VIDEO: Bishop of Ely to encourage churches to relaunch growth plans at Synod meeting

THE Bishop of Ely will today launch a video encouraging churches across the region to refresh and relaunch their planning for growth and outreach.

Known in the wider church as “Mission Action Planning” (MAP), parishes are encouraged to identify their strengths and weaknesses, look at their resources and assess how they can best move forward for growth.

The Rt Rev Stephen Conway will launch the film at a meeting of his Diocesan Synod today at King’s School, Ely, which starts at 10.30am. In the short video he says: “I am really thrilled by what has been achieved already. Now is a time to refresh and re-launch this process.”

He is joined on screen by the Archdeacon of Huntingdon & Wisbech, The Ven Hugh McCurdy, and The Rev Rosemary Maskell, Vicar of Littleport, whose parish is already using the MAP process.

Bishop Conway says: “Now is the time to be moving forward. Now is the time to be checking on what we are doing. Now is the time to look to see what God’s doing so we can join in.”

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Archdeacon McCurdy will add: “MAPs allow parishes to focus on particular courses of action that they have agreed. It enables taking up new ways of engaging with those who don’t regularly come to church.”

In her video interview with the Archdeacon, Rev Maskell says: “Our MAP is changing day by day and we are still working at it; there are some things from the start we are still doing and have put the website in to place which has encouraged people from outside to contact us and find out what’s actually going on in the church. The welcome booklet has also helped to bring people in.”

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Bishop Conway will also give Synod members his easy-to-remember summary of what the Five Marks of Mission urge all churches to aspire to: “Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure.”

The Five Marks of Mission are an agreed five point formula devised by the Church of England: to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; to teach, baptise and nurture new believers; to respond to human need by loving service; to seek to transform unjust structures of society; and to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

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