St George's Cathedral
Introducing our new Vision
The Very Reverend Chris Chataway, Dean
2023 is our Year of Vocation at St George’s Cathedral. With Spring in the air, and a spring in our step, I reflect with joy (and yes, a little pride) about the fruits of this Year which have offered refreshment, renewal, and growth.
At the outset of 2023 we dared to ask individuals in our community what God was calling them into and people have responded in many and varied ways. We are seeing new ministries and new volunteers stepping into new roles. There is much for which we give thanks to God, the source and summit of our sense of calling. The One who gives us life and breath.
We also asked ourselves – both within our dedicated staff and within Chapter – what God was calling us into more broadly as a Cathedral community. How does this renewed sense of our vocation affect our strategic priorities and how we operate from day-to-day? Indeed, this month’s launch of our new Vision, Purpose and Values is a major milestone in our response to this question.
‘Open Minds Open Hearts Open Doors’ was approved by Chapter in April 2023 as an invitation to help us think more deeply about our worship, common life, teaching and mission. The process has been invigorating to watch unfold.
It includes a clear Vision for our work and witness as we seek God’s renewal for our life together in the 2020s:
We are seeking to share our living faith in an inclusive and openhearted way as we empower people to transform the communities in which we live and serve with the Good News of God in Jesus Christ.
It also introduces and articulates what we have discerned for this season as our five-fold, Spirit-led Purpose.
Led by the Holy Spirit, our purpose is to:
- Worship God.
- Witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ in what we do and say.
- Welcome all who come offering a sacred space for worship, prayer, and hospitality.
- Rejoice in our diversity, engaging in critical theological reflection and action.
- Celebrate, preserve, develop, and pass on our heritage.
But, perhaps for me at least, it is our freshly articulated Values that have been most significant:
We face God’s future with energy and courage, fostering a culture that is outward looking.
We are willing to take risks and to reflect with humility on successes and failures alike, speaking and acting with integrity.
We prize team working and build trusting partnerships that contribute to the common good of all people.
We recognise and respond to the image of God in all human beings, honour their dignity and treat them with courtesy.
We deal fairly in our collective and personal behaviours, working to the highest ethical standards and being professional in our conduct.
We strive to be a place of excellence in supporting the ministry of the Archbishop, the diocese and its parishes, schools, chaplaincies, and agencies.
We seek to model joyfully our common life upon Jesus Christ, who came not to be served but to serve.
The Dean continues…
Of course, the reality is that, as individuals and communities, these are just words on a page without the life-giving Spirit of God to animate and bring colour. No set of words, new colours or logos, however well crafted, can capture fully who we are and what we long for. And so, yes, this is our faltering yet confident new Vision for our life together. Please pray for your Mother Church and for all Anglicans as we step out in faith, crossing that bridge as we build. And always remember that we pray daily here for the chaplaincies, agencies, parishes and people of our diocese. Next time you’re in the city, come in and say hello. We’d love to see you.