Our Shared Future - Diocesan Strategy

In November 2022, the Our Shared Future framework was approved by Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod.

It draws together the strands of our core work and key commitments outlined in the document and sets the direction to 2030.

In order to realise this vision, we need to work together as a whole diocese – churches, schools, chaplaincies and cathedral – served and supported by our diocesan staff, synods, boards and committees.

This updated document provides the strategic framework for doing so. It is not a set of new initiatives that are being imposed from above. It reflects what we have heard from parishes, clergy and others; developed and refined after a period of listening and discernment throughout early 2023, and then seeking and following God’s guidance on how we best support one another, empowered by God’s own ‘Spirit of Life’ and working in the name of God’s own Son, ‘the Resurrection and the Life’.

Going forward we will be seeking significant National Church investment and partnership during this strategic period and have aligned our plans to the Church of England’s three priorities and six bold outcomes, while keeping the Diocese of Coventry-specific priorities. We look to a period of ministerial and parochial development, growth, positive community impact with long term environmental responsibility and developing a plan for financial sustainability upon which to move forward. Everyone is invited to be part of our shared future.

Jacqueline Ladds
Diocesan Secretary & CEO


Our Shared Future - 2024 Framework



God of Mission,
who alone brings growth to your church,
send your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning,
wisdom to our actions, and power to our witness.
help us to grow in numbers,
in spiritual commitment to you,
and in service to our local community.
through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen





Work Streams

All of the work across the Diocese and in the Diocesan Offices falls under one of the seven distinct workstreams which have been extracted from our 2030 Vision designed to resource our mission design:

1 Healthy Churches - promoting the essential qualities of church health
For over a decade, the Diocese of Coventry has been encouraging churches to engage with Natural Church Development (NCD). In particular, the eight essential qualities of healthy churches has been promoted as a means of helping them to flourish. The national Church of England is also promoting “healthy churches” from a safeguarding perspective. Our churches must be safe and welcoming places for all – this is an imperative of the Christian gospel.

2 Healthy Communities - meeting social, spiritual and practical needs of those we serve
Helping and serving lies at the heart of our diocesan purpose to “transform communities”. The need is greater than ever, since the health of local communities has been weakened by the pandemic – and is further threatened by the cost of living crisis. Churches, schools, chaplaincies and the cathedral are serving their local communities in a wide variety of imaginative ways – some of which are being supported by Diocesan Mission Fund grants. In partnership with Together for Change, the diocese is also supporting projects in the most deprived parishes. For example: Saints Nuneaton; our Rural Life Officers; youth work initiatives; support for poorer communities with food and fuel poverty; and support for refugees.

3 New Worshipping Communities - reaching out to those who are missing
Worshipping communities come in all shapes and sizes. Some large, some small, some in the city, some in our towns, some in villages, some are quite traditional and some are more contemporary. But they all have one thing in common – they are committed to worshipping God, making new disciples and transforming communities. Some of these new communities might look completely different to anything that has gone before. Perhaps aimed specifically at people who have never been connected to a church. Some might be more familiar, like messy church or café church. During the pandemic we saw the amazing development of online worship gathering people together, Page 9 of 11 reaching out to new people, drawing them into the life of the church. We value this diversity, and our vision during the current decade is for new worshipping communities that are equally diverse.

4 Children, Young People and Families - inviting them to come on a faith journey
The Diocese is a trailblazer diocese for the national Growing Faith initiative. The aim is to find ways for churches, schools and families to work together in supporting the faith development of children and to celebrate and recognise their place in God’s family. Each year Coventry Cathedral welcomes over 20,000 school children to experience the presence of God through worship and learning, and providing opportunities for staff and pupils to know the reconciling Christ and His ministry. Our Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) is also strengthening the partnership between churches, schools and families through the legacy of Alive 2023.

5 Growing Leaders - enabling and equipping both new and current leaders
Three important roles of every diocese are to inspire people, to help them hear God’s call in their own lives, and to equip them for their unique ministry. In the Diocese we are developing our Equip Hub to provide a single point of contact for high quality learning, training and resourcing. We are populating it with locally produced resources that showcase good practice and innovation from across the diocese. In 2022 we developed a new framework for releasing, recognising and resourcing lay ministry across the diocese and this work will continue alongside our annual Continuing Ministerial Development programme.

