collectively: “We felt it is very exciting to be a part of this diocese with the Vision Plan; it is visionary, it is very positive, we are looking to make disciples, we are going for growth.” Participants at the meetings also made helpful comments in relation to where they think something needs to be added or suggested changes of emphasis.

  • All the comments and feedback will now be considered and worked into the final version of the Vision 2026 Implementation Plan (2021 – 2024). The next phase of Vision 2026 will then be officially launched in early 2021.