Reform and Renewal

The Renewal and Reform programme is addressing some of the deep-rooted missional challenges facing the Church of England. It aims to build on three goals articulated by General Synod in 2010:

  • Contribute as the national church to the common good
  • Facilitate the growth of the church in numbers and depth of discipleship
  • Re-imagine the church's ministry.

Renewal and Reform reports have been produced by a range of Task Groups. These include two reports on lay discipleship and ministry: Setting God’s People Free and Serving Together.  

Click here to download lay ministry and discipleship reports and study guides

Other Renewal and Reform Reports are available on

At its meeting on 14 October 2017, Leeds Diocesan Synod welcomed these two reports and commended them for study in parishes, as catalysts for furthering the diocesan vision. The following motion was passed by Diocesan Synod on 14 October 2017:

That this Synod, recognising the relevance of Setting God’s People Free and Serving Together for furthering the diocesan vision of Confident Christians, Growing Churches, Transforming Communities,

  1. welcomes these reports as catalysts for purposeful resourcing of lay discipleship and ministry;
  2. affirms efforts within this diocese to ensure that every parish is characterised by dynamic partnerships between clergy and lay, at the same time noting the provocative references to ‘culture change’ and ‘culture shift’ in the two reports;
  3. calls on the Secretary to the Diocesan Synod to send a letter on behalf of this Synod to every parish to encourage clergy and lay together, including PCCs:
  • to study these reports and consider which aspects may be applicable in their context,
  • to support the 2018 Lay Conference by ensuring participants are identified, prepared locally in advance, supported by PCCs and invited to feed back to their parishes and deaneries with these two reports and the diocesan vision in mind.


Reform and Renewal is a growth programme from the Church of England. It is in part a response to research that was published in the document Anecdote to Evidence. It seeks to face up to the scale of issues which face the Church of England, the declining trends in church attendance, and the average congregation age projections that this research suggests will face the Church in the decades ahead.

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"All we're doing is seeking to respond in every aspect to the challenge of insuring that the Church of England continues its unique and wonderful role to be active in every community in this country,"  says John Spence, Chair of the Finance Committee for the Archbishops' Council, in the video introduction to the new programme. "This isn't about one strategy for the Church of England. This is about the Church of England supporting the forty-odd dioceses in each of their strategies."

"I do think we are near the last chance saloon," says Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden. "Nobody's saying 'Nothing's happening'. What we are saying is a sea-change is needed, whereby the Church needs to restructure itself in order to evangelise the country."

Reform and Renewal is challenging us all to be forward looking, and facing up to the scale of the problem which exists.

Click on the files below to download them to your pc, tablet or device, and click on the video to watch a 5 minute introduction.

You can read each Report and contribute comments to an on-line forum using the links below:
Developing Discipleship Report 2015; Simplification Report; Resourcing Ministerial Education Report; Resourcing the Future Report.

Link to You tube video clip.

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