A rural diocese
The Diocese of Bath and Wells is a rural diocese and geographically one of the largest in England. Its location and geography bring with them their own set of unique challenges when it comes to mitigating against exploitation and modern slavery. A huge agricultural industry attracts a large number of transient workers, big infrastructure projects bring in even more, and the prevalence of poverty in rural villages and communities can lead to the exploitation of vulnerable people.
Our project lead David is leading on slavery in rural areas for the Avon and Somerset Anti-Slavery Partnership. His learning will feed into our wider network and help other dioceses working on similar issues.
Living the story
The diocese has recently developed a new vision: “In response to God’s immense love for us we seek to be God’s people living and telling the story of Jesus.” Their vision informs their work and directs them in their response to serving the different communities of the diocese. The vision and diocesan strategy that is emerging speaks of the story of Jesus; his life, teaching and work, his death and resurrection; the story is the context of their faith and the content of their message. They seek to both live this story as disciples of Jesus Christ in the world and to tell it by sharing the good news, and by the way in which their lives speak about Him.
Social justice response
The response to the vision can be illustrated through the social justice work of the diocese. The Diocese of Bath and Wells has two overarching themes which guide its social justice campaigning: seeking 'Justice for the Common Good', and 'Transforming our Communities'. The work encompasses a range of key areas: homelessness, supporting refugees, and tackling modern slavery and exploitation.