We want to share what God is doing among us, making good practice and resources supporting growth more widely known. We want to celebrate and learn together, whilst strengthening our sense of common purpose and unity in Christ.
“Jesus said: Go and tell… what you hear about me.” Matthew 11.4
March 2019 update from the Celebrate stream:
What we have done in the last year
In February 2018 we reviewed what we had done so far as a Workstream checking our activities against the goals set out in the Diocesan Mission Strategy. For the Celebrate and Share Workstream these were:
- To strengthen the facilitation skills of Rural Deans
- To improve the sharing of good practice
- To develop and make easily accessible a database of expertise and experience
- To arrange an annual Bishop’s Mission Day
A good number of activities and events have been organised during the past twelve months which have contributed towards delivering these aims.
For example, a presentation was made to Rural Deans about a Benedictine Rule of Life which could be used to encourage prayer across the whole diocese. This is now ready to roll out and will be suitable to use individually and in communities of all sizes.
In relation to sharing good practice the group produced a portable display entitled “Mission Is”, which emphasised that a wide range of activities from pub services, to science festivals, to toddler groups, to handicraft activities contribute to the mission of the Church. A series of short films has also been produced to tell stories of good practice such as supporting refugees and asylum seekers, the running of a dementia café, encouraging young people to explore their vocations and using our buildings for a wider range of community use. Other films have focussed on our overseas links and projects supported through the Lent Appeals.
The group decided that a database was not the best vehicle for sharing and reviewing resources and instead have committed some of their funding to enhancing the diocesan website and including on it a Mission Hub. It is envisaged that this will be in place by the autumn of this year and will enable people to share resources they have used for such things as bible studies, confirmation classes, and children’s work and to comment on their effectiveness.
A diocesan service was organised in the Cathedral with Bishop Graham on Trinity Sunday to celebrate sharing our faith. This however was not well attended and so the Workstream is giving more thought to suitable occasions already in place when the whole diocese can come together to celebrate.
Our Current Activities
The group has recently put together the prayer resources to be used throughout the diocese as we pray for those involved in the discernment of a new diocesan bishop. We are liaising with the Mothers Union in their Loving for Life project and supporting them with funding for having a stand at Wedding Fayres. Work is underway on the Mission Hub and new short films are continuing to be made, including, “Who is my Neighbour?”, “Celebrating Rural Ministry” and “Reimagining Church”. Some of these films will be shown at Archdeacon’s Visitations this year. The group will also have input in planning the diocesan marquee at the Norfolk Show.
Thy Kingdom Come ~ The Archbishops have once again sent letters to all parishes to encourage us all to pray for the mission of the Church in particular between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday. Parishes are encouraged to obtain resources for this through the diocesan office and once again there will be special services held on Ascension Day at the Cathedral and the two Minsters at which “Thy Kingdom Come” candles will be distributed to those who would like them. These should be ordered from the Dean’s PA, Tracy, GBUnen@pngurqeny.bet.hx
Seeing it differently ~ the Celebrate and Share Workstream is providing some funding towards a project at the Cathedral which will focus on sharing the stories from the bible and telling our own stories of faith. A Helter Skelter will be in the Cathedral Nave between 7th and 18th August to enable people to get close to the ceiling bosses which illustrate both Old and New Testament stories. Once people have slid down they will go on to various other activities in the Cathedral. There will be a special Diocesan Celebration on Sunday 18th August from 4.30pm with lots of fun which will conclude with a service with a difference at 6.30pm. Suitable for all ages – bring a picnic and all your friends!
About the Celebrate stream
The stream is led by the The Dean, assisted by the Archdeacon of Lynn and other designated officers. The aims are to:
- strengthen Rural Deans’ skills to ensure deaneries are places of encouragement
- share best practice of growing churches and individuals through our regular communications and short films
- develop a database (or ‘knowledge bank’) of local expertise and experience such as funding ideas, community projects and new forms of Fresh Expressions
- hold annual Bishop’s Mission Days, gathering for prayer and worship, training, encouragement and celebration.