Shaped By God Together Update

We now have three areas piloting the Minster Community process in the diocese (for details of what Minster Communities are and the story so far click here)
The first of these, which is made up of churches from the Launde Deanery,  is now in the latter stages of the process. The churches of the proposed Minster Community recently had a joint service at which the work that has emerged from their working groups and coordinating group was shared, and the coordinating group are now engaged in writing the proposal of how the Minster Community might function. This proposal will then go to all the PCCs in the group and to the diocese through the Joint Archdeaconry Mission Committee. Working on the process together has helped the churches to begin exploring how to develop shared ministry and to begin thinking about how they work together more strategically with schools and families and to start thinking about possibilities in relation to rural chaplaincy. One or two new initiatives have begun to spring up even before the Minster Community has come into existence, including a midweek family focused evensong which has been well attended and has attracted people from different parishes.
The second potential Minster Community is comprised of a group of churches in North West Leicestershire around the Coalville area. Their process has been running for less time than the Launde group and following a period in which each church in the potential Minster Community has been analysing its own strengths, weaknesses and context they are now at the stage of looking to form Working Groups to do some of the detailed work that will inform the future proposal that they will bring back to the diocese. Several participants mentioned that the work they had done as individual churches (known within the process as “Conversation Prompts”) on evaluating and understanding their own ministries and contexts had been useful and would have been a helpful exercise even if they weren’t exploring Minster Community formation. Some of these conversations have also raised questions about whether geographical factors might mean that the grouping currently being explored may not be right for all the current participants and this will be explored further in the New Year.
The third group, which is in North East Leicester, is very much in its infancy, having had a couple of initial meetings and the process will pick up pace for them in the New Year, as their attention will now naturally be shifting towards their own Advent and Christmas programmes!
The three pilots mean that as a diocese we are gaining experience in facilitating the formation of Minster Communities in rural, urban and suburban areas, across a range of theological traditions and sizes of church, and in the third pilot also working across existing deanery boundaries. All of this learning will be invaluable as we look to move the whole diocese into the minster community framework by 2026 in line with the decision made by Diocesan Synod in October 2021. 

First published on: 21st November 2022
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