Discerning our 2030 Vision – Listening to London, Listening to God
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Psalm 127: 1-2
A Message from the Bishop of London
As we come towards the latter stages of Capital Vision 2020, our thoughts and prayers are already turning to what follows – to listen once again to what God is saying to us in the life of this great city.
We’re looking to celebrate and build on what God has been doing among us, then pray and plan for a Spirit-inspired vision that will lead us to 2030. We know that when we pray, listen and act in unity, God moves powerfully among us. In this time of national uncertainty and with people in our city facing so many personal and collective challenges, how are we going to respond as Christ’s ambassadors at this time and in this place?
I am writing to ask you to join us in this process of praying, listening and responding together. At the end of March we will be sending out four simple questions in a survey format (see below), and I’m asking you to plan a time between April and July to come together as a worshipping community, to pray, reflect and send in your responses to these questions to the 2030 Vision team (survey link to come).
We would love to hear from a variety of voices – from the clergy to the laity, both younger and older generations, those at the centre of parish life and those on the edges or outside the church – including the poor, lonely and marginalised.
Your responses will help our diocesan vision for the next 10 years and the resource decisions we make. I hope the exercise will inspire your church mission plans as well.
Here is a preview of the four questions which we will be sending out in an online survey format at the end of March. The questions will be clearly positioned from the Diocese of London. We will also provide you with a version of the questions that you could use for people who don’t come to church – asking them what they would like the Church of England in London to be like and to do?
In answering these questions people can reflect on their own context and/or London as a whole:
Looking back over the past five years
- How have you seen God working in London?
Looking forward to 2030
- What do you think God is calling the church in London to be?
- What do you think God is calling the church in London to prioritise?
- Do you have any other observations that could help our mission and ministry in London?
I encourage you to do this in planned, convened groups and also informally and opportunistically as you meet people out and about. So please start to think creatively about who to involve and when you could come together within your church community to answer these questions.
There is so much to celebrate from the last five years of Capital Vision 2020 – the 56 new worshipping communities, the 40,000 Ambassadors encouraged to live and proclaim the good news of Jesus, and the early fruit of our youth ministry investment – to name but a few examples. It is soon time to listen again and discern the plans that the Lord has for London. Please join me in prayer as we ask God to build His kingdom in London.
In March, I will write again to you with the survey link and other material, including a short video, to help you run these engagement sessions in your context. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this, please email email@example.com.
Thank you for helping us listen to London and listen to God.
Bishop of London