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Church growth in deprived areas - £100,000 research and development grants

The Archbishops' Council and Church Commissioners have distributed £1million as part of a nationwide move to help develop successful church growth projects in deprived areas.

The £100,000 grants have been distributed to 10 projects across nine dioceses where existing activity has a proven track record of growth. The funds are part of a wider research and development programme, a key aim of which is to ensure projects are evaluated to provide evidence of what is proving effective.

In Liverpool, St Andrew's Clubmoor, situated in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, links with the community by providing vital services. These include foodbanks, debt advice, self help groups and parent and toddler groups. The church also runs missional communities that work alongside particular groups in the community. The grant will be used to to bring the mission and practical work closer together by employing two people to work with local families and people in recovery establishing work pattern and practices that can be used elsewhere.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd James Jones, commenting on the two grants given to projects in the diocese said: "The support for the developing work of the Cathedral and in Clubmoor is a huge affirmation of our diocesan commitment to growth and the importance of high quality local leadership. I think both awards are excellent examples of the potentially transformational nature of such strategic investment."

The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, said: "I am hugely encouraged to see the Archbishops' Council and Church Commissioners committing money to church growth in areas of the country traditionally not associated with such expectations and where resources are often harder to access.

"The Sorted Project* in Bradford is a fantastic example of inspiringly led youth evangelism that is home grown and is now being replicated elsewhere. The Church Commissioners' £100,000 grant - from the Developing Church Growth in Deprived Areas funding - underlines the importance of investing in research and development so this sort of work can be evaluated and rolled out elsewhere."

In Leicester the grant has been given to two Anglo-Catholic parishes with very high levels of multiple deprivation who propose to use mission workers to help develop lay ministry through pastoral centres in parts of the parish, situated further away from the parish church.

A further £2million in grants is being distributed next year. This overall £3million for developing church growth in deprived areas is part of £12million set aside by the Archbishops' Council and Church Commissioners for research and development work in 2011-13 and is in support of the strategic goals set out by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his November 2010 Presidential Address to the new General Synod. 

The Church Commissioners and Archbishops'Council have for many years earmarked money specifically for mission development; while the details of this funding stream are new, it is part of the continuing commitment to ensure that the money generated by the historic endowment of the Commissioners is available to meet 'opportunity' as well as 'need'.

Notes

Projects awarded funding for developing Church Growth in Deprived Areas (October 2011 tranche)
Diocese of Birmingham A proposal to train Mission Apprentices combining structured training and mission experience in deprived parishes­.
Diocese of Bradford 'Sorted' Youth Evangelism Project - development of an existing successful youth evangelism project working with multi-cultural communities in deprived areas.
Diocese of Canterbury 'Ignite' Project, Cliftonville - employing a missioner to replicate an established model of community ministry from a deprived neighbourhood into another area.
Diocese of Coventry Mission Leadership - training and mentoring of young mission leaders, based in deprived parishes showing good levels of growth.
Diocese of Leicester Eyres Monsell and New Parks Parish Development Project - a proposal to augment existing growth, using mission workers to help develop lay ministry in two Anglo-Catholic parishes with very high levels of multiple deprivation.
Diocese of Liverpool Liverpool Cathedral Mission Project - using the Cathedral as a resource to support the replication of two, currently Cathedral-based, examples of Fresh Expressions into deprived parishes.
Diocese of Liverpool St Andrew's Clubmoor Mission Development - part-funding two posts to further develop mission and counselling work in an existing community and missional project with high levels of outreach into very deprived neighbourhoods.
Diocese of London St Francis Dalgarno Way - development of mission activity in a fast-growing church plant through employment of a worker, targeting children and families in a deprived area with a high proportion of young people.
Diocese of Sheffield Pioneer Mission Training - funding for pump-priming training and bursaries for pioneer missioners in very deprived parishes.
Diocese of Worcester St Barnabas Worcester, Tolladine Mission - scaling up a successful existing project based around a mission community in an area with pockets of exceptional multiple deprivation, by employing a mission leader full-time.

About the Church Commissioners
The Church Commissioners manage an investment portfolio of around £5bn, largely in property and shares, derived from the Church's historic resources and contribute around 16p in the pound to the cost of the Church of England's mission - most of the balance comes from the generous giving of today's parishioners.

They pay for all clergy pensions earned up to the end of 1997 - pensions since then are paid for by dioceses, largely from money donated by parishioners, and pay the stipends and workings costs of all the Church of England's bishops - and the housing costs of all diocesan bishops - in support of their local and national ministries.

They provide more than £40 million each year in support for parish ministry, primarily to less-resourced dioceses.

They also support the mission of the Church's cathedrals by paying the stipends of the majority of cathedral deans and two stipendiary canons, as well as making other cathedral grants.

More information on the work of the Church Commissioners