Bishops to share emerging themes from diocesan consultation at Chester Cathedral

The Bishop of Chester, Mark Tanner, is inviting parishioners and church leaders in the Diocese of Chester to a special event at Chester Cathedral on Saturday 20th May. 
The event will provide an opportunity for the bishop and other senior leaders to express gratitude for the vision process, Casting the Net Wide, and share the emerging themes and priorities that have been identified through the consultation.

Casting the Net Wide, which began in September 2022 as a grassroots consultation, has garnered thousands of contributions at over 80 community events (pictured right) held in schools, churches, and other venues. People from diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, and traditions shared their thoughts on what a new vision for the Church in the Diocese of Chester might look like.

Bishop Mark says: "Casting the Net Wide has been an immensely valuable process, and I hope that the event at Chester Cathedral will provide an opportunity for us to express gratitude to God for all the helpful and creative contributions we have received over the last six months. The event will enable us to stop, take stock, and allow bishops Julie, Sam and me to begin articulating the broad themes and priorities that we see emerging from the vision consultation.”

The feedback event is open to all, and there is no need to register in advance. The event will begin at 11 am, and refreshments will be served afterwards. A community art installation at the Cathedral will reflect the breadth and depth of the contributions to the consultation and serve as a reminder of God's work in the process.

Bishop Marks adds: "The event is a midpoint on our journey to discerning the new vision for the Church in our diocese; we are well on our way but there is more work to do. Further refinement is still possible as we continue to listen to what God is saying when we gather in prayer, worship, and thanksgiving at Chester Cathedral."

A final version of the diocesan vision is expected to go to Diocesan Synod for agreement in June.  

The story so far

  • September 2022 – The grassroots consultation, Casting the Net Wide, is launched in Grappenhall.
  • March 2023 – Casting the Net Wide ends after receiving thousands of contributions at more than 80 local events. 
  • May 2023 - An event at Chester Cathedral is an opportunity to take stock and give thanks for the consultation so far.

What is expected to happen next?

  • June 2023 – The bishops and the senior team are due to finalise the vision themes and priorities before presenting them to Diocesan Synod for agreement.
  • Summer 2023 – Interviews are expected to be held to appoint the Strategic Change Programme Director who will lead us through the strategic implementation phase.
  • Late 2023 – The final diocesan vision and strategy will be communicated within the diocese and the first stage of implementation begins. 

The first Vision Cafe event was held in Grappenhall in September. Vision Cafes formed a significant part in gathering people's views and feedback in a fun and creative way as part of the 'Casting the Net Wide' consultation process. 


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