St Anne's Church Development Plan 2024


Each church, parish or chaplaincy in the diocese of Guildford is asked to respond to the wider diocesan strategy Transforming Church, Transforming Lives by producing a two year Church Development Plan.


The deanery of Surrey Heath, of which St Anne’s is a part, has begun this process in March this year. It is the second time we are engaging in this process following the Church Development Plan we first drew up in 2021.


During the months through to July we are engaging in a variety of consultations with our congregation, wider community and other local organisations about our vision of becoming a blessing to all in our community, and agreeing on priorities and activities for the coming two years - and we would love for as many people as possible to get involved in this process. So, please do add your voice to the chorus of input and suggestions. You can do this by completing a short survey and/or by coming to one of three workshops in June (details below). Together and with God’s help we will then be able to sing a beautiful song which tells the story of God’s love for all people in our community. 


If you are interested in some of the theological principles that are guiding this process St Anne’s has embarked on, please have a look at Andreas' vicar's report given at the APCM in April 2024 or, for a more creative approach to to our journey (and why we need you and many other people in the wider community for it), you may find this narrated performance of Benjamin Britton's 'Young person's guide to the orchestra' inspiring. In the same way in which the different instruments complement each other and make up the final symphony, so the different people in our community help us become the kind of church God has called us to be.


Broadly speaking our church development plan will focus on the following three aspects, and these strategic strands will form the basis of our decision making:


By getting to know our wider community we want to  become an estuary – a place of exchange and  transformation in which people are unconditionally welcome, and community partnerships around shared interests are fostered. We want to create, nurture and grow communities whose habits and practices anticipate and portray the life of God’s kingdom. Our eco-project, Christmas tree festival and Besom support are a few current examples of this aspect; but how else might we work with and grow community?


We want to be a community in which all encounter God through worship, prayer and learning (upward), are invited into fellowship, nurture and support (inward) and find opportunities to share their faith in and with the wider community (outward). Our services, house groups and various courses support this area; but what else might we develop, and how might our faith be deepened as well as shared?


We want to affirm the full participation of all people of all ages - particularly individuals and groups with varying backgrounds who have traditionally been underrepresented or subject to discrimination. One way we are doing this is through joining the Inclusive Church network; but how might we take this forward, and what else might we do to better reflect our wider community?


One of the most important aspects of this process is that we approach our discernment about St. Anne’s future prayerfully. We are not simply trying to brainstorm ideas, or to achieve our own dreams, but rather to try and see where God might be leading us and join in with what God has planned. With this in mind we would like to offer you a few prayer resources which might help you in discerning what God may be saying to you about the future of St Anne’s:


A discernment prayer


Lord God,

we pray for the guidance of your Holy Spirit

as we discern the way forward for our community at St Anne’s. 

We know that you have a plan for us,

and that you hold out to us a future full of hope, love and joy.

Give us the wisdom of your Spirit so that we can see the shape of your plan

in the gifts you have given us, in the circumstances we find ourselves in

and in the resources that are available to us.

Give us the freedom of your Spirit, to seek you with all our hearts,

the courage to follow your call and to choose your will for us above all else.

We make this prayer through Christ Our Lord.



Scripture passages

You may also find some of these scripture passages helpful in your prayerful discernment about St Anne’s future.

We recommend you reading them following the steps of Lectio Divina or Imaginative Prayer.

  • The need for God’s wisdom: Solomon’s request for discernment (1 Kings 3: 3-14)
  • Listening to what Christ is saying to us: The story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10: 38-42)
  • Generosity and compassion: The parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 30-37)
  • The gift of unconditional welcome: The parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15:11-32)
  • How to follow where Christ leads us: The parable of the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-16)

Or you may find some of the resources on the Pray as you Go website helpful in your discernment.


And finally, we'd love to hear what you think God is saying to you about the future of St Anne's and any ideas you may have about how we can grow our community, discipleship and diversity and become a community whose habits and practices anticipate and portray the life of God’s kingdom. Please use the button below to participate in our Church Development Plan (CDP) survey; come to a workshop in the church centre on one of the three dates (Wednesday 5th June 7-9pm; Saturday 8th June 9.30-11.30am; Tuesday 18th June 7-9pm); or contact Andreas, Ellen, Carolyn or the parish office.


(John 10:10 ‘I came that they may have life and have it abundantly). 


CDP Survey