More important than anything else in Huyton Deanery is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. As individuals and members of churches, schools and organisations we seek to be part of and play a part in God's kingdom here in Knowsley.
Back in 2018, Huyton Deanery Synod (the group which oversees Huyton Deanery) felt a call to re-imagine what 'church' might look like so that our structures, planning and most significantly our culture might better help us grow in our effectiveness in sharing the great news of Jesus to our communities.
Listening carefully to what God's Holy Spirit is saying to the church, listening carefully to each other, and listening carefully to our communities has become the key role of the deanery leadership team.
These last few years as a deanery have been spent dealing with creaky structures that weren't serving us well. A renewed sense of belonging first to God and then to each other is bringing about a change in what we can imagine and achieve together. New relationships and priorities built on the three words of Jesus in the Lord's prayer 'Thy Kingdom Come' are giving us glimpses of what heaven will be like.
Our focus in 2021 will be the building and launch of a deanery wide training and equipping initiative, so that Christians in all of our churches can come together to pray and worship, learn new skills, and support each other in our ministries.
I firmly believe 'listening' is at the heart of all renewal. There is a danger that organisations seek transformation in order to solve a problem. We have our share of problems here in Huyton Deanery and in the wider diocese - limited resources and a shortage of people to name but two.
But we must be really careful that these challenges don't stop us listening. God's vision for Knowsley is full of love, justice and hope and we need to listen to what God's plans are, which may not be about doing what we have always done just configured differently. Perhaps what God is saying to us is, 'now is the time for the churches and groups and communities of Huyton Deanery to step up its re-imagining of what church can look and feel and sound like, if church was fully embracing God's call to be God's people for this time.
As a movement for Jesus serving most communities in Knowsley, please pray for us, please help us to continue to hear God's voice.