Last updated 21st November 2019
This report first appeared in the December 2019 edition of The See magazine.
Thankful for many blessings ...
As new Vision 2026 Coordinator, it has been a joy and privilege to come into a Vision which is already so well embedded and behind which there is so much energy, commitment and enthusiasm, writes Carolyn Barton.
From the high demand for the ‘Knowing the Scriptures Better’ booklet developed by the Making Disciples team; to the number of parishes requesting support in growing new congregations; to the remarkable recovery in people exploring their vocation recently reported by the Growing Leaders Team.
Then there are the Prayer and Worship Nights happening regularly to pray for young people and to seek God as to how we best reach and disciple them…there is so much to thank and praise God for!
And one of the things to thank and praise God for is our network of Vision Champions.
Now 83% of our parishes now have a Vision Champion and as Vision Coordinator I want to do all I can to encourage this network of individuals called to champion Vision 2026 across the Diocese.
With this in mind a total of 11 Vision Champion gatherings were held during September and October taking place in locations right across the Diocese from Fleetwood to Colne and Bolton-le-Sands to Oswaldtwistle. The picture on this page shows the event which took place in Clitheroe.
These meetings enabled Vision Champions serving in different contexts and traditions to come together and share successes, ideas and challenges whilst learning more about the support available in delivering Vision 2026.
The Vision Champion meetings highlighted that there is much to celebrate and also some common challenges being faced.
We’re four years into Vision 2026 and with the half way point in sight it seems appropriate to build on the outcomes of the Vision Champion meetings and undertake a fuller exercise which will take stock of how things are going developing healthy churches that transform communities at parish level and as a diocese.
This will be undertaken over the next six months in order to enable us all to make the most of opportunities and to overcome challenges as we look towards 2026.
As I criss-crossed Lancashire travelling to the Vision Champion meetings I was reminded of the wonderful diversity of our county from coast to hills to towns to estates and how growing healthy churches that transform communities will look different in each of those contexts.
Yet the richness of the discussions at the Vision Champion meetings brought to mind the words of the hymn we sang together at the Visitations in spring: ‘One Church, One Faith, One Lord’.
Let’s press on together as a Diocese towards our vision for 2026 with renewed energy and expectation, knowing that God, “….is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph 3, 20).