We’re excited to announce that the National Church are fully supporting our ‘Transforming Church. Together’ (TCT) programme – beginning with £6.8m for the first three years!
This is amazing news for the life and work of our churches, parishes, and communities. Thank you for your contributions to early conversations, through online surveys and working groups; in chapters and synods, praying and discerning.
We’ve done this together, with Christ at the centre - and that’s how we’ll progress.
The heart of TCT encourages us to follow Jesus, by serving others, with discernment of resources for mission being made in a local context. Parishes and deaneries will work together on those activities which will have a transformative impact where they are.
Alongside this investment from National Church, parishes continue in their vital and generous contributions, via Parish Share. This, alongside using reserves for work surrounding Net Zero, adds up to an ambitious mission programme.
TC.T will be phased so that it helps us flourish, whilst being aware of and building upon the good work we are already doing in God’s name.
What is 'Transforming Church. Together'?
The TCT strategy invests in the way we work together; reimagining the way we form collaborative relationships which bring more people to Christ and more sustainable social change. We will do this by:
- Cultivating belonging in our communities by nurturing open, generous, creative, and brave partnerships with all our neighbours, and being more inclusive.
- Introducing people to the powerful message of Jesus by releasing, empowering and equipping our leaders and parishes to reach out and spread the Good News.
- Being recognised as a force for Gospel change by working within our communities to relieve hardship and amplify unheard voices.
- Building an environmentally sustainable diocese by encouraging worshippers to hear the cry of the Earth and work with us towards net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
- Securing the future of the Church by working with partners to generate funding, which maximises the impact of our transformation.
How are we using the grant we have been given to support communities?
We want to make it as easy as possible to get the resources you need, and avoid complex applications. Where applications are necessary, we will be sending information out in due course.
The key aim is for parishes (internally, and with other parishes and partners) to discern what works in their context and to work with Area Deans and Archdeacons to build sustainable funded plans. For the moment, the early steps look like this:
- Forms of Church: We see immense value in simpler, humbler, bolder and more enthusiastic church environments. We will be establishing four new mission areas that will bring together several benefices in shared endeavour for the Kingdom of God, working creatively across boundaries to renew a culture in which the church’s ministry and mission can thrive. All parishes will be able to access a development programme to grow and support Fresh Expressions of Church. These projects will be driven from the parishes upwards, and evolve iteratively with the Area Deans and Archdeacons.
- Building pathways into lived out faith: We want our parishes to thrive, through supporting diverse communities. As part of TCT, the Mission & Ministry Support Team, via a new dedicated role, will help parishes to develop discipleship and evangelism plans, and support small groups. For more information, contact Revd Dr Simon Taylor.
- Releasing ministers to flourish: The physical, emotional, and spiritual health of our leaders is vital. Within TCT funding, there is investment in our leaders’ wellbeing, for counselling and other support. A major project to provide supportive coaching for incumbents is being designed. There is no need to apply for funding, and help is available at any time. Contact the Ven. Neil Warwick for more details.
- Priority communities: By engaging with communities, identified as vital development areas due to particular challenges in human and financial resources, we can enable all communities within the Diocese to thrive. These areas will have targeted funding support to develop the next generation of church officers, ministers and programmes, which will be crucial to these communities.
- Education and engaging under 18s: We want young people, and other Christians from all educational backgrounds, to feel supported in exploring and growing in their faith, and influencing church-decision making. We are currently developing the plan for this area, with a view to accepting expressions of interest for funding in the autumn. More information to come soon.
- Developing our volunteers: Our churches need sufficient volunteers to operate and thrive. Resources will be made available for this stream of work in the coming months.
- Communicating and delivering positive change against injustice: Working in partnership with public, private and third sector organisations will be central for delivering transformative Gospel change. We are engaging with organisations, ranging from local councils to Citizens UK to discern the areas and campaigns we will pursue.
- Carbon Net Zero: Funded decarbonisation audits are currently taking place across the Diocese. We encourage you to actively engage in these, as it will enable each to apply for upto £10K of funding towards transformational activities over the next 3 years. For more information, contact Environment & Sustainability Manager, Amy Dartington.
- Inclusion and Racial Justice: It is crucial that our worshipping communities are accessible, welcoming and encourage the participation of all people. When funding is in place, our Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Accessibility audits can begin. There is no need to apply for these.
- Church buildings: We want to ensure that all church buildings are hubs for their communities. Supporting both missional activities and wider social action projects. A new role is being recruited to support parishes in developing their properties. Once this role is appointed, we will be in touch.