MILTON KEYNES DEANERY
MISSION ACTION PLAN
Agreed by Synod in January 2015
MK Deanery shares a common Vision with our ecumenical partners in the Mission Partnership:
Milton Keynes: A City Alive to God
As part of the Diocese of Oxford, the purpose of the Deanery is defined by the Diocesan strategy document, Sharing Faith:
To join with God in creating a caring, sustainable and growing Christian presence in every part of Milton Keynes.
In order to fulfil our purpose we will focus on the following key areas of work:
1. Keeping God at the Heart
2. Building Relationships
3. Building Capacity
4. Working Together
5. Being Good Stewards
Our understanding of mission is defined by the Five Marks of Mission:
1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
3. To respond to human need by loving service
4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
The following five core priorities will inform our decisions and the use of our shared resources.
We will develop more detailed action plans within these key areas of work.
Keeping God at the Heart
In everything we do, we should always remember our primary calling to focus on Jesus Christ and the love of God, revealed through the incarnation, cross and resurrection.
The Deanery will ensure that prayer, worship and theological reflection are given a high priority. Every Deanery meeting will include space for prayer or reflection.
As a Christian community, our effectiveness in mission is dependent on the quality of our relationships. As Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”.
The Deanery will prioritise activities that build and develop the relationships between ministers, church members and our ecumenical partners. We will encourage mutual support, respect and understanding as we bring people together.
We need support and encouragement if we are to grow as individuals and as congregations. The Deanery will work to equip the people of God in Milton Keynes with the skills and confidence to serve Christ more effectively.
There are many occasions when mission is more effective because it is done with others. As far as we are able, we will support initiatives that take place across the city and the Borough. In some cases we will promote or join existing projects, and on some occasions we will initiate new work and invite others to work with us.
Being Good Stewards
As a Deanery, we are responsible for the deployment of clergy and for the allocation of share payments. We need to be good stewards, reviewing and developing these resources in such a way that we support the future mission of the Church in Milton Keynes. Our decisions will be based on a number of agreed key criteria.
These criteria will be used to inform decisions about new and existing posts. They will also be given to parishes as guidance in the production of profiles and job descriptions.
- Mission to the whole of Milton Keynes: We are committed to the current Diocesan vision of “The transformation of all life under God”. This means that we will join with God in creating a growing, caring and sustainable Christian presence in every part of the Deanery.
- Growth in depth, impact and numbers: We will deploy our resources for mission. This is the ultimate purpose of our ministerial deployment.
- Investment according to need and opportunity: We will not, however, merely seek to “spread the butter more thinly”. There will be times when we increase resources in particular areas because there is a specific issue that needs to be addressed. Areas considered will include: high population, new housing, cultural diversity, deprivation and age profile.
- Innovation not inertia: We will not simply replace posts in order to keep things going as they are. We need to plan for the future, rather than hold on to the past.
- Mission Action Planning: We expect churches and parishes to be engaged in a continuous process of active and intentional mission planning with a clear vision, priorities and measurable goals. Proposals, profiles and job descriptions need to relate to mission action plans which are reflected in ongoing activity.
- Evaluation and Review: We also expect churches and parishes to evaluate and review the effectiveness of their mission, appropriately amending their Mission Action Plans as necessary. It is important that potentially difficult decisions are made about existing projects or patterns of work before appointments are made.
- Ecumenical partnership: In a changing situation we will be aware of the need for ecumenical balance and collaboration. We will aim to be respectful and supportive partners in our engagement with other churches and denominations.
- Enabling lay people: Our ministerial posts should be designed and allocated in such a way that they build up lay people and nurture shared ministry, especially for Mission.
- Flexibility around Borders: In a complex, changing and interconnected city, rigid attitudes to borders can be a problem for mission. We need to ensure that proper thought has been given to the relationships between areas, church buildings and congregations. Cross-parish work will be encouraged.
- Responsible stewardship: Issues of finance should not be the main driver of our mission planning, but it is important that we use our resources wisely. We must be able to balance the books, and this will mean that we will need to set priorities, rather than attempt to do everything at once.