Parish Planning Tool

Discerning God's call for your church

God has a vision for the future of your church. Every church has its strengths, achievements and green shoots of potential. The Parish Planning Tool supports the mission of your church to become more Christ-like, helping you see where God is already at work and how you can join in.

The tool helps you uncover things that really work and carry them forward in new and transformed ways. It’s a process that acknowledges the past, celebrates the present and reveals a vision for the future.

The pack, together with accompanying online resources, contains everything you need to navigate God’s call for your church. It is suitable for use by every parish/benefice in the Diocese of Oxford, whatever your local context.

Introducing the Parish Planning Tool

The Parish Planning Tool will help you uncover the things that really work and carry them forward in new and transformed ways. It’s a process that acknowledges the past, celebrates the present and reveals a vision for the future. This short film below looks at the experience of one of the first churches to adopt the Parish Planning Tool.

How to order your pack

A single pack of the Parish Planning Tool is made available to each parish or benefice and each deanery free of charge. You must be the incumbent of a church in the Diocese of Oxford or an elected member of the PCC to order a free copy for your parish/benefice.

For parishes outside the Diocese of Oxford and our parishes requiring additional packs, the Parish Planning Tool is also available to purchase at our online store.

Order a copy for your parish/benefice

Resources for facilitators

1. About this page

This page contains additional information, training dates and additional downloadable resources for the Parish Planning Tool. If you've not done so already, please take time to familiarise yourself with the contents of the Parish Planning Tool pack and approach. Once you've done that, come back to this page. 

As with any meaningful process, there is a lot of information to take in. We suggest reading the sections order. Click the [+] buttons to expand the information panels you are interested in exploring. Anything missing? Click the link at the bottom of the page to let us know.

2. Help and support

The Parish Planning Tool is suitable for use by every parish/benefice in our diocese. The pack and these online resources contain everything you need to help you navigate God’s call for your church. If you would like to talk the process through with someone, or if this process isn’t something that you feel able to facilitate yourself, please contact the Parish Development Adviser in your archdeaconry for help and support.


Rhodri Bowen

Parish Development Adviser

07741 736480



The Revd Gill Lovell

Parish Development Adviser

07391 416089



The Revd Charles Chadwick

Parish Development Adviser

01865 208246



Rhodri Bowen

Parish Development Adviser

07741 736480



3. Credits and copyright

The Parish Planning Tool is based on Appreciative Inquiry theory. It has been developed by the Mission and Communications departments in the Diocese of Oxford, and thoroughly tested by our parish development advisors. Delegates at the 2019 High Leigh conference also provided invaluable feedback as we were developing the tool. If you would like to develop the tool for use outside the diocese, please get in touch.

Adapting the tool for your own use

All Parish Planning Tool content (online and printed materials, card and icon system) are copyright Diocese of Oxford. The content must not be used outside the diocese or adapted in any way without our permission.

Supporting the wider Church

We are keen to support the wider Church and interested to hear from other Dioceses and church organisations who would like to create a version the tool for their own use. If this is you, please get in touch with us at

Production credits
We were inspired by Appreciating Church (see further reading) and challenged by delegates at High Leigh to simplify and refine our approach.

The project was conceived and led by Andrew Anderson-Gear and Steven Buckley. Project team members were the Revd Gill Lovell, the Revd Charles Chadwick, Rhodri Bowen and Ruth Hamilton-Jones.

Bishop Steven, the Ven Guy Elsmore, and the Ven Neil Warwick contributed to the development of this resource, together with attendees at the Common Vision Conference at High Leigh in Spring 2019.

Our thanks to everyone in the Mission department for their support and patience through several iterations of this project. As ever, 15 North Design and KMS Litho looked after design and print.

Downloadable resources

We add to the library of downloads and other online resources, so do be sure to check this page regularly.

4. Presentation slides

Facilitators may wish to display question cards on a screen, or support the welcome and introduction session with a few slides. Click the [+] button below to select the resources you would like to download and use. Where possible we have made slides available in PowerPoint and PDF format.

Introduction slides
Slides that you can use to introduce the Parish Planning Tool sessions
Process poster
It may be helpful to have a printed copy of the process diagram from the instruction leaflet inside the Parish Planning Tool pack.

5. Additional cards

It’s a good idea to have Interview, Discover and Dream cards for each pair of people. Download a PDF to print out the cards, or display them using a projector.

Parish Planning Tool cards 1 - 26

6. Facilitator resources

In this section are resources for facilitators only, such as examples of statements of intent and delivery planning tools. Be sure to check back for new resources and templates you can use.

Example - statements of intent

We want the information on this page to be useful and easy to read. If you have a suggestion for improvement, please let us know.

Page last updated: Monday 3rd October 2022 1:32 PM
Powered by Church Edit