Enabling ministries

Enabling Ministries aims to encourage a wide variety of ministries to flourish across the diocese. It emerged from a report produced by a group tasked to look at the future shape of ministry across Somerset.

This report was concluded in spring 2020, as Covid 19 worsened and churches were forced to close. It quickly became obvious that the pandemic would have a dramatic impact on the Church in terms of its worshipping life, and its financial health, and as the Church adapted and changed to meet this challenge, this would also impact on deployment and ministry.

At the heart of the original recommendations of the deployment report was the idea of exploring the concept of focal ministry. Focal ministry is a commitment to a visible focus for ministry in each place, whether lay or ordained.

In the Diocese of Bath and Wells, we have taken the concept of focal ministry as a basis for encouraging a range of local ministries, which will differ from place to place.

Local ministry might be provided by a chaplain, a Reader, a churchwarden or another church member or an ordained priest. We pray for the emergence of a range of visible ministries, which will look different from place to place and as skills and needs allow, serving every community in Somerset.

This commitment to a range of local ministries is also a way of being church that focuses on communities and allows church leaders to have roles that fit their calling and gifts and are not burdensome. It hopes to liberate people and churches to respond to God’s love and call in their own community. It is also recognises the need to allow pioneers to emerge from their own communities and encourages people to try out new things without fearing failure.

Enabling Ministries will provide material and tools to help deaneries and parish discern what ministry is needed in their place, drawing on the skills and talents of all God’s people. That material will be available on this page shortly.