November update from our Diocesan Secretary

Cost of living: our response

Every day seems to bring fresh headlines about spiralling living costs and soaring energy bills, and with it the difficult decisions and choices people are having to make in their daily lives; what not to include in their food shop or switching off the heating, for example.

In the Diocese of Coventry, we are acutely aware of the challenges people are facing and our churches are playing a key role in supporting their local communities, for example opening their doors for foodbanks, lunch clubs and providing warm spaces for anyone who needs it. Our Charity partner Together for Change also works with our churches to help families, young people, the elderly and asylum seekers in the most deprived areas of our Diocese. Last year, they distributed 3000 food parcels across Warwick. By July this year the figure had reached 1,800 across Warwick and in Nuneaton and working with our church in Camphill 38 families are now receiving £30 worth of food for £5 through the food pantry. They are also looking at how they can help by creating warm spaces, like Saints Nuneaton, to help people find warmth in the winter months. This is just a very small part of what they and our churches do to help those in need.  

Nationally, the Church recently announced a £15 million fund to be awarded across all Dioceses to help PCCs with the cost of heating churches. In the Diocese, we are looking at how we distribute these energy grants and, with Together for Change, considering how we can also support churches as warm spaces this winter. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

We recognise that many of our clergy and lay leaders will be thinking about what more they can do. To help, we have produced information for the website and resources in Equip Hub. This includes Claire Strachan, our Church Buildings Officer, offering practical suggestions to help parishes save money and energy, there will be signposting to national resources like webinars, toolkits and Parish Buying offers and an invitation to join the online discussion group we have set up. Through November, we will be featuring and signposting all of this on our website and in Equip Hub.

Diocesan Synod

In other news, our Diocesan Synod will be meeting later this month. On their agenda is the strategic framework, Our Shared Future, which sets out our 2030 vision and the key areas of focus and support we need to undertake to reach it as well as the core work of the Diocesan team in supporting mission and ministry across the Diocese. We will be sharing this more widely in the new year and welcome your views and feedback. We will also be seeking approval from Synod for the 2023 expenditure which supports this work. Please pray for Diocesan Synod members in their discussions and deliberation of these matters.

Lay Ministries Framework

Last month, Bishop Christopher gave his approval to the Lay Ministries Framework that has been developed in consultation with people across the Diocese over the summer. The framework is a pattern of practices, resources and guidelines devised to release, recognise and resource a wide range of lay ministries across the diocese. The intention is to focus on things that will enhance people’s Christian ministries. Rob Harrison, our Director of Ministry & Leadership will be leading sessions on nurturing lay ministry for clergy and licensed lay leaders in November. You can find more details on these, and other very helpful courses, events and resources, on Equip Hub, our online learning hub.

Thank you for all you are doing across our wonderful Diocese.

First published on: 31st October 2022
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