The Diocese of Oxford is currently working on a Common Vision. This involves seven strategic priorities including schools, young people, community engagement and discipleship. Milton Keynes is the sixth strand of the vision and Working Group Six has been working on how we might “Celebrate and Bless Milton Keynes”. The group has been meeting for nearly two years and has been developing a strategy in conversation with the wider diocese.
We presented our ideas to a meeting of the bishops, archdeacons and heads of department back in April. This was a very positive event and we were given a lot of support and encouragement. In particular, we were challenged to think more ambitiously and widen our discussions even further. A big change was the decision to work towards a Bishop of Milton Keynes in recognition that the city is becoming a major regional centre.
There are currently four major strands of work that are underway, these are:
- Start-up funding: A small amount of money is being released by the diocese to get things moving. This will fund some office and meeting space, community organising and a part-time prayer co-ordinator. This funding will be for 2020 and is intended to prepare the way for further work.
- New Congregations: We are working with Working Group Three to get funding for a number of new congregations across the city. This will involve an application to the national Strategic Development Fund (SDF) which will be submitted in two stages between October 2019 and March 2020.
- Coordinated Strategy: In September 2019 we will start work on a broad strategy which will address all of the Diocesan strategic priorities:
- Making a Bigger Difference in the World
- Sharing our Faith and Growing the Local Church
- Growing New Congregations
- Serving Every School in our Communities
- Setting the Discipleship of all at the heart of our common life
- Celebrating and Blessing Milton Keynes
- Engaging in new ways with young people, families and children
One way of thinking about this, is that each of these priorities will be reflected in our churches and the Deanery as whole.
- Bishop of MK: We are going to start the conversation about creating a Bishop of Milton Keynes. This will be a long-term conversation which will probably take 5-10 years.
As you can see, there is a lot of work going on. A lot of it is still in the early stages, but things are beginning to happen. We’ll keep you updated as these various projects develop….
Download Update (September 2019): Download
Download the Proposal (April 2019): Download
Download a summary (April 2019): Download
Printable Paper (October 2018): Download
Report to Bishop’s Council (July 2018): Download