Video transcript - Our shared purpose

Bishop Christopher:

Shortly after I joined the Diocese of Coventry in 2008, I wrote these words: “it has been a joy to join a diocese which has a clearly articulated understanding of its purpose in Christ.”

The origin of that understanding of our purpose lay in a diocesan paper written four years earlier - in 2004 - that was then agreed by Bishop’s Council.

In three short phrases, it articulates what we are all called to – every Christian, the whole diocese – we are called to:

Worship God...
Make new disciples...
Transform communities.

Now, in one sense there’s nothing particularly distinctive about that calling ­– every Christian is to do this in every place.

But in the Diocese of Coventry I have found that the great biblical theme of ‘reconciliation’ touches us deeply.

Because of the reconciliation ministry of our great Cathedral, which is known the world over, we have a story that shapes us.

Reconciliation is the lens that enables us focus everything, and to see this calling for all Christians – to worship God, to make new disciples, to transform communities – to see that in a distinctive way, and with clarity.

John Witcombe

Although this ministry began and continues in Coventry Cathedral, in recent years there has been a growing desire to see ‘reconciliation’ at the heart of the whole Diocese.

St Paul writes in his second letter to the church in Corinth

“All this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”

We have been exploring how this verse brings new insights to our shared purpose.

Archdeacon Sue

“All this is from God…”

It all begins with God.

For it is God who calls us …God who empowers us …God who equips us …and God who sustains us.  It is God who reconciles us.

It’s all grace.

Therefore, this is why we worship God.

Archdeacon Barry

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ…”

Through faith in Jesus, our relationship with God can be restored.  Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven and we can receive God’s gift of life ­– that gift of the fullness of life today and every day, in this world and everlasting life in the world to come.  The gift of God’s life.

Of course, this is the good news of the Gospel – the Gospel for the whole world.

Therefore, this is why we make new disciples.

April Gold

 And God “…gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

Our reconciliation with God in Christ – and the healing that it brings to our fractured relationships with each other and the earth – is to be made known and made visible by the power of the Spirit.  And the kingdom comes.

Therefore, this is why we transform communities.

Bishop John

This scope of this ministry of reconciliation – the healing of fractured relationships within our local communities, our nation and the whole earth – is so immense that no church, school, chaplaincy or cathedral can possibly do it alone.

We can only seek to fulfil this God-given ministry by the whole diocese working together – in the unity of the Spirit – and with the support of the diocesan staff, governors, synods and committees.

Bishop Christopher

Our world has seen massive changes over the last twenty years – technology, politics, climate, and then of course, the massive impact that the global pandemic has made to the lives of every one of us.

In response to a changing world and changing local communities, we’ve needed to refocus our vision, to review our values and to re-think some of our strategies; but the one thing that hasn’t changed is our shared purpose together.

Therefore, I encourage you to reach out to another organisation in the diocese – another church, a school, chaplaincy or the cathedral.

Become partners together in the message and ministry of reconciliation, so that we can we fulfil our calling to:

Worship God...
Make new disciples...
Transform communities.


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