Mission and evangelism in diverse cultures
Birmingham: the world in one Diocese
We live in a super-diverse Diocese, so how we go about sharing our faith involves humility, prayer and careful listening - both to God and to our context. We need to understand the culture of those around us in order to communicate God’s love in a way that makes sense to them.
We are already blessed by networks and individuals with a wealth of experience in ministering to distinct communities across our region. It is hoped to build and draw on this expertise as we enter this new phase, focusing on five specific contexts:
- Inner Urban and Majority MEA churches: The intention is to foster lay leaders and evangelists in these contexts, as well as continuing to support pre-established networks for urban and estate clergy.
- Urban Estates: We already benefit from missional communities in a number of estate areas. With new resourcing, more parishes can now be supported in engaging with their estate communities and building connections with local communities with whom the Church currently has no contact.
- ‘Presence and Engagement’ (P&E) areas: We have 78 P&E parishes, in which at least 10% (and often far more) of the population are of other faiths. A learning community will be established for clergy and Readers in this context, helped by our Director of Interfaith Relations, experienced clergy colleagues and new posts.
- Suburban: Some of our largest and youngest (demographically) churches are in suburban areas. These churches will be offered the opportunity to share peer learning about culture change and ways of making the next step-change in each church.
- Rural: We are in the process of developing a strategy to help rural parishes grow larger, wider, deeper and younger. Applying the knowledge of rural mission experts, new posts and consultancy we commissioned in 2015, there will also be a learning community for lay people and clergy from rural areas to share good practice and encourage growth.