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Mission in the Diocese

Mission Action Planning – resources and links


MAP Cycle

A Mission Action Plan (MAP) is a process of strategic planning which reflects on opportunities and resources available to a local church and informs a strategy to direct activities and decision making over the coming years. The heart of MAP is the process by which a church comes to understand its mission and put that into effect, rather than the product of a document.
MAP is being launched in the Diocese of Southwark and every parish is being encouraged to participate.

This commitment was included in Strategy for Ministry, as approved by Diocesan Synod in November 2012, and was approved as a specific proposal at Diocesan Synod in July 2013. Launch events took place across the Diocese in February and March 2014, and will be repeated as part of the Ministry Matters programme as needed. Every parish is invited to begin work on a Mission Action Plan as soon as possible, with the aim of submitting a MAP to their Area Bishop and Archdeacon, together with the Canon Missioner, by the end of 2014.

Bishop Christopher writes:

“Mission Action Planning is bearing fruit in over half the dioceses of the Church of England, and in many places has enabled encouraging signs of growth to be associated purposefully with a renewed focus on mission. The time is now right for the Diocese of Southwark to give priority to Mission Action Planning as an expression of our desire to grow the church and invite others into the journey of discipleship. Pray God that we will find Mission Action Planning to be a helpful tool as we serve the mission of God together in Southwark to his praise and glory.”

Our policy on MAP in Southwark can be found here.

Tools and resources for Mission Action Planning

Overview of the process


  • Questionnaires from the Dioceses of Southwark and Peterborough to conduct a service audit for evaluating the Sunday experience, best used by someone outside your own congregation
  • Helpful guidance for carrying out Community Audit from London Diocese
  • Liveability’s work on Church Health Check, similar to a Congregation Audit
  • Link to Faithworks/Oasis Trust, many useful resources including Community Audit tools


  • Link to the Anglican Communion’s 5 Marks of Mission, a helpful tool for assessing the holistic breadth of a MAP
  • Link to Spotlight data for every parish in the Diocese
  • Link to MAP page on Blackburn Diocese website with lots of helpful resources


  • What needs to be done?


  • Who will do it?

Support for Mission Action Planning

We have a team of trained facilitators who would be glad to help facilitate a process of Mission Action Planning in any parish. To explore this possibility, please contact Stephen Hance, the Canon Missioner, giving as much notice and flexibility with dates as possible. Stephen is also available to preach, lead PCC days, offer consultancy to clergy etc, as requested. Please contact him by e-mail or on 020 7939 9417.

Partners in Mission

Courses, Events & Conferences

Mission Shaped Ministry Course
A one-year part-time course on how to plant and sustain fresh expressions of church starts in May 2015. The course is designed for busy Christians and is delivered ecumenically by local and national teachers.  Some bursaries towards the cost are available. Please contact Will Cookson, Dean of Fresh Expressions, for further details. Tel: 020 8404 6064.



A number of books are available for loan to support the MAP process.

Hit the Ground Kneeling. Stephen Cottrell
How to Develop a Mission Strategy. Jim Currin
Beyond Duty: A passion for Christ a heart for mission. Tim Dearborn
Leading Ordinary Churches into Growth. Alan Howe
Making Disciples in Messy Church. Paul Moore
God-Shaped Mission: Theological and practical perspectives from the rural church. Alan Smith
The Healthy Churches’ Handbook. Robert Warren

Contact Stephen Hance for availability.

Southwark SAGE (Spirituality and Age) Working Group Resources 2015


Diocese of Southwark4community
This is an online database of funding opportunities, updated in real time and therefore always current. A parish who wishes to use it will need to register, using their Diocesan parish code. After registration, any member of the parish to whom the log in details have been entrusted can use it.

It allows a parish to find possible funding support, but parishes then have to make their own application directly.

A user guide can be downloaded here and the Open 4 Southwark portal can be accessed here.

The people behind the Open 4 Southwark database recently conducted a survey of funding providers and the results are here. The report contains useful information on why applications fail and advice on how to maximise the the success of an application.

Learn to Love to Read

If your church’s MAP includes a commitment to responding to the needs of the community, we can help you. ‘Learn to love to read’ provides a volunteer-led approach, designed to partner churches with local primary schools to offer literacy opportunities to those who need extra support. Build relationships with local families and transform children’s lives. Download a flyer here.

E-mail for details.

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions Guides

A series of 3-minute guides to essential fresh expressions:

Fresh Expressions Grants

Funding is available for those starting a fresh expression of church (fxC). More information about the grants can be found here.

The criteria are that initiatives should be:

  1. Clearly a fxC, or on the way to becoming one, fulfilling the national definition of a fxC (“A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church”) and able to meet the majority of fxC criteria
  2. Sustainable, not overly dependent in the long-term on one key leader, and with some strategy in place for financial sustainability
  3. Engaging in training and formal reflection to support development e.g. Mission Shaped Ministry Course, MSI
  4. Willing to share learning, both positive and negative with the wider church, and so contribute to mission of the whole Diocese
  5. Able to give evidence of anticipated fruitfulness for the larger grants of between £5-10K.

Small start-up grants of between £500 and £1000 are also available in situations where the criteria may not (yet) apply, and where funding is an issue.

An application form can be downloaded here and for further information contact Canon Stephen Hance