Our strategy: Ely 2025
At its meeting on 3 June 2015, the Ely Diocesan Synod voted overwhelmingly to adopt the proposed strategy, People Fully Alive: Ely 2025. This is the strategy for growth for the diocese through to 2025.
The motion asked the bishop's team, benefices, parishes and deaneries, diocesan boards and councils to carry the diocesan strategy into all current and future planning.
The strategy was formally launched at a celebratory service in Ely Cathedral on Sunday 27 September 2015.
What does the strategy say?
People Fully Alive is a document designed to set out an agenda for growth for our diocese over the next decade.
It has been shaped using suggestions and responses from members of the diocese and shows us that change is to be adopted and embraced.
In his opening, the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway says, 'We do not know exactly what lies ahead, but as the Judge Business School feedback suggests, we know that staying where we are is not sufficient-safe and comfortable as it is.'
Comfortable and safe are ways we all like to feel, however we must recognise that change, growth and regeneration can be exciting.
The People Fully Alive document is here to reassure us and show us that change is possible and indeed necessary if we are to keep growing and adapting to the times.
The diocesan vision, 'We pray to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ' reminds us that we are in this together. This vision gives us something to aim for, and compliments the strategy, and its plans to grow and evolve over the next ten years.
There are three imperatives which we have added to commit to:
- Engage fully and courageously with the needs of our communities, locally and globally
- Grow God's church by finding disciples and nurturing leaders
- Deepen our commitment to God through word, worship and prayer
These imperatives help give us a common language and focus.
Through the vision and imperatives, we can think about what we want our church to look like in the future and how it can serve not only us as a congregation, but offer ministry to everyone in our growing communities.
People Fully Alive gives us a plan. Together with support from the Resource Manual, we can implement important changes, making good judgements and decisions for our parishes.
Levers of Change
There are five key elements that have emerged through responses from feedback.
- Nurture a confident people of God
- Develop healthy churches and leaders
- Serve the community
- Re-imagine our buildings
- Target support to key areas
Known as the five Levers of Change, they are detailed thoroughly in People Fully Alive and strategies are listed with a prayer offered for each theme.
The new strategy has been produced over a period of time. By consulting with and listening to voices of parishes, schools and other groups, we can be sure that plans for the future will remain sensitive to the needs of our communities.
The Ven Hugh McCurdy, Archdeacon of Huntingdon and Wisbech said, 'The strategy in its final format has been shaped by the 2000 plus people who attended a series of consultation roadshows...There is an overwhelming desire to cherish the past but to invest in the future and that is both tremendously exciting, but hugely challenging.'
There are plans to launch an Ely 2025 Fund to support new initiatives, to allow us to be ambitious with our plans and to encourage us to make tough decisions with any church activities that are no longer sustainable.
Exciting times are ahead for the diocese of Ely with plans to transform, expand and improve. People Fully Alive is designed to show us how to accept these challenges and changes and grow together as people of God.
The strategy document and other support materials can be found here.