As a national initiative including 24 dioceses, the Setting God’s People Free pilot aims to help each participating diocese with a clear vision for long-term culture change in the area of sharing and living out faith every day.
It was great to spend time with other dioceses from around the country and be part of a learning community with time to reflect and a space to create a coherent strategy to move towards that goal and the steps required to deliver this aim. This was the second of three two-day workshops and our team returned to Ely invigorated, encouraged and ready to implement support and resources for the diocese releasing, enabling, encouraging and communicating what is already emerging and already fruitful at local level as well as growing others.
As stated in Ely2025 we are “to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ” - the resources available will thus complement and incorporate one of our change levers - “Nurture a confident people of God.” We will build on the existing resources such as Way of Life as well as creating and sharing others for a range of ages, situations and people.
Since 98% of the people in the Church of England are NOT ordained and church goers also spend 90% of their waking hours NOT in church-related activities but living out their faith everyday and/or at work, there is such diversity of gift and experiences that make us one body. This means there is huge potential for a flourishing laity to contribute to the life, mission and fruitfulness of the Church to be more “transparent to the presence and activity of God.”
We see sharing stories and experiences further afield as a key part of this activity. Some of you may have already met our Digital Evangelism Manger, Eleanor Puttock, whose passion is to facilitate and enable people to have a voice and share experiences, knowledge and stories. Eleanor will be training and creating resources to assist in this aspect. Having these in digital format will lend well to this growth of everyday faith, reaching a diverse range of audiences and also using and building on Church House’s Everyday Faith campaign.
The 3rd March 2019 will be Everyday Faith Sunday - with sermons around the diocese, including Lisa Tulfer (Bishops Officer for Lay learning and Formation) at Great St Marys and the Revd Canon Dr Jessica Martin at Ely Cathedral, as well as a selection of materials for other uses will be available on our Sunday Morning Resources webpages.
For more information on Setting God’s People Free, visit the Church of England website at https://www.churchofengland.org/about/renewal-and-reform/more-about-renewal-reform/setting-gods-people-free.
If you’d like to share any stories with Eleanor Puttock, please contact her via email at Eleanor.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like any further information in the meantime on Ely’s role in this pilot, please do not hesitate in contacting Linda at email@example.com or on 01353 652733.