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Momentum builds for Crossroads 2016 mission in north of England

More than 1000 people have attended special ‘deanery preparation evenings’ held across Lancashire in advance of an exciting mission event in the county this September ...

More than 1000 people have attended special ‘deanery preparation evenings’ held across Lancashire in advance of an exciting mission event in the county this September involving 27 Bishops from northern Dioceses of The Church of England and Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

The Crossroads 2016 mission will take place from September 8-11 and all CofE parishes and schools will be involved. Crossroads 2016 will be a key element this year of the Diocese’s new Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities.

A total of 14 Deanery evenings were held to support parishes as they begin planning their local Crossroads events. Organised by the Diocesan Parish Mission Support Department, they set out to inspire and encourage local churches to be actively involved in Vision 2026 and the Crossroads Mission.

Members of the Bishop’s Leadership Team, including Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Geoff Pearson; Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North and Archdeacon Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster, attended and spoke at the events.

Each evening included space for discussions, questions and comment as well as advice about effectively maximising the opportunities for mission which Crossroads 2016 presents. Everyone who attended received a special booklet to take home (also available here on the Diocesan website) which is packed with useful ideas.

Leader of the Diocesan Parish Mission Support Department, Rev David Banbury, who lives in Leyland, said: “I am excited by the enthusiasm for Crossroads and Vision 2026.

“Hearing positive feedback about what is happening already in churches across the Diocese is tremendously encouraging and exciting.

“Already we have had commitment from 27 Bishops to attend Crossroads 2016 but, as was demonstrated by the first Crossroads in Sheffield in 2015, the most important part of the event will be ordinary Christians … church members inviting friends and family.

“Indeed some of our practical exercises at the Deanery events revealed many people found God through ordinary fellow church members.

“People are excited about the prospect of being involved in something small scale in one way, from a local perspective, but part of something much bigger at the same time, as we all work together to make God’s Word real to people across Lancashire.”

Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, added: "The Deanery evenings were an important 'staging post' on our journey towards Crossroads 2016, giving parishes a chance to find out more about how they can get involved at the same time as being given practical advice and ideas.

"The Crossroads mission will also be a key moment for us as part of Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities, marking the point when we move decisively from a year or prayer and preparation to direct engagement with the challenges we have set ourselves for the coming decade of making disciples, being witnesses and growing leaders.

"I am delighted so many people were able to attend the Deanery evenings and I look forward to four days of courageous and faith-filled mission work across Lancashire from September 8–11."

TOP: Rev James Gwyn-Thomas of Buckshaw Village Church speaks about his experience at Crossroads 2015 at Leyland Deanery evening
NEXT: Archdeacon Michael Everitt, left, and Rev Dave Banbury from Leyland at the same event
ABOVE: Rev Rebecca Crowe from Penwortham St Mary's chats to Diocesan Vision Coordinator Dave Champness

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