Shaped by God Together

These pages give an overview of the Shaped by God Together Process. For more details on Shaped by God Together please visit

We are facing both exciting opportunities and significant constraints upon us as a Church as we continue to seek to be ‘Shaped by God Together.' We have constraints of finance, including the use of our historical assets as well as our current patterns of giving, of ministry, including the developments of pioneers, the retirement and recruitment patterns of clergy and lay ministers, and the development of the whole people of God, and of buildings, including our churches, our halls and facilities. However, our planning for the future cannot be solely dominated by these constraints. God is a God of movement, who calls us to growth and change – and so we need to notice and be open and attentive to the new and exciting things God is doing amongst us and through us - how can we be ‘Shaped by God Together’?

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Shaped by God Together is a process of prayerfully and practically working out together, 

with you, how we can best use our ministry, buildings and finances to live out our Everyday Faith in a rapidly changing world. 

With prayer and conversation at its heart, it has already begun, and will continue to, engage as many people from the diocese as possible in helping to discern and pay attention to what God is saying. 

At the end of the process the way we shape ministry in the diocese will undoubtedly look different from how it looks now, but the process has no pre-set blueprint or final plan; all we do know is that we want to be in the best shape to enable an effective, contextually appropriate, and missional Christian presence throughout the diocese.

How & When

SbGT Timeline

The Shaped By God Together process began in September 2020 with a call to pray from Bishops Martyn and Guli. This led to a period of collecting stories of how people from around the diocese had experienced both church and their personal faith during lockdown. Insights from these stories were then the subject of conversations to which there was an open invite to anyone from the diocese to join. This first conversation period lasted from January to March 2021 and insights were grouped and analysed.

Work streams were formed, with groups looking at Ministry, Finance, Buildings and Ministry Support, and further open invitation conversations were held around these subject areas. 

More conversations took place between April and June, developing possible models for future ministry in the diocese. These conversations have included further open invitation conversations, Deanery webinars and local conversations parishes, benefices and fresh expressions. 

As we move towards greater clarity around a possible diocesan framework more conversations will take place during July to September, culminating in the October 2021 Diocesan Synod voting on detailed proposals for a new diocesan framework.