Category: 2014

Rt Revd John Packer

There was a key change to the programme following the Rt Revd Peter Price’s illness when the
Rt Revd John Packer, former Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, stepped in to set the scene for the
rest of the conference.

His opening comment was that it is so important for us to help and support each other in both deaneries and parishes. Every diocese should have a rebel deanery as it asks questions that diocesan leaders do not want to hear.

Echoing the previous evening’s speaker he said that we should push our dioceses into a more positive sharing arrangement with local Methodists and he related how deaneries can be a positive force in synodical government by making proposals that reach general synod level and beyond. The role of the deanery in the community is crucial and it has a right and a duty to reflect on what goes on in its local borough.

He gave a retrospective view as to how the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & The Dales had come about which had implications for forthcoming deanery reorganisations. Deaneries, he said, had become crucial to the life of the CofE and had an increased role in its jigsaw.

The Next Generation

Speaker: Penny Stradling
Co-Chair Young Adult Round Table Conferences.

Penny photo 2 enhanced 01 (2)

Penny works for the CMS helping people find their vocation in mission. She co-chairs the fresh expressions work with young adults. Currently completing an MA in pioneer ministry Penny co-leads a 20/30s community group in Oxford.

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The Pilgrim Course


Pilgrim is a major new teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England. It aims to help every local church create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day.

Pilgrim takes a different approach to other Christian programmes. It approaches the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion with a group of fellow travellers.

Pilgrim is comprised of two stages: the Follow stage for those very new to faith, and the Grow stage for those who want to go further. Each stage contains four short six-session courses which focus on a major theme of Christian life.

Watch the Pilgrim promo video on YouTube.

Succesful Mission Strategies

Deaneries as Agents of Change

David Jennings
Senior Strategy Office
Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council

David Jennings (1)

David brings to the role 25 years’ experience of working in the public and not-for-profit sectors. His brief is to support strategy development in the Church covering growth and resource planning.

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The link to the church growth website is:

You can also download a copy of Anecdote to Evidence

Christine Wilson

A model for shaping deaneries for mission – from the ground up
Ven Christine Wilson: Archdeacon of Chesterfield

Christine has extensive experience of youth leadership; community development and overseas partnerships. In her role as archdeacon she shares in the senior leadership of the Diocese of Derby and is currently undertaking a significant piece of work on developing the deaneries.

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Revd the Lord Leslie Griffiths

The opening Friday evening address was by the Revd the Lord Leslie Griffiths, Superintendent
Minister, Wesley’s Chapel, London who being a South Walian was able to chart without any notes
not only his calling but also to powerfully highlight the problems for the Methodist Church
especially because for the past 40 years its membership has declined from 675,000 to

He compared Methodist circuits to Anglican deaneries and after his time in Haiti he
knew the power of peasant peoples through what he called their survival schools. He asked,
‘What are we communicating to whom?’ but really, ‘We should be led by the Spirit rather than
by the Book.’ As a Labour life peer in the House of Lords he can convey a Christian message in
supporting his fellow peers and as to he can still be involved with Haiti. His final thought after
a lively Q&A session was that we have to share and trust in each other.

Conference Reviewer: Rt Revd Peter Price

Former Bishop of Bath and Wells

Peter Price is renowned for his energy and his ideas. His gifts as a brilliant teacher and communicator have been widely recognised as is his commitment to reconciliation, justice and peace.