LIFE priority groups – what are they doing?

Pauline Godfrey

Developing diverse lay and ordained leaders from the communities we serve

Contact: Revd Pauline Godfrey, Head of Discipleship and Vocations, Diocese of Gloucester

Pauline says “My heart’s desire is to find ways to enable people to grow in confidence in who they are in Christ. As individuals begin to articulate who God is calling them to be they encourage others to do the same. My hope is that this developing confidence will grow leaders in our worshipping communities who will reflect the rich diversity of our society.” 

This priority group has identified the following areas of work to take forward this priority: running the THRIVE course with specific worshipping communities in the Diocese; running vocations days; working with Gloucester Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns to plan a celebration of black saints at the Cathedral in Black History Month; developing a Church of England Ministerial Experience Scheme (CEMES) in the Diocese of Gloucester and developing an Ordained Local Ministry training pathway.

Andrew BraddockPiloting liberating models of leadership and ministry, especially in multi-parish benefices

Contact: Canon Andrew Braddock, Director of Mission and Ministry, Diocese of Gloucester

This priority group is focused upon developing new ways of structuring and supporting ministry. Currently work is underway on developing a pilot for Lay Funeral Ministers with the Gloucester City Deanery and developing support and a network for parish administration in partnership with the Severn Vale Deanery and others. Both projects have an eye to building local capacity, engaging with our mission context, and experimenting with new patterns of ministry.

Rowena KingCreating learning networks for lay and ordained leaders

Contact: Revd Rowena King, Assistant Curate in the Benefice of EWELME

Rowena says “I’ve taught in a variety of contexts for the past twenty years, and am passionate about how people learn and keep learning across their life and faith journey. I’m particularly interested in the relationships and frameworks that support those journeys” 

This priority group is currently sharing information about learning networks that already exist, and supporting the development of coaching in the Diocese.

Jo WetherallInvesting in our engagement with baptism families to spark an amazing adventure with Jesus Christ

Contact: Revd Jo Wetherall, Children and Families Officer, Diocese of Gloucester

This priority group has been running Christening workshops across the Diocese, sharing good practice and national resources on Christenings. The next area of planned engagement for this group is to look at supporting and networking toddler groups in the Diocese.

Rachel HowiePlacing schools at the heart of our mission, with creative connections between churches and schools

Contact: Rachel Howie, Director of Education, Diocese of Gloucester

This priority group has been focused upon the development of  a new resource “101 ways for parishes and schools to work together”, supporting parishes and schools to work together to appoint foundation governors, and supporting parishes and schools to worship together.

Encouraging new and courageous ways of worshipping, in different places, which connect with more people

Contact: Revd James White, Pioneer Minister, St Michael’s Cheltenham

This priority group is focused upon sharing stories of collective worship across the Diocese.

N FennerApproaching the use, upkeep and future of our church buildings in bold and creative ways

Contact: Natalie Fenner, Senior Churches officer, Diocese of Gloucester
This priority group is looking at sharing stories of buildings used and developed in bold and creative ways, and will be hosting a gathering of interested parties in autumn 2019.

Julie FayEnabling people to discover new depths to prayer, and spiritual growth, individually and together

Contact: Julie Fay, Prayer and worship officer, Diocese of Gloucester

This priority group has three focuses: helping people to pray through promotion of events and resources; developing a new Diocesan resource called ‘Shapes of Living’, and encouraging creative ways of exploring spirituality.

Peter HillNurturing confident disciples, to live out their faith seven days a week

Contact: Peter Hill

Peter says “All my adult life I have tried, failed, explored, delighted and rejoiced in learning about becoming a confident disciple. If it doesn’t bring life on a Monday, it’s a waste of a Sunday. I’ve learnt to be childlike, to pray and then discover that I’m loved and delighted in, and somehow equipped to help bring life to others. I wish I had realised this many years ago!”

This priority group has been running a series of workshops with the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity on whole life discipleship, sharing stories and resources about discipleship and is part of the national programme on Setting God’s People Free. 

Liz PalinSharing our stories in new and different ways, including through digital media

Contact: Revd Liz Palin, Team Vicar, Stroudwater Team

This priority group has focused upon encouraging a culture of story sharing across the Diocese, delivering a series of workshops to over 120 people across the Diocese on how to use digital media. The group is developing an exciting partnership with Cheltenham Festivals for the next three years.

Cate WilliamsBeing advocates for human flourishing, through initiatives which combat injustice, environmental destruction, exclusion and isolation

Contact: Revd Cate Williams, Mission and Evangelism Officer, Diocese of Gloucester

This priority group is working on four main areas: Environment; Mental Health; Inclusion; and Community Engagement. Each area has a project lead.

Environment: led by Revd Arthur Champion, looking at combating environmental destruction.

Mental Health: led by Revd John Horan who was until recently a chaplain for those with mental ill health, and is leading a small group including mental health professionals to undertake pilots that will help churches engage in this area.

Inclusion: Revd Sue Greatorex is helping to explore how better we can include people both within our churches and partnership in our neighbourhoods. This area also includes specific areas of work such as homelessness, and welcoming refugees and asylum seekers.

Community engagement: Revd Cate Williams is exploring with others how insights from Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) can help us deepen relationships with local communities in life-giving ways.

Using sport, music and art to build relationships and share the Christian faith

Jessica GordonCreative Arts:
Contact: Jessica Gordon, Community Engagement Officer at de Crypt, Gloucester and Debbie Helme, Education and Resource Development Officer in the Diocese of Gloucester
This priority group are planning a networking and learning meeting for all those involved in the creative arts in the Diocese.

Rob FrenchSports:

Contact: Rob French, (pictured left) PSALMS Director of Sports Ministry and Richard Witham, (below left) Scripture Union, National Sports Mission Leader

Rob says “I’ve seen the impact that sport can have on individuals, families and communities. I believe sport can be an opportunity for the Church to meet people where they are at, and I’m excited to see the Church in Gloucestershire may live out its mission through sport”.

Richard WithamThis sports priority group have developed a number of different sports ministry models which are being piloted across churches, schools and communities in the Diocese. The group is sponsoring a number of sports ministry trainee and learning schemes for young leaders in the Diocese, and led the first ever Diocesan football tournament in the Cathedral. 

Martin KingstonConnecting with new housing developments in innovative ways

Contact: Martin Kingston
This group has focused on supporting those parishes with small-scale housing development to welcome newcomers to communities across the Diocese, and engaging with parishes with significantly large scale developments to prepare for engagement with whole new communities. The group will also be working with those parishes engaged in medium scale developments over the time ahead.

Sharon MacaulyAndy MacaulyInvesting in people and programmes, which excite young people to explore and grow in faith

Contact: Sharon and Andy Macauly, project leaders at The Rock, Cheltenham

This priority group is looking at ways to engage with and support those who are working with young people across the Diocese.  The group has organised CATALYST – a Diocese Youth Ministry Gathering for youth work volunteers, young leaders, employed youth workers, clergy and those involved in managing or exploring setting up youth work; event to be at All Saints Academy in Cheltenham on Saturday 22nd September 2018 9.30am – 1pm.  They are also mapping the bigger picture of what youth engagement is happening in our churches and local communities around the Diocese to inform and shape future support for those working with young people and help develop the engagement with young people across the diocese. To keep up to date, please check out the Facebook group – Youth Ministry in Diocese of Gloucester.

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