Bishop Ruth and Bishop Peter would like to thank everyone who participated in the Community Conversations events held in February, March and April which brought together 639 people from 265 parishes across the diocese in Bridgwater, Keynsham, Shepton Mallet, Taunton, Weston-super-Mare and Yeovil.
Bishop Ruth says, “The response to the Conversations has been wonderful. We left each event inspired and with a real sense of energy and we hope this was also felt by all who took time out of their day to come along. We want to thank everyone who attended and participated, sharing their personal stories and that of their parishes, worshipping together and posing questions they have about the future.”
Our Bishops have read through every one of the questions and comments cards completed by those attending. It has given them a deeper sense of understanding both of the challenges facing our communities and an idea of the kind of support people are looking for to be able to live and tell the story where they are. Bishop Peter says, “The comments and questions are overwhelmingly encouraging and in a few words people have certainly captured something of the spirit of the Community Conversations.”
Whilst some themes have already emerged, the next task is further collation and careful analysis of the hundreds of questions, encouragements, concerns and ideas people have offered. Our Bishops want to identify priorities, see where the overlaps are, respond to some people individually and ensure relevant teams at the diocesan office have access to the feedback so they can listen and learn from what is being said and plan their programmes accordingly.
“Analysis, and more importantly action, resulting from the Conversations is a large and significant task and I strongly feel that this feedback will prove to be something of a turning point in the life of our diocese. We look forward to sharing those outcomes with you,” adds Bishop Peter.
Look out for regular updates across all diocesan communications channels in the coming months.