Vision Next Steps 2022

What is Next Steps?

Next Steps is part of our Diocese of Exeter vision to grow in prayer, make new disciples and serve the people of Devon with joy.

We are particularly committed to making new disciples among children and families, young people aged 16 to 25, people over 60, and those on the fringes of church life.

Every parish is unique and special, but churches thrive when they work in partnership with each other in Mission Communities.

That is why our strategy continues to be to support our Mission Communities to develop and flourish.

Next Steps offers a range of sustainability indicators for Mission Communities in the areas of mission and ministry, resources and finance, buildings and governance, because healthy churches grow.

We also believe that healthy churches are shaped by the growth values of the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

We are developing tools to help Mission Communities identify where to put their efforts and resources in the short term and how best to plan for the long-term. These include the £200.000 diocesan Mission and Growth Fund, the Mission Community Health Check (being launched in the autumn), Growing the Rural Church resources including Lightening the Load, the book How Village Churches Thrive (coming out in June), Love Your Church fundraising resources and Generosity resources.

In these ways we hope that our Mission Communities will be both resilient and fruitful, and that our discipleship of Jesus Christ will bring joy to the people of Devon.

Click here to read the Next Steps Document.

Read how your feedback has helped shape Next Steps.

What Next Steps is not

It is not a new vision and strategy

It is not the diocese telling churches what to do

It is not an ‘Ofsted Inspection’ of churches

It is not a way of deciding whether any churches should close

It is not something churches have to do


Download this Next Steps map graphic as a pdf.

Download this footsteps graphic as a pdf.

Click here to read the Next Steps document.

Watch this Next Steps video presented by Bishop Robert

The Mission Community Health Check is part of our Next Steps vision, and is a tool designed to help you measure the ‘health’ of your parish or mission community. Find out more here.