I've recently posted the following discussion starter on the CofE's Church Growth Research Programme discussion forum:
I've recently joined the Vacancy in See committee for our diocese, and we're choosing a new bishop this year. As a leader in mission, the bishop has a crucial role both in setting the tone for growth in the Diocese, as well as strategic and spiritual leadership. What is people's experience of the difference that a bishop and his (amend in 2014 to his/her) leadership can make to local church growth?
I notice than in some Dioceses there are episcopally lead growth strategies in place (e.g Sheffield) - how effective are these? What difference to they make? Can we realistically expect a new bishop to make any difference to the year-on-year decline that we currently have?
please respond here, or over there, whichever takes your fancy.
Update: there is a post and thread here on John Richardsons blog on this topic, though the comments rapidly run off topic.