Reflections on Oversight Area formation in Yardley & Solihull Deanery

1st February 2024

Oversight Areas in the CofE Birmingham are made up of a range of expressions of church in the community.  In each of our 6 deaneries, Area Deans oversee a number of oversight areas, supporting Oversight Ministers in each of these, and enabling the deanery to reach out to one another on shared interests and commitments. 

The churches of the Yardley & Solihull Deanery were the first deanery to agree and form their Oversight Areas in the diocese. Revd Nick Parker, Area Dean of Yardley & Solihull Deanery at the time of its Oversight Areas formations, gives an insight into the key elements of how this was achieved as part of this significant cultural and structural change within the diocese. 

Nick Parker reflects:

“Collaboration and communication are key to working across parish boundaries in mission and ministry to create Oversight Areas.  Early on in our journey, I formed a Project Team of twelve people, comprised of the Archdeacon, the Transforming Church Action Planning Enabler, the Programme Manager for People & Places, and both lay and ordained Leaders who brought in depth local knowledge of the Yardley & Solihull Deanery. 

The expertise within this Project Team formed the basis for consultation with our parishes and helped to share the vision with Leaders, PCCs, Chapter and Diocesan Synod meetings.  Discussing and moulding the six iterations of Oversight Areas before arriving at the final configuration.”

Underpinning this process were key administrative support roles working together.  Charitas Cho, Deanery Support Officer for Yardley & Solihull, arranged meetings, facilitated smooth communication between stakeholders, produced paperwork, chased paperwork signatories, and helped to bring the vision of shared mission and ministry for the six Oversight Areas to fruition.  Bev Heritage, People & Places Administrator at that time, provided invaluable administration support producing forms, maps, data, including faith statistics, informing the Oversight Area formation.  Pat Brydon, Bishop’s Executive Assistant, produced the associated documentation and the certificates signed by Bishop Anne to ratify the Oversight Areas.

Oversight Area formation is part of the CofEB People & Places project which is funded by the Church Commissioners.  To find out more about People & Places Ministry, click here

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