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Last updated 24th August 2023

Transforming Communities - social justice

Vision 2026: Our Task is Transformation

The strapline of our vision makes a bold and ambitious claim for the purpose of the Church of England across our Diocese. Our task is much more than keeping the show on the road or maintaining the institutional church as we know it now. Our task is transformation – of communities, of a county, of a nation.

Right in the very heart of God there is a profound longing for right relationship with the people he made and longs to call back home. The salvation He offers in Jesus is about participation in the very life of the triune God. It is to discover the true riches and dignity of our humanity, for human life finds its fullest purpose only in relationship with him. The God we find in Jesus conceals nothing of himself. Jesus Christ, God’s living Word, was made Flesh, lived, died and rose again so that we can be forgiven and set free to share in every aspect of his divine life. ‘For freedom Christ has set you free.’ (Galatians 5, 1) The Bible has many images of what this transformed life in God constitutes, one of the richest being Isaiah’s vision of the new creation (Isaiah 65, 17-25)

Isaiah ’s description is characterised by the following:

  • Mutual delight between God and his people. A relationship broken by sin is repaired and each can find rich joy in the other (vv18-19). God and his people are so close that he hears even before people call to him. (v 24)
  • Restored relationships. Isaiah describes the wolf and the lamb feeding together and a world in which no created thing need hurt another (v 25). It is a restored creation.
  • Healed lives. In this new creation, the dignity of every human life is acknowledged and no life is wasted. There is no weeping or crying for the dignity of all life is upheld. (vv 20-23)
  • A land of plenty. The banquet is a common description of a restored creation. Isaiah also speaks of a land of plenty where all can feast and all have enough. (v21-22).

The Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Blackburn, said,

"Building joyful Christian communities. Striving for the justice of God’s kingdom. Inspiring children and young people. I’d love to see us pursuing those three aims together as we roll out Vision 2026 and look to what may come next.