Lenten Visits Allerton Deanery

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1 Summary: Lenten Visits Allerton Deanery 13 th March 2014 The evening was a positive sharing of ideas with most people engaging in the discussions and feeling positive about the opportunities that the future will bring. The overall key themes to take away from this Deanery are: The value of diversity between communities and between churches both in terms of their social make up and their churchmanship The value of parishes sharing their resources and ideas Things to keep from the old: Diversity between churches and communities Good links and relationships between churches and individuals within the deanery A strong sense of social concern and a calling to address social justice issues The importance of the laity and the grassroots Key Issues the new Diocese should take forward: Valuing, engaging with and developing the laity Ecumenism Diversity Evangelism Outreach Interfaith relationships Community Service and Social issues Youth and families Resourcing the Parishes to do this: This deanery strongly values the support and expertise of diocesan officers This deanery would like to receive support and training relevant at a deanery level This deanery would like to share resources and ideas and would value support to do this This deanery does not like top down initiatives and bureaucracy The one thing to take away: Specialist advice on a range of areas is greatly valued and needs resourcing Social Justice and concern for the poor and marginalized is key Accessibility of senior staff and a sense of collegiality is important

2 Page 2 of 10 Question 1: Looking back over the last few years, what is there about this Deanery and its Parishes that you would wish to celebrate as being special and would wish to take with you into the life of the new Diocese? Popular themes: Diversity is seen as a strength both in the community and within and between the churches Strong relationships, learning together, sharing ideas, working in teams are all important advantages There is a strong emphasis on social concern and issues of social justice The laity feel valued and enjoy the opportunity to work closely with clergy and each other Comments from Cards: Diversity Freedom to be creative Cultural Diversity Working to build good relationships with other faiths Encouraging the youth The variety of parishes in the deanery from rural/suburban/inner city/ and St James Hospital and different approaches to churchmanship. A rich mix and good relationships over the years Deanery synod meetings and what we learn there and who we meet Annual Deanery service Deanery meetings where we network and get to know one another more closely Proximity to the Diocesan office and its resources, including personnel The multicultural, multiracial and multi religious population Collegiality Support network Sharing of knowledge and skills Diversity of areas covered Diversity in mission Care for the marginalized Ethnic and cultural diversity Sacramental ministry Having deanery synods in different parish churches with time for a parish profile so we find out about each other and support each other. Annual deanery service (again moves round) Multiracial interfaith ecumenical relationships Each deanery has a mix of parishes social economic churchmanship very healthy and wide ranging discussions

3 Page 3 of 10 The variety of churches in the Allerton deanery The encouragement of lay leadership Sharing of good practice in the deanery Sector of city city centre to rural via inner city and suburbs geographically coherent but socially varied Range of worship styles across very different churches Genuine partnership between clergy and lay both in leadership team and more widely Interfaith group Cultural and social diversity Its diversity and inclusivity Its sense of justice and willingness to speak out against injustice Its quirkiness and creativity Multicultural and diverse communities Multi faceted Work well together and support one another Ethnic diversity Geographical diversity Sense of fun as well as hard work Would like things to continue as they are Continue to visit other churches Getting to know one another, people s views in different churches Like all to work together more closely to create one big church Women bishops More lay people A place where the laity can speak together with clergy from different backgrounds Variety Place of learning e.g. Organ Transplant Working together The inclusive nature and structure of the Allerton Deanery Good mix of events/meetings Excellent Synod Diversity and cosmopolitan ethos of Leeds as multicultural society Celebration of interfaith working Progressive approach to faith issues (e.g. women bishops) Multicultural Multiracial People are both rich and poor Engagement with a multifaith multicultural community Sense of togetherness and encouragement of laity Good models of team ministry Diversity in social composition Commitment to making the fact that there are fewer clergy available work, answering pastoral care within teams

4 Page 4 of 10 Diversity in chairmanship including within teams Collegiality/working together/diversity Proximity to centre/specialist ministers from the diocese who assist churches with mission and outreach Quality and number of lay leaders and readers Interfaith work Its part in being involved with Leeds city of asylum Friendliness to newcomers Mix of type of parishes multicultural and multifaith Urban and rural within the deanery Work with asylum seekers. Interfaith and Christian diversity Leeds minster/ht boar lane Good relationships lay / ordained urban/rural

5 Page 5 of 10 Question 2: What should be the key issues that the new Diocese should make a priority that would enhance the Mission of the Church in the parishes of this deanery? Key themes: Laity being encouraged in their ministry and offered good training Ecumenism Diversity both in the community and between churches Evangelism Outreach Interfaith relationships Community Service and Social Issues Youth and Families Laity Encouraging all lay ministry, valuing their resources and expertise Development of laity both training and the roles they undertake A genuine commitment to lay leadership, acknowledging the skills and talents of all Encouraging and equipping training with appropriate funding/resourcing of laity and lay leadership Training for PCC s to ensure they know how a PCC should work making them more effective Readers licenced to the deanery or Diocese Readers, lay ministry, the big picture Diversity Continue to affirm the ministry of women (one area bishop should be a woman) Building multi cultural congregations Valuing diversity of churchmanship Provision for parishes who have looked to provincial and diocesan episcopal visitors. Acceptance of different churchmanship Outreach Encourage churches to be outward looking e.g. multi use buildings Community outreach and engagement Encouraging parishes to look outwards rather than inwards to understand their deanery and the wider issues Ecumenism Passion for building on ecumenical links Ecumenism Ensure drive for closer links with ecumenical partners continues Evangelism Develop theology to discern significance or insights of grass roots bridge gap between clergy and rest Promote, encourage and support fresh expressions prayer Interfaith Ensure that the interfaith relationships continue Promoting interfaith dialogue/activities/practical strategies Interfaith relations Interfaith work

