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Bishop's Action Foundation

The Bishop's Action Foundation 

 

Vision

The vision of Bishop's Action Foundation is communities where people flourish.  It works to contribute to spiritual, social, cultural, economic, and environmental well-being, with a particular focus on the Taranaki region of New Zealand.

The Foundation can best be described as a catalyst working for the common good.  We do this by supporting parishes, communities and organisations to develop projects and partnerships that either address as yet unmet needs or develop a new approach to existing needs. 

 

Community Development Responses

We work from a community development perspective.  We believe that responses to needs should be based on relationships and partnerships so that they are sustainable within communities and do not depend entirely on the ongoing work of the Foundation.  This approach ensures that we retain the capacity to be creative and innovative.

Justice and equity are the fundamental drivers of our work.  Our values also include generosity and humility and are inspired by Christian values:

"...to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" Micah 6:8

In working towards our vision we offer project facilitation to enable the development of innovative new projects, a programme and service arm to support services that provide a unique response to needs and a research function where we aim to be a partner co-commissioning and inspiring relevant research in areas where we need greater knowledge.

 

What work is the Bishop's Action Foundation doing now? 

The Foundation’s objectives are:

 1.   To develop innovative and relevant mission and ministry initiatives

 2.    To contribute to the development of leadership in both church and community

 3.    To contribute to community education, health and well being

 4.    To secure increased research capacity to underpin and inform the work of the Foundation and other organisations

 5.    To lead informed discussions of public issues and values

 

Our current emerging priorities include:

  • Undertaking research into the realities of life in rural communities to gain an understanding of rural social conditions and the resilience of rural people, with the aim of improving well-being in rural areas.  This work will be the forerunner of what we hope will be the development of a Rural Research Institute.
  • Develop a collaborative approach that identifies regionally specific responses to issues around housing and social housing.  Within this develop a greater diversity of pathways to housing, especially for low and middle income families who do not qualify for government support, but for whom renting or owning a house is a financial struggle.

Regional landscape - the Bishop's Action Foundation 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Foundation will continue to provide a programme and service function through our Keystone Services initiative.  This offers two platforms of support.  Firstly, start-up support for emerging programmes and services and secondly, a long-term home for established programmes or services which align with the core aims of the Foundation and are better supported through Keystone Services than by another organisation or an entity in their own right.

The Foundation's research function will continue to be enabled through our aim of being a partner either co-commissioning or inspiring research into areas where we need further knowledge.  Within this work we are enabling parishes to explore the potential for their Church to engage with and impact on the community within which it is based.

Capacity building for other voluntary and community sector organisations will remain an ongoing priority for the next few years as we build on the early successes of both NZ Navigator www.nznavigator.org.nz  and The Wheelhouse www.wheelhouse.org.nz .

Both of these initiatives are designed to provide easy access to a wide range of supports that help local groups and organisations do a great job.  Working with a range of partners they have been developed with and for community sector organisations. 

Supporting and facilitating collaboration remains a key focus for the Foundation.  The Foundation uses its experience of facilitating collaboration to explore the characteristics of successful collaborative initiatives.  These are being brought together in a regularly updated resource called ‘Reflections on Collaboration’. 

The Foundation is continuing to support the ongoing development of a regional church framework for mission within the Anglican Church of Taranaki that is enhancing sustainability and enabling more effective community responses. Taranaki has been developed into ministry regions. Each geographic region incorporates all of the ministry units; parishes, chaplaincies and networks within that region. In each region, Regional Deans and new Regional Councils have been established with oversight for the mission of the Church in that region. These new positions have responsibility for strategic leadership in mission and ministry development.

 

What work does the Foundation hope to do in the future?

In July 2015 the Bishop's Action Foundation will have been working for ten years.  To mark this milestone we commissioned an independent and objective evaluation process to identify what impact we had achieved over that time and to explore what our priorities might need to be in the next ten years to ensure that we continue to be relevant as a catalyst for change that benefits the common good. 

Emerging from this evaluation process we have identified that core priorities for the Foundation will be:

  • Continue to act as a catalyst for change enabling collaborative and community-led initiatives that develop sustainable solutions to issues.
  • Use our reputation, influence and expertise to focus on embedding gospel imperatives for justice into community development thinking and deliberately working to achieve high level policy change.
  • Advocate for and nurture a transformatory approach to leadership within our region that sees an increasing focus on addressing the root causes of issues rather than responding to the harm being caused by those issues.

 

For more information, please visit: http://www.bishopsactionfoundation.org.nz/