To obtain Church Commissioners' Funding we put together a bid document. Here we extract the summary - you can download the full document below.
The Diocese of Liverpool is currently one of only 3 dioceses in the country which has seen an improvement in both mission and financial strength over the past 5 years. This is important to us.
Transforming Wigan is a 7-year £1.2 million programme which aims to build on this to achieve two broad outcomes:
To turn around the mission and financial strength in the strategically most vulnerable part of our diocese, enabling it to become a missional powerhouse.
To transfer the learning and good practice to other parts of the diocese (and beyond) so that we can continue to build on strength and mitigate weakness.
This will be done through a number of separate but complimentary interventions both to tackle some of the obstacles to growth (such as the core challenges of ageing money, unsustainable leadership patterns and broken buildings) and set a clear investment framework for the future (missional leaders communities, re-worked and re-vitalised missional units, accountability structures based on key moments of intervention). It will be grounded in the lessons of From Anecdote to Evidence and based on a comprehensive programme of change management so as to:
Reduce the average age of those attending and engaging with church
Increase the giving base (in numbers and average giving) to underpin future sustainability and development
Broaden the leadership base to allow for a flourishing of vocations and the emergence of multiple missional leaders communities
Deal with the ‘buildings issue’, namely a current understanding of church which is overly reliant on expensive buildings which are unfit for 21st century mission and ministry
Configure the deanery around healthy and viable missional units fit for future purpose and each of which reflects a clear mixed economy of church
Transforming Wigan is avowedly not about a single new initiative which will sit apart from existing structures. Instead it is recognising that as a diocese we have invested and will continue to invest heavily in stipendiary leadership which will remain a core resource and our single greatest area of expenditure for the foreseeable future.
This project is about the re-imagination and re-invention of this core resource initially in Wigan and then across the wider diocese. As such it is directly and intentionally designed to improve the mission and financial strength of the diocese.