We start 2017 with the excellent news that our diocese has received a significant £1m grant from the Archbishop’s Council to develop our innovative, practical plans to grow the church through multiplying congregations. The grant will enable The Joshua Centre our resource centre to support multiplying congregations.
Set up under the direction of Canon Richard White the Joshua Centre will provide practical help direct to parishes across our diocese as we work together to become a bigger church making a bigger difference.
“This fantastic news will enable us to provide parishes with support as they launch and grow new congregations” Canon Richard White explained. “We want to make sure the church is close to everyone in our diocese, both geographically and culturally, this will help us make great strides in that direction.
We want to see one congregation for every 4,000 people. That will need dozens of leaders for new congregations, leaders who are committed, commissioned, resourced and supported in their work. This money will enable us to achieve that aim.”
The Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral established the Joshua Centre in 2014 to be a resource centre of excellence for multiplying congregations. It is a resource for parishes and as its work grows we will talk further about how you and your parish can use their expertise as you seek to be bigger church in your community.
The Joshua Centre will be recruiting a Director for Multiplying Congregations to work alongside Canon Richard. With a track record in this area they will share the vision and work with parishes who are involved in mission activities where there is potential to start new worshipping communities, congregations. They will work closely with “Fellows” of the Joshua Centre commissioned by the Bishop Paul as local on mentors. As well as the increased support from the Joshua Centre team, the money will enable us to offer start up grants for new congregations, for example to enable them to employ a lay leader one day per week or in other ways. The vision is to create effective and d sustainable models that others can learn from.
welcomed the news saying “This announcement is tremendous news and represents a significant milestone for our Diocese. I am enormously grateful to Richard White and his colleagues for carrying this application through. The Archbishops’ Council have already funded our "Transforming Wigan" project which is having an enormously positive impact and providing strong learning. We can now start to work systematically on another of our priorities, to multiply congregations.
If we are truly to be a bigger church, the royal road involves the multiplying of congregations. Across our Diocese I have a dream and a goal - one congregation for every four thousand people in the first instance. This is a challenging but perfectly realistic vision, and this funding will help to bring it into being. Canon Richard White and the Joshua Centre will be able to develop their work, supporting parishes and local leaders in planting many new congregations that will make a bigger difference to their communities.”