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GAP1 (2009 - 2010)

Foreword from +Peter

I am writing to commend to you a new initiative, Growth Action Planning, which is to be offered to all parishes in the Diocese over the year from April 2009. GAP (sometimes called Mission Action Planning) is a tried and tested tool to enable churches to review their strategies and plan their priorities for the future.


GAP prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,
You command and inspire your church to make disciples:
May our church become a joyful and vibrant community of welcome, worship and service, spreading hope to those around us and attracting others to the fire of your love:
May your Spirit be at work through our Growth Action Planning, helping us to catch a vision for your church and to serve you faithfully, to your glory and honour.



The primary aim of Growth Action Planning is to help each church in the Diocese to focus on what God longs for it to be like in 5 years time. The church then decides on the priorities it will set for the coming year. This is to ensure that each church uses its energy and talents wisely. It follows from this that the most important thing in GAP is to discern God’s calling for your church and this means that prayer is central to all that we do in GAP.

The ‘G’ in GAP stands for growth. This growth is both qualitative and quantitative. Growth is about quality of worship, deepening discipleship, growing in prayer and developing our contacts with the wider community. Alongside this, ‘Growth’ in GAP is also about growth in numbers. As a church grows in health it will grow in numbers. GAP asks us to plan for the future of the church in this holistic way but does not allow us to sweep the issue of numerical growth under the carpet.

The GAP process should encourage the whole local church to take responsibility in planning and in the implementation of its adopted plans. Discerning the calling of God for your church is the task of the whole people of God together. 

Summary of the GAP Process in Year 1

  1. Review current situation
  2. Undertake Church Audit and a Community Audit (optional, but very beneficial)
  3. Assess your Strengths, Weaknesses and Opportunities, either through a SWOT analysis or discuss results from a “Healthy Church” exercise
  4. Produce a Vision for the next five years
  5. Establish priorities for reaching the Vision
  6. From your priorities choose a small number of goals for the coming year
  7. Break down each goal into small and achievable steps and say who will be responsible for each step and when it will be completed
  8. Complete GAP Form and send it to the Suffragan Bishop
  9. Prepare and distribute a summary GAP for the parish - Work on the goals and actions



GAP1 parish pack

GAP1: Summary Form


Video Clips from GAP presentations

View AllEvents

Learning about Love
30/03/2017 - Chester Cathedral

School holiday fun, food and activity
25/04/2017 - Church House

for any churches offering food and activities during school holidays or churches who would like to offer a similar provision in the future
Salt Sunday 2017
07/05/2017 - Marston

A mix of interactive art, music and science.


Bishop's House (more)

Confirmations - services in 2017
A full list of dates and services in the Archdeaconries of Macclesfield and Chester.

Bishop's CrestAD CLERUM - Jan 2017
Includes items on the Lay Conference and Bishops' Quiet days.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
28 March - 6 April 2017

Archdeacons Visitation Services 2017

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