6 Page 6 of 10 Community service and social issues Be a clear advocate for the poor Homelessness Strong links with voluntary sector Domestic violence support and prevention Food banks/poverty Asylum Seekers support City of Sanctuary Misc Enabling sharing of resources so that parishes are appropriately resourced for mission Encourage vocation to ordained ministry Release from Bureaucracy Ensure do not lose links with world wide church Youth and families Links with community schools not just church ones Focus on children Focus on youth Youth and families Focus on university students Focus on families Engaging with students Drawing young people and young families into church Deep commitment to supporting Christians in education

7 Page 7 of 10 Question 3: How can the new Diocese best support this Deanery and its parishes in ways that will enhance the work of the Church locally in growing disciples and being a Christian presence in every community? General Comments/Themes: Accessible resources and the expertise of Diocesan officers is greatly valued Training should be budgeted for and should be relevant and accessible at deanery level Deaneries should be resourced and supported to share their own ideas Support for Parish: Resourcing support at area big diocesan level. Minimise Bureaucracy, keep share increase levels low Minimise top down initiatives Support imaginative use of buildings Helping to ensure we have cover for all services Resource people we can call on for specialist areas e.g. mission action planning, stewardship, children and youth work etc. Lay person to assist archdeacon of Leeds Fund/recreate councils for social responsibility to support parishes Support for traditionalists Resources people and materials Training for Laity both spiritual and practical Central support for funding building applications Continued support through D O s finance team Acknowledge the importance of Leeds City Parish in the life of the city To give careful thought to the role of the rector in supporting the Bishop To ensure adequate staffing for the civic church Range of specialist support Inspiring talks and leadership from the Bishop Expertise and advice from Diocesan Officers Fair deployment of clergy address vacancies Support for Deanery: Focus training at a deanery level with budget to do training Continue support from diocesan officers Work with ecumenical partners in radical way as well as deanery partners Ensuring area dean is in place Resources shared Posts e.g. for youth and mission at deanery level with decision making power Specialist officers to continue to support parishes Deanery based training Sharing good practice Seek to develop radical staffing structures

8 Page 8 of 10 Support for finances/software Empowerment of deanery resources for mission Grow church schools Don t over tax area deans less Bureaucracy

9 Page 9 of 10 What one thing do you want us to take forward from this meeting? Something like leading your church into growth is a vital priority for the future life, wellbeing and witness of the churches as they seek to serve and transform their communities needs resourcing Working collegiately has been very successful in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds over the last 13 years Keep the faith re being a champion of the poor: whether here in the UK or abroad. Linked to this make/write a teaching resource for church leaders to use within house groups so that Christians in the pews catch up with the concept of concern expressed in the open letter signed by 43 church leaders recently Specialist officers are absolutely necessary in supporting parishes with mission and outreach Appointment of a buildings officer to help parishes make the most of their church buildings as a mission opportunity and not a drain on resources The diocese must have a full time paid inter faith officer giving advice as required and resourcing a network of interfaith activists and their work across the diocese Appoint a female area bishop ASAP hope your successor is also female Put mission first That all efforts are made to support the clergy and people in Urban Priority Areas Be as accessible as Bishop John was Deanery is needed as forum, support, learning and encouragement All joining together in love and prayer for the better of the deanery and the Diocese. To continue with the multifaith structure and the multicultural views Develop and strengthen Leeds ecumenical relationships in mission Despite having 2 bishops with individual areas of responsibility we were able to be one diocese and regularly met both bishops. We need to ensure we have a unified diocese. Be open to all people. Listen to them, include them, value them, work alongside them. True independent provision for parishes that at present look to diocesan and provincial episcopal visitors I pray and hope that the Diocese is a success and brings people together and increases the Christian population in Jesus name Need for genuine partnership and shared leadership between bishops, clergy, laity rather than hierarchical direction however inspired The role of Leeds minster in the Leeds area of the new diocese needs to be clarified and given a leading part Minimise top down initiatives Be a good shepherd to us To ensure there is discussion and thought about the Leeds City Parish structure, role of rector and staffing levels to serve the city Change is good and necessary but is best accomplished with sensitivity I have felt supported in my ministry by the Bishops, the archdeacon, area dean and diocesan staff in their different capacities

10 Page 10 of 10 Minimise top down initiatives and encourage and build on vision of parish as part of something bigger The children are our future (as the song goes) Focus on mission and making disciples above all Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales is a very long and cumbersome title Go for it! Be daring, be bold! Use this opportunity to be radical! Push the boundaries!

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