The underlying vision for St Tom’s for almost 20 years is based on an understanding of a ‘sacred district’ that is defined by the shape and layout of the biblical tabernacle or temple, with four constituent parts:

Our personal encounter with Jesus and one another is the heart of the church, and is understood as the
‘Holy of Holies’.

The different gatherings of the Church represent the
‘Holy Places’ for our community to likewise encounter Jesus, through His people,

The church serves the community within the
‘Outer Courts’ of everyday Parish life.
Additionally, the church supports the mission of Jesus, through establishing trusted partnerships with those called to the serve outside the Parish, defined as the
‘Nations’.

This temple ‘shape’ is summed up by the mission ‘strapline’ for St. Toms’ of
“knowing Jesus better and making Him better known”. This is the underlying vision that underpins day-to-day church ministry at St Tom’s and also continues to inform our 3-year pMAP cycle.
Applying the theological insights gained from looking at this way of the mission of extending God's Kingdom, we also were greatly influenced by Bishop Tom Wright – Canon Theologian at St. Andrew's, Edinburgh – when he spoke at the Winchester Diocesan Conference "Living the Mission of Jesus" at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick in September 2013 where he confirmed the temple as a key theological paradigm for the Mission of God through the church. Please spend a moment hearing an extract of his presentation in the video to your left.