Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Best Mission Resources from 43 Diocesan Websites.

The last post (cue trumpet) in this diocesan website survey series, here's a list of

a) The best mission resources I could find on diocesan websites
b) Material that could be held by any diocesan website, with minimal local tweaking.

Any diocese renewing its website at any stage could simply cut and paste these things as useful mission resources for their own readers.

(For a site-by-site summary, and a summary of how widely Fresh Expressions is found on Diocesan sites, use the link above.)

I've tried to categorise the resources, sources in brackets.

1. a 13 page resource booklet on how churches and schools can work together, packed with good ideas on mission and engagement. (Bath & Wells)

2. resource papers for childrens work, with 1-2 sides of A4 on everything from after school clubs to Easter drama (Chelmsford)

3. website devoted to youth ministry, with sections for young people, and for youth leaders. (Gloucester)

4. tips for welcoming children (Southwell)

1. Communications section, with a ‘communications health check for parishes’ and downloadable fliers on copyright, media relations, noticeboards, how to make your story ‘news’ etc. (Chester)

2. Liverpool also has a good communications section, with concise and good advice on publicity, leaflets, noticeboards, photographs, magazines, new media etc.

3. Manchester has a superb communications home page, which helpfully sets out all the main local media in the Diocese, and which area they cover, as well as what communications the Diocese is sending out and who to.

1. Several examples of pages aimed at people asking questions. E.g. Exploring Faith which covers what a Christian is, testimonies, FAQ’s, how to find out more, books to read etc. (Birmingham)

2. Several dioceses also have pages for those enquiring about baptism, (London) and links to the excellent yourchurchwedding site.

3. a link to egodparents

1. A ‘local projects’ section which lists the community/mission projects run by local churches, with a contact name (Birmingham) - would need local tweaking, and ongoing maintenance to keep it up to date.

2. Church Planting Policy (Bristol) - every diocese should have one, though obviously it needs praying through first, not just copying from Bristol!!

3. Youtube videos on local fresh expressions (Bristol) - and if you don't have your own, simply link to those dioceses which do, it's still a great way to see something in action, even if it's not within your county.

4. A Back to Church Sunday section with tips on being welcoming, publicity etc. (Bristol). Another diocese has a BTCS resource page with case studies of parishes which did it, and a timeline of what to do when (Oxford).

5. survey of resources of what's on the market for discipleship courses, children and young people's discipleship, small groups, faith sharing, enquirers courses. (Chester, but several other dioceses have versions of this). Oxfords survey of Nurture Courses focuses on the four most popular (START, Alpha, Emmaus, Essence), with a full review of each, and several stories from people who have used them.

6. Mission Fund: have the criteria for mission fund applications, downloadable application forms, and lists of who's recieved grants and what for. (several dioceses)

7. Mission planning statistics - neighbourhood census and demographic stats organised parish by parish, to help parishes understnad their mission context. There is a pack for each parish with maps and key local stats. (Manchester - would need some time and resources putting into it)

8. Experience Easter, ideas about how to make the most of Easter as an outreach opportunity (Manchester)

9. Handy gospel illustrations (Portsmouth).

Parish Development.

1. There are lots of good Mission Action Plan resources, if you're really interested in these, many of them are linked from the ChurchMaps website.

2. a ‘resources directory’ listing resource people/networks around the Diocese in a variety of areas (Blackburn) - needs local tweaking and keeping up to date, but it's a way of sharing expertise without everything going through the Diocese. Blackburn has I.T., Men, interfaith etc.

3. Along similar lines, X-Change section, for online sharing of ideas and resources. Covers things like worship, buildings, stewardship, debt, tourism, children, publicity etc. Each of these has subsections – e.g. Children has Holiday Clubs, Godly Play, Schools links etc. (Carlisle). Similar idea in Chelmsfords Making ConneXions section (covers marriage prep, harvest fun day, deanery curate, fundraising, you name it)

4. a 1-page worship audit questionnaire (Chelmsford)

5. Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts questionnaire (Exeter)

6. a 'Christians at Work' section with a free, downloadable 4-session small group course on the issue. (Hereford)

7. resources from ACTS : (joint TEARfund/Liverpool) which takes parishes step by step through embarking on a new project for the benefit of the community, from building a community centre to running a fun day. Great resource for action planning.

8. liturgical resources section. Not just section, entire website. (Southwell).

9. Some of the Peterborough leaflets, most notably Providing a Welcome, and ministry with the elderly.

There. I hope that saves a lot of people a lot of work. I'm staggered by how much duplication there is out there, when a bit of resource sharing would increase the quality of resources and advice available to everyone. Ideally this should be owned and brokered by the national CofE website.

And a big thankyou to the people who've compiled all the above resources and made them available, I hope I've done you justice.

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