£1m funding boost to multiply congregations

Funding will enable the Joshua Centre to develop its work supporting and encouraging the multiplication of congregations across our diocese.

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.

Bishop Paul 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.”
About the Joshua Centre
The Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral  jointly established the Joshua Centre to accelerate our drive to establish a truly mixed economy diocese. The ethos is intensely relational; one of high accountability and low control.
The centre is led by Canon Richard White, its Director and currently has two Fellows, commissioