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Lancashire: CofE vision for 10 years of change and growth

The Church of England in Lancashire is embarking on an exciting 10-year growth project in the run up to the Diocese’s centenary in 2026 ...

The Church of England in Lancashire is embarking on an exciting 10-year growth project in the run up to the Diocese’s centenary in 2026, with the support of the Archbishop of York and Bishops from across the north of England.

Prior to a decade of work beginning in earnest, the next year or so will see a series of prayer and mission events across Lancashire to get the plans for ‘Vision 2026’ off to the best possible start.

Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, announced the plans in detail to around 140 enthusiastic Lancashire clergy at a recent Clergy Study Day. He has also now written personally to all clergy and parishes with further details and to encourage their involvement and support.

Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley and Rt Rev Geoff Pearson, Bishop of Lancaster, also spoke at the Clergy Study Day – an event entitled Changing our culture to a culture of change. Pictures from the event can be viewed on the Diocesan Flickr feed.

The plans for 2015/2016 also feature in the latest edition of the Diocesan magazine The See, being distributed to parishes now.

Vision 2026 is underpinned by the strapline ‘Healthy Churches Transforming Communities’ and it was signed off by a very supportive Diocesan Synod in March this year.

The vision plans commit the Diocese to "make disciples; be witnesses and grow leaders for Jesus Christ" and, at a time when there is much talk of church decline, it also pledges the Diocese to plant 50 new congregations by 2026.

Bishop Julian said: “These are exciting times for the Church in Lancashire and I feel very privileged to share in the leadership of the Diocese at this time.

“Our new vision states clearly that we desire to make the Good News about Jesus Christ more widely known and we have a dedicated team of clergy, lay ministers and staff and volunteers who are committed to doing just that.

“Prayer will be at the heart of everything we do, but practical action will also be the key to our growth strategy. With God’s help we must take active steps to stem decline.

“We know that healthy church communities can have a positive and transformative impact on our society and The Church of England in Lancashire already does a huge amount of good in very many lives in so many ways.

“We are praying that we will see real growth in the region over the next 10 years, with a deep renewal of our life in the existing church and then with new congregations and church plants.”

The events to welcome and begin the work on Vision 2026 in the coming year include:

  • a call to prayer at six different venues across Lancashire in October 2015
  • a gathering of 2000 church leaders at The Guild Hall in Preston in May 2016
  • a four-day mission weekend in September 2016 involving parishes across Lancashire; Bishops from the north of England and led by the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu

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