Affirming and renewing existing ministries.
Providing quality education, training and formation pathways for all people.
Helping people reconnect with the Church to deepen their faith and discipleship.
Ensuring there are appropriate structures, funding and support processes in place.
Engaging people who have never connected with the Church.
Witnessing to God’s compassion and care through ministries of social justice and environmental service.
Introduction by Bishop Brian Farran
This strategic plan is a bold and exciting initiative commissioned by the Synod of
the Diocese in October 2008, developed by the Diocesan Council in the early
months of 2009, scrutinized and amended by wide consultation throughout the
Diocese and formatted for discussion at this session of Synod.
The development of a Diocesan Strategic Plan was seen as the next step in
taking forward our purpose to be faithfully living out our baptism as the Church in mission.
The New Testament gives us theological clues to strategic planning when it speaks of past actions, present influences and future tenses. So much of the New Testament looks to the future and directs Christians to that future.
Therefore you will find that this strategic plan is faithfully theological in looking to our desired future; what we seek to discern as God’s future for the Diocese, its many Church congregations, missions, agencies and their various ministries as well as anticipating future shapes of that mission.
This deliberate pursuit of identifying God’s leading of the Diocese accords with the ministry practice of Jesus, which was not haphazard but intentional and directional - in other words, strategic.
As Christians we are all challenged at various times in our lives. Today the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, in all its forms, is challenged by a range of internal and external issues, forces and imperatives. However, faith, clear theological reflection and recognition of opportunities can overcome issues and challenges.
This strategic plan reflects both our current issues and challenges and our future ideas and ppportunities. It requires us to undertake:
- solid reflection and realistic appraisal of our situation;
- robust planning, implementation and monitoring which is practical and achievable;
- the determination of priorities, making proactive decisions and leading to the comprehensive engagement of our people;
- the use of a planning template (the six Es) that will give both perspective and evaluation.
I strongly encourage all parishioners, clergy, staff, managers and leaders of the Diocese and its agencies to fully engage with me in the implementation and achievement of this plan. The Strategic Plan is intended as our prayerful and thoughtful discerning of God’s future for the Diocese and requires our involvement as faithful Anglicans. The Strategic Plan gives us a sighting of the future under God for the Diocese of Newcastle.
Christians seek to begin their work with prayer and careful reflection on the scriptures. One of the clues for planning in the scriptures is found in Matthew’s Gospel. In the Parable of the Talents we are given an image of the kingdom of heaven. Each of the servants is given a share of the responsibility to manage and increase the king’s property during his absence. In the same Gospel we find many vivid reminders of the extent of the responsibility we share. We take our place in a worldwide movement devoted to making the Risen Jesus known. We know this happens through our words and actions. We also know that we meet Jesus in the hungry, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.
This mission of Jesus is reflected in the five marks of mission of the Anglican Communion:
- 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;
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
These statements shape our strategic directions. They help us prioritise the work we do as we witness to the reign of God in our time and context.In recent years we have claimed afresh the importance of every baptised person being involved in ministries through local worshipping communities, agencies and schools. We are seeing people focus on and commit themselves to the work of evangelism and social justice. This movement is captured in the vision of Becoming Ministering Communities in Mission. This way of being church provides a structure for church life which embraces the essentials of Anglican ministry while celebrating the ministry of every Christian.
Download the streategic plan below.
Diocesan Strategic Directions