Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Bishop: Sustainability and mutual support is the answer

18th Mar 2019

In his presidential address to Diocesan Synod, the Right Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, spoke about the financial challenges faced by the diocese and how these can be overcome.

As National Church funds decrease, the Bishop emphasised the need to make changes and move away from a system that relies on subsidy to fund mission.  He called on parishes to not only pay parish share in full, but to cover their ministry costs to ensure a sustainable future.

The Bishop highlighted Mission and Ministry Units - whereby groups of parishes work together to form a sustainable pattern of ministry - as part of the solution to the current financial challenges.

The Bishop said:

“Our Mission and Ministry units are the way forward because there is mutual support within a locality, so we are better able to understand and support each other; and they provide sustainable ministry and focal ministry for each worshipping community. They are missional and enable us to better work together to plant new churches and new mission initiatives.

“. ..The parishes remain as independent units, but they work together for a sustainable future, and we cannot wait too much longer to make sure we push ahead with this agenda across the whole diocese.”



Watch the Bishop’s Presidential address 

Download the presentation slides

Watch a summary video of the March 2019 synod


More information

The Diocesan Synod was held on 16 March 2019 at Chelmsford Cathedral.

The Synod is the regional assembly of Chelmsford Diocese - the Church of England in Essex and East London.

Transforming Presence sets out the strategic priorities for the Diocese.

To be a Transforming Presence in every community, every church, every school and every chaplaincy we focus on four priorities:  

  1. To inhabit the world distinctively - We are all disciples of Jesus Christ
  2. To re-imagine ministry - We all have a share in God’s ministry
  3. To serve with accountability - We are all accountable to God and to each other
  4. To evangelise effectively - We share the faith, grow the church and serve the world

Find out more at

Find out more about the diocesan share scheme at

Find out more about Mission and Ministry Units at