6 Renewing the Environment - caring for creation, both locally and globally
The Diocesan Environment Group continues to inspire, encourage, challenge and resource people to take seriously our God[1]given vocation to care for the earth, particularly via the promotion of Eco Church. The Net Zero Steering Group is also co[1]ordinating work to measure and reduce our carbon footprint across the diocese. Data from parish energy audits and the Energy Footprint Tool will enable us to further analyse our current environmental impact and establish the steps needed to reduce it. Action plans will be produced for the key focus areas – churches, schools, the cathedral, diocesan offices, clergy housing and work-related travel.

7 Loving One Another - being a reconciling presence in the heart of our communities
When we see divisions around us in the world and close to home, the Difference course is equipping communities and individuals to build community cohesion, navigate disagreement, and cross divides through our everyday encounters. Our Race Equality Steering Group has developed a strategy to improve race equality within the diocese. This is done through consultation with the Race Equality Advisory Group (REAG) and churches. The Living in Love and Faith (LLF) project has produced resources to help the whole Church to learn how relationships, marriage and sexuality fit within the bigger picture of a humanity created in the image of God, and to understand each other better. At an international level, our cathedral continues to promote reconciliation through the Community of the Cross of Nails


Under Pinning Work

We have also identified 3 workstreams that underpin and support the realisation of our 2030 vision.

1. Healthy people – nurturing the wellbeing of everyone who serves the work of the Diocese
A wide range of clergy wellbeing resources is available on the diocesan website, nevertheless a clergy wellbeing survey in June 2022 revealed that the average wellbeing of clergy had declined during the previous three years. We have no data for lay people, but it is highly likely that the wellbeing of lay people has also declined as a result of the pandemic. Lessons learnt from promoting clergy wellbeing will be applied to Readers, churchwardens, headteachers, and everyone who serves the work of the diocese.

2. Renewing generosity – supporting others with our time, talents, money
Our parish share system is based on the principles of generosity and mutual support. When faced with financial hardship, everyone finds it more difficult to be generous. The pandemic and the cost of living crisis are causing financial difficulties throughout the Church of England. Church members find it harder to financially support their local church, and Churches find it harder to pay their parish share. That in turn makes it harder for the Diocesan Board of Finance to provide the level of support that parishes really need. Living Generously explores how people can live a generous life in response to Christ’s generous act of love on the cross.

3. Parish support – appropriate and relevant areas of support for mission
The Diocesan offices will continue to provide support to parishes including: Safeguarding – training and advice and helping parishes to respond to safeguarding concerns and allegations; paying grants, stipends and pensions; managing investments; administering parish share; and producing budgets, reports and accounts; maintaining and improving our vicarages; resourcing lay ministry; discerning vocations; training ordinands and curates; managing clergy appointments; providing continuing ministerial development; providing HR support; advising about the care and development of churches (including the DAC) and helping to find grants; sharing news, information and resources with parishes; and arranging meetings and providing briefing papers for Diocesan Synod, Bishop’s Council, and statutory diocesan committees



Listening Period

A large portion of this work is in response to the diocesan wide listening exercise held in early 2023.


The four major findings were:

Children, young people & families
• A high level of intended engagement with 2023 focused support.
• Most HR interactions in the Parish Needs Survey were for support to employ children & family workers, illustrated further by the high levels of requested for support in 2024.
• Cited as a key area of opportunity for ‘New Growth’ in the diocese.

Specialist support
• The Parish Needs Survey indicated a significant increase in demand for core support, especially safeguarding.
• Cited as a key opportunity for ‘Restored Health’ amongst diocese of Coventry.
• A number of solutions and new working models were presented in emails, letters and workshops. Indicating a shortage or difficulty recruiting some more specific skills like HR and grant applications whilst a need for administrators to be shared across a number of churches makes fiscal sense.

Church buildings
• Running costs and building maintenance potentially not manageable for a majority of churches is a real risk highlighted in the Archdeacons’ Articles of Enquiry.
• Featured notably as an area of opportunity in ‘Restored Health’ as it is a major concern for a significant percentage.
• Mainly positive interactions with the current team however fundraising and viability remain a challenge according to the Parish Needs Survey.

Growing leaders
• Came through as a key theme at the Vision & Strategy Day.
• Workshops show more accessibility desired for lay and young people, non-ordination options.
• Seen as key enabling activity to release new worshipping communities, one of the higher intended engagement areas for 2023.


Listening Period 2023 Findings & Actions


Our Shared Future - 2023 Framework

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