Continuing Congregational Development
In the late 1990s the diocese engaged in the Provincial mission development initiative 'Mission 21' sub-titled 'Making Your Church More Inviting'.
Well over two thirds of the charges in the Diocese benefitted from this renewed approach to mission and its emphasis upon the need constantly to discern what God is calling each congregation and individual 'to be and become'. These congregations realised that it is vital to the health and well-being of a church to have a defined 'Five Year Plan for Mission and Ministry' - a living process not just a paper document filed away.
Following on from the success of the Mission 21 programmes, 'Continuing Congregational Development' was born in the Diocese (its success and influence has since spread throughout the Province). CCD as it is now generally known, uses many of the well-trained and able facilitators, from Mission 21, to journey with congregations for a period of years helping them to review their mission and ministry strategies in light of the changing context in which they find themselves. The diocese has an effective and able team of facilitators. CCD is certainly never static and is tailored to each congregation's individual needs at any one time.
Local Collaborative Ministry
'Local Collaborative Ministry' is a Provincial initiative which seeks to encourage all God's people into ministry and discipleship as befitting their baptismal charge and local situation, is now also incorporated into the 'palette of resources' at the disposal of the CCD facilitators and congregations.
CCD helps to support the clergy and other ministers in the exercise of ministry, makes vestries aware of their responsibilities in driving the mission, evangelism and outreach of a charge and encourages individual Christians to ask what it is that God is calling them to do in the bit of God's Kingdom in which they find themselves living and working. CCD could as easily be called 'Continuing Congregational Discernment'.
The impact of CCD is particularly significant at times of transition - a change of rector, linking with another charge etc. There are plans to produce a comprehensive CCD programme for charges in a time of transition or vacancy that interim rectors can use alongside the skills and resources of a CCD facilitator. This programme will be based on the experience and good practice already operating within CCD and will help a congregation to review their Five Year Plan and to determine the type of person they are seeking as their new incumbent.
CCD never seeks to 'tell' a congregation or vestry what to do but seeks to enable them to discover for themselves what it is they are being called to undertake for the sake of the Gospel. It is an active, unique and invigorating process which encourages charges to get on and do the things they have being meaning to do or saying they will do for years. CCD is based upon examples of good practice drawn from around the diocese and Province and upon the vision and common sense of the facilitators and those with whom they work.