The Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford has set out his strategy for how the Essex diocese should look by 2025.
Bishop Stephen Cottrell unveiled his 'Transforming Presence' paper at a meeting of the diocesan synod.
He said the church had to face the prospect of fewer paid clergy, and parishioners needed be more evangelical and more open about their faith.
The church, he stated, would "simply carry on managing our decline" if it did not change over the next 15 years.
Bishop Cottrell said: "What we've done is set the compass. We need to work out what is the best route.
"This consultation will bring 1,000 people from right across the diocese saying 'we know where we want to go to - how are we going to get there?'"
The Chelmsford Diocesan Synod passed a resolution supporting the paper on Saturday and will discuss it further in January. Read more