Vision and priorities for our life together

Author: The Rt Revd Graham Usher

Published on: 17 August 2021

We are called to listen ever more attentively to the God who seeks to bring transformation in Christ to us. God in Jesus longs for us to be a prayerful people, a pastoral people, and a prophetic people.

Although any vision is incomplete because it’s just a reflection, a fraction of God’s desire for us, my hope is that we will listen out for the wind of the Holy Spirit filling the sails of this vision, to guide our boat (the Church) into the future. I commend it to you and look forward to journeying with you to discover all the God has in store for us in the adventure ahead.

We see the ministry of the whole of the Diocese of Norwich as being about how we live our life together for the flourishing of every person in every place. Transformed by Christ: prayerful, pastoral and prophetic.

Imagining the future Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Any vision should help the local church to flourish and grow in confidence that we are loved by God.

Jesus also said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). The heart of our mission is about being open to, and enabling others to discover, a life transformed by Christ.

We join in Christ’s mission, conscious of the five marks of mission of the Anglican Communion, through responding to God and the world.

We will prayerfully proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom, rooting ourselves in Scripture and the sacraments. We will wait upon God in stillness, contemplation and intercession. Our corporate prayer, an ongoing conversation with God, will embrace traditional, fresh expressions, online and evolving models of being Church.

We will pastorally model the ministry of the whole people of God after Jesus the good shepherd. We will respond with loving service to the needs of the communities where we live and work; and teach, baptise and nurture new believers.

We will prophetically speak out and act, with the fire of the Holy Spirit, challenging injustice, confronting violence, and working for peace and reconciliation. We will seek to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Being open to all of this will enable God in Jesus to accomplish far more than all we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). If we allow the Holy Spirit to breathe God’s divine life into our human plans, much more will be made of them, for God can bring abundance from scarcity.

We are called to be faithful, as God is always faithful to us. By prayerfully placing the life of the diocese where our sails can best catch the wind of the Holy Spirit, God will take us where God wills.

The author...

The Rt Revd Graham Usher

Bishop of Norwich

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