By Bishop Philip Egan - February 8th, 2023 | Posted in News No comments
You Will be My Witnesses is the title of the Ten-Year Mission Plan for our Diocese of Portsmouth. It is the fruit of two-years’ of discernment and consultation, which began with the Diocesan-wide survey A Thousand Voices undertaken in December 2020. The draft document was published in the summer of 2022. The priorities outlined in the Ten-Year Mission Plan – putting Christ at the centre and developing missionary communities – are a direct result of the last two years spent talking and listening to people across the Diocese. Now we have a new report: the feedback received in the final stage of consultation which will inform the development of the final document.

Following the five-month consultation period, we heard from 65 parishes, of which 41 submitted a parish response, 14 fed back as part of combined pastoral area response, and ten submitted both a parish response and fed back as part of a combined pastoral area response. Four pastoral areas submitted a combined response: New Forest, Avon Stour, English Martyrs Vale of the White Horse, and Havant. In addition to parish responses, we received 51 other responses. Of these, five were from individual members of the clergy, 40 were from individual members of the lay faithful, two were from lay faithful couples, one was from a lay faithful family and three were from small groups: Called & Gifted, the Saint Swithun Wells Fellowship Group, and the Christchurch Men’s Group. The feedback received was given in a variety of formats; some submissions responded to the questions posed; other submissions ranged from general comments on the document or a particular aspect of the plan to personal reflections and histories. Each submission has been carefully reviewed in its entirety and the feedback categorised.

Next week, we will provide summaries that can orientate the next phase of the project.