£1.6 million funding boost for God for All
The Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria – has been awarded £1.6 million from the national church to further support the God for All vision.
The Archbishop’s Council will release the money from their Strategic Development Funding over the next five years.
It will enable further growth across the whole church in Cumbria, including the continued development of Fresh Expressions of church which reach out to new people in new ways, and support the recently-launched Northern Pioneer Centre; a collaboration between the diocese and Church Mission Society.
The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, said: “We are delighted to learn that our bid for this Strategic Development Funding has been successful. We receive it with a truly thankful heart.
“This extra funding means we can continue to work closely with our ecumenical God for All partners to support the established church in Cumbria, while also building on the work of recent years to reach out to new people in new ways through new forms of church.
“God for All was considered to be a very bold strategy when it was launched in 2015. We give thanks that the Archbishop’s Council continues to understand the value it brings to our joint mission to grow God’s Kingdom here in Cumbria.”
The Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev Dr Emma Ineson, said: “It is our hope and prayer that this release of funding from the Strategic Development Fund will lead to growth in many ways across the whole church in Cumbria, enabling more and more people to encounter the good news of Jesus and to be drawn into community with His people.”
The God for All strategy aims for “every person in Cumbria of all ages and backgrounds to have had an opportunity to discover more of God and God’s purpose for their lives, so that they will discover more of Jesus and the Good News and become followers of Jesus within a Christian community.”
Since 2015 scores of Fresh Expressions of church have grown across Cumbria. Examples include Mountain Pilgrims – in which people take to the fells to reflect - a Biker Church in the south of the county and Network Youth Church, involving 2,000 young people. Meanwhile, dozens of other Fresh Expressions have been launched by local churches. An independent audit by the Church Army has found 3,100 people now regularly attend a Fresh Expression; a quarter of all those attending church weekly in the Diocese.
The new funding will pay for the creation of five new posts – Pioneer Practitioner Enablers - to support Fresh Expressions and established churches. The PPEs will seek to grow new Fresh Expressions and draw alongside churches. Each will offer a specific focus: children, families and young adults, the outdoors and education and creation of new worshipping communities with people on the margins of society.
A part-time PPE Team Leader will also be appointed as well as a Pioneer Lead Post with the Northern Pioneer Centre. A course offering a Certificate in Pioneer Mission will run from September 2020, with a series of associated creative events taking place across the county in the lead up, including an Open Day, an Arts and Theology Day and a Pioneer Fiesta in May.
It is the second time that Strategic Development Funding has been awarded to the ecumenical God for All vision. The strategy has four partner denominations - Methodists, URC, Salvation Army and Anglicans – and four other companion denominations.
In June 2016, £860,000 was awarded to support three key areas: the creation of mission communities across Cumbria – collaborative, mission-centred e groupings of churches – development of Fresh Expressions and new initiatives to connect with people who feel church is irrelevant or God is unknowable.
By the end of 2019, 24 mission communities will have launched with a further 11 to follow. Meanwhile a Christmas radio advert and social media campaigns have reached 75% of people in Cumbria.
Derek Hurton, Diocesan Secretary, said: “It is hugely encouraging to know that those behind the award of this further Strategic Development Funding continue to understand the value of the God for All vision. The previous SDF funding allowed us to create the mission community framework across Cumbria and to explore news ways of connecting with the ‘unchurched’ through Fresh Expressions and media initiatives.
“This extra funding award means we can build on this over the next five years so that as many people as possible have an opportunity to explore more of God and God’s purpose for their lives and to become followers of Jesus in a Christian community.”
Notes to Editors
Strategic Development Funding supports mission projects in the Church of England as part of the programme of Renewal and Reform. Applications from dioceses are considered by the Strategic Investment Board – a Committee of the Archbishops’ Council.
The grants from the Church of England’s Strategic Development Fund have been awarded to the dioceses as part of the Renewal and Reform programme aimed at creating a growing church for all people and for all places.
For more about God for All visit www.godforall.org.uk.
For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.