We are building a network in which each parish church is primarily a small community of Jesus’ disciples, where character and values are important, where each is hospitable, generous and caring, Christ centred and explorer friendly, with deep roots and open hearts. Each must be engaged in its particular context, its mission field, working for the common good in that place. But diversity across the Team is welcomed and we want each village church to be confident in its own sense of calling. Each must find its own points of growth and have a fair idea what it is good at and what gifts God has given it for now.
Over the next few months each parish is engaging with the Ely 2025 strategy and, with support, each must have the courage to face up to the hard questions of an aging membership, changing local population and new approaches to clergy deployment. Over the next few years some will need to change shape, some will need to reach out in different ways to different groups of people, and some will need to find again the mission-edge of what they already do. Each church community will need to consider how it grows disciples of Jesus in its context. Each church community will need to grow a small group of those who share leadership as a local team, drawing on the shared resources of the Lordsbridge Team network. The next few years will be a time of transition and all our churches must be confident enough to be both faithful and creative.