Bath Deanery comprises the city of Bath and the surrounding villages. It is made up of 21 traditional parishes which comprise 39 church buildings. In addition, Grace Church is a Fresh Expression of church reaching out to families and those interested in sport and a Pioneer minister is working in the South of the city to imagine what expressions of church might be appropriate. Readers, retired clergy, self-supporting and stipendiary clergy contribute to the senior leadership of churches, working with Churchwardens and other lay ministers. Deanery Synod is a vehicle for mission and learning together and Chapter’s focus is building prayerful partnerships and learning from one another. It has an active WhatsApp group for communication, prayer and building relationships.
The emphasis for the Deanery is threefold:
Prayerfulness: valuing our different church traditions and the way these manifest themselves in the ways we pray. Seeking to understand, respect and value different ways of praying – from the liturgical to the charismatic. Encouraging ecumenical prayer and together discerning God’s vision for mission around the Deanery.
Hospitality: understanding that we are one in Christ, our Christian hospitality means that nobody is in ministry alone, but we are all called to work together because (and not despite), of our differences. Partnership working over parish boundaries and between leadership and ministry teams is vital for enriching the life of the church, treasuring giftedness, and providing resilience through change. Ecumenical hospitality and through the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith conversations are priorities.
Innovation: the model of church most visible around the Deanery is the traditional one of church based around Sunday services, a building, and a Vicar. We are committed to innovating new ways of being the church. Apart from Grace Church and the Whiteway Pioneer mission, the Deanery supports chaplaincy in Bath College, at both Universities, at the Royal United Hospital and elsewhere. We work in partnership with other churches for youth ministry and many churches are operating a ‘hybrid’ model of on-site and on-line worship, connecting with broader audiences.
This is a demanding and exciting time to be part of Bath Deanery as we seek to follow God in His mission, to prayerfully work in partnership with him and with others.