Diocesan Pastoral Plan News release
Bishop Richard Moth, in a meeting with Clergy and Diocesan Staff in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton outlined the new Diocesan Pastoral Plan in the Arundel Cathedral Centre. This will be followed over the coming weeks by presentations to every Deanery (local area) of the Diocese in Surrey and Sussex.
Bishop Richard visited every area (Deanery) of the Diocese in the Autumn of 2017 to offer a vision for the Diocese based on Prayer, Formation and Mission. Clergy and people then went away to think about this around a series of questions and then came back and fed their responses back to Bishop Richard during a series of meetings in early Spring 2018. In the light of these responses Bishop Richard with assistance from others has prepared a Pastoral Plan which he is now able present to the Diocese.
Bishop Richard will be accompanied by Claire Wordsworth who will chair all the meetings and Sarah Kilmartin, the Chief Operating Officer of the Diocese who will outline the financial considerations of the plan.
The Plan itself falls into two parts. The first part, which outlines the way forward for Prayer, Formation and the Mission of Evangelisation, is the key element of the Plan.
Bishop Richard said: "It is the Mission that must drive everything that we do, and the central offices of the Diocese will, in new ways, support all that we do in the Diocese as we respond to Christ's call to us."
The second part of the document will outline, in broad terms at this stage, the future shape of deaneries and parishes.
He continued: "With a smaller number of priests, it will be absolutely vital for everyone to listen carefully to the call the Lord give to us and respond wholeheartedly. Every one of us has a part to play in the Mission. We must all deepen our understanding of the Gospel, give more time to prayer and be ready to go out to others with the wonder of Christ's message."
Bishop Richard concluded: "This is an exciting time for the Diocese. I will not pretend that there will be no challenges and the changes that will need to be made will not be easy. As the family of the Diocese, we cannot remain static. We must work together as we move into the years that lie ahead, focusing our minds and hearts on the work the Lord has given us to do. Many opportunities will open up before us as we grow deeper in our prayer and in our understanding of the gift of Faith."
The full plan will be made available on the website in December once Bishop Richard has visited all the deaneries and introduced it to them.