Diocese Fit For Mission plan for 2023

Update for St John’s

Fit for Mission is a major project being run by our Diocese to address the challenges and opportunities that face the church both nationally and in our local area.

Below is some information produced by our Diocese providing more information about this project.

The goal of Fit for Mission is to enable all parishes, church plants, fresh expressions, schools and chaplaincies to fulfil God’s mission and to make new disciples where they are.

We are at the start of a six-year programme which will be led by your local leaders – lay and ordained. There will be continual communication and programme updates, through your church, as well as available on the Diocese of Liverpool website – About Fit for Mission – Diocese of Liverpool (anglican.org)

The Outcome of the Fit for Mission Vote for St John’s 

PCC have voted  on the 9th November 2023 with regards to our involvement in Fit For Mission(FfM).  It was a unanimous decision to move forward with FfM, with some members voting to be full engaged in the direction of travel, and some voting to be engaged with the direction of travel whilst identifying  specific questions or concerns that need to be addressed as we go ahead with  the process. This means as a PCC we are committed to being involved in the process and working towards co-creating solutions to these concerns.

The specific questions or concerns which we will want addressing as we progress further into the FfM process are:

  • How do we build community across such a wide area?
  • How can financial freedom be achieved?
  • Establish targets and checks for incumbents so that missional progress can be tracked and help offered as needed
  • Protecting the roles of our youth workers while allowing space for them to help others.
  • We make sure our staff team are not stretched by serving at other churches.
  • Our minister / vicar is ours fundamentally, not shared 1 in 3 etc
  • How the staff team are employed
  • Work out issues with the Outreach Trust (who are trustees)
  • How the new PCC will be made up (numbers of reps. from existing churches etc)
  • Giving and legacy allocations
  • Youth and children’s workload and locations
  • Local churches having representation on clergy selection
  • Effect on staff team
  • How finances will work in practice(will we lose some control)
  • How church growth will be measured
  • Protect our staff team in terms of their jobs being secure

As a parish we agree to ACT AS IF we are part of the Deanery cohort and we now have two years to participate in this and understand better how it will work going forward.  We are waiting to hear the results from other churches in the Deanery. During this next stage, churches who have voted to progress will begin to “Act as if” they are in a larger parish, and local leaders and people will work together to form teams that will work through key decisions, about how they would like their larger parish will function.  Teams will also work towards some important changes that are required as part of a move to a larger parish, such as new approaches to mission, governance and software. During this time, a shadow PCC will be formed, which will be a temporary group elected to plan and work out how the new PCC will govern and communicate will within all the churches in the larger parish.

More information on the next steps of the Fit for Mission process is on the Liverpool Diocese Website – https://liverpool.anglican.org/making-it-easier-parishes/fitformission/project-process-and-support/

Speak to the wardens (Jeannie Holman and Steven Baxter) if you have any concerns or want to know more about what this all means for St John’s.

Moving Forward with Fit for Mission

Work is now underway to make progress with the churches/parishes within the Ormskirk Deanery who are continuing to explore a potential Fit for Mission (FfM) partnership. This is being supported by a Local Navigation Team, supported by Revd Canon David Banbury (Change Lead) and Andrea Urquhart (Change Facilitator) from the Liverpool Diocese.

Below is a newsletter designed to help keep churches updated and informed about the FfM journey in the Ormskirk Deanery.

FfM Newsletter Update 1 Feb 2024

Why do we need Fit for Mission?

We are asking God for a bigger church to make a bigger difference, so more people know Jesus and there is more justice in the world.  Fit for Mission focuses on 4 mission priorities which are foundational to this vision:

  1. Introducing people to Jesus
  2. Deepening discipleship

iii. Developing Christian leaders

  1. Working for justice

The Fit for Mission programme will provide focus and support to work together to face the significant issues that hold back mission and growth. We aim to address:

  • Declining church attendance.
  • A lack of diversity
  • An increasing admin burden.
  • Unsuitable and unsustainable buildings

Here are some helpful links with more information:

  • Two-page summary– this is a short introduction to Fit for Mission
  • Getting Fit for Mission ready – this is some ideas and suggestions for deaneries and churches who a looking for ways to prepare for Fit for Mission
  • Scoping document– this is a 57 page working document that describes the journey of a deanery towards being Fit for Mission
  • Frequently asked questions– this is a collection questions asked by church members in the two deaneries that have engaged with Fit for Mission.

Download a pdf of this plan by clicking this link – 2023 FFM Supplement