Thoughts for Coffee

Moral therapeutic deism – if you’re good you go to heaven, deism – God is not very active, he made it not by much, therapeutic – he’s active if I need him.  The issue is how do we prayer and undermine this through the little things we say in conversation.  Firmly believe we can change the spiritual climate of a parish – it just depends how prayerfully, thought fully and intelligently we interact with the three issues of moral therapeutic deism.

John Currin – Context of Change

A lot of change since 2007 – very significant changes – the new coffee shop approaching completion – want to begin to use it but not yet finished – hoping for a grand opening in the new year.  We are a more secular land than we used to be – Percy spoke brilliantly about that on Sunday night.  Significant changes in our staff – administration, care-taking, youth and children’s and assistant clergy.  On continuity is John and Jill Lewis.  A lot of changes in the Diocese with 3 new bishops – central and two suffragen – and two new Archdeacons.

What is God calling us to invest in, we don’t have a bottomless pit – we have finite resources of people, finance etc.  One thought from Tom Wright on building the kingdom of God and building for the kingdom of God.  Really important distinction – we are infected by the concept of progress – political progress, economic progress, education progress, technological progress – in the church we think the church should be getting better and better, and we should see more of the kingdom of God.  This is not, what +Tom Wright was saying when the new Jerusalem comes there will be a similarly, a continuity of what is happening, and wonderfully what we are doing in Christ will be translated into what is to come.  So as we seek to serve what is done is not done in vain, but will somehow in mystery and beauty mean something.  That is what we are called to invest our energy in – we don’t get discouraged.

As way of conclusion want to give to you what has come from the Diocesan Synod.  The Bishops Staff Team, Diocesan Synod and a number of guests spent time working together looking at what are the priorities for us.  We need to do a few things very well.

John Currin – Diocesan Priorities

Under God, delighting in His grace and rooted in the Diocesan rule of life, we will be a Diocese in which:

  1. We grow authentic disciples, going out as individuals passionately, confidently, and courageously sharing their faith and coming together as creative church communities of prayer and worship that live out kingdom values.
  2. We re-imagine the Church intentionally connecting and engaging with our local communities in culturally relevant ways.  We will rejoice in the richness of the “mixed economy” of all ministry and proactively promote vibrant parochial and breathe-taking pioneering ministries amongst “missing” generations, e.g. children, young people, under 35s.
  3. We are agents of social transformation using our influence as a Diocese to transform public and personal life.  We will demonstrate loving faith at work in local communities and across the globe bringing healing, restoration and reconciliation.  E.g. through Education, Social Enterprise, Health Care, Spiritual Care Teams.
  4. We belong together in Christ, practicing sacrificial living and good stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us.  We will combine radical generosity, care and capacity building with a clear focus on directing finance into the mission of Jesus.  Sharing and multiplying local good practice, using people, buildings and other resources wisely we will seek to boldly prune, plant and invest in building for the Kingdom.

Feedback and discussion

What is the Diocesan rule of life?  Prayer gives us discernment, not just running around being busy.  The Bishop proposes that the Diocese develops a Rule of Life.  Monastic movements have rules of life, disciplines they follow, and people will be invited for people to follow, and bring some commonality – the means by which people engage with God.

Struggle with the poor grammar.  Written following debate of over 200 people during 4 days this week.  This is not the finished article – it will be polished at Diocesan Synod for church leaders, lay people i.e. congregation, non-Christians.

What do some of these words mean?  Radical, breath-taking etc.

What is capacity building? If we increase numbers we need to increase resources, including building, finance and people.

What is a mixed economy?  Effectively saying the diocese has a breadth of approaches from traditional evensong, to contemporary services, methods of spirituality and worship.

Authentic discipleship – a depth of integrity.

How will we interact with it?

Feel humbled and that Winchester is quite a traditional diocese and yet the priorities seem to fit with what we as a church are passionate for.

What are currently doing that looks like these?

  • Think re-imaging church is currently vital.  We’ve started to with coffee shop, and the new children and youth initiatives.
  • Hospitality through groups, cream teas, lunches, Alpha, Marriage Enrichment.  Would love to see a continued develop of social activities for “just because …”.
  • Social transformation – in the community, care homes, schools.
  • Location is fantastic – all the open door things we do.
  • Spiritual care and visiting is done well, mentoring is an extension of this.


As a leadership and PCC we will seek to implement this for how it will work best here.  It is a steer bearing in mind that we can’t do everything.  Otherwise we will fall into doing too much, and not doing it well.  Hold this morning in your prayers.  This is not an imposition from on high, but is something we can engage with to help us.


Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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