Every parish in Chelmsford South Deanery was asked to produce a parish vision. Collating these and analysing every sentence and clause relating to vision, values, plans and strategies, a small team noticed that over half of these sentences and clauses related to one of three themes:
1. Equipping, training, inspiring and mobilising existing church members. Phrases such as "sharing the burden with a bigger core", "helping members to identify and utilise their spiritual gifts" and "every member a minister" were common. This was mentioned more often than any other theme by urban and rural congregations, "high" and "low" churches alike.
2. "Serving" and
3. evangelism (with their various synonyms) received exactly equal numbers mention from the parishes - more than any other theme except "equipping".
The "values" we identified were all also major themes in the parish vision documents.
Next, the vision to be presented for discussion at September's Synod, and some (minor) changes were made based on feedback received there and by subsequent correspondence. Every PCC is now being asked before November's synod to discuss it, identify which parts of the vision would be easiest and most difficult for their parish to embrace, and formally mandate their Deanery Representatives to vote for or against the Vision at Synod. We would also really appreciate it if at least one member of each PCC contributed either to this page or to the section of this website entitled "have your say".