From June 2021 the Deanery of North Manchester ceased to exist: the the parishes within it have formed Mission Communities within the new Deanery of Manchester North and East. 20 deaneries became 7. Our new Deanery will cover, broadly, the North and East of (the Metropolitan Borough of) Manchester. We have been designated to a 'Mission Community' which is the former Deanery of Ardwick plus us. Our 'formal' association with the parishes of North Manchester Deanery comes to an end. This has resolved an historic problem for us as we have always been out on an edge. However, the new Mission Community places us with our immediate, contiguous neighbours in Miles Platting (The Apostles and St Cuthbert) the other 'half' of the electoral ward of Newton Heath and Miles Platting; and St Cross, Clayton with whom we share Clayton Vale. The Mission Community also includes the churches in Gorton, Longsight, Victoria Park, and St Clement Higher Openshaw. There is a great deal of variety within this community: styles of worship; approaches to mission; outreach to the homeless or asylum-seeker; youthwork, and so on. We can all learn from and share with one another.
Our Parish Mission Action Plan 2018-21 still stands, in principle, our having rolled parts of it on, a bit like a tenancy agreement. Now we have new partners in mission, it's time for us to put our heads together, pray, and discern God's will for this place.
Our Mission Community Leader is The Reverend Chris Moore, Rector of St Cross, Clayton, and our friend and neighbour.
These are our Vision Values: The Five Marks of Mission
• To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
• To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
• To respond to human need by loving service
• To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
• To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
By God’s grace we will build on our strengths and strengthen our weaknesses. As we work towards those Marks, we reflect on our identity as a community gathered in Jesus’ name; we discern our role and mission within North Manchester Deanery and beyond.
We recognise our roles as the living stones of The Church which, in words attributed to William Temple “is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.”
Our plan was only ever a formative document and has been informed by events we could not have anticipated.
Published, November 2021: a booklet by the Diocese of Manchester on the principles of Mission Communities, their rationale, and their envisaged ways of working. This can be downloaded from this page. Just as 'no man is an island' and given the challenges we face in this part of the country, it's no longer helpful to see a parish an island completely isolated from the rest of the wider church. Think of a parish as a component of an archipelago of inter-dependent land-masses and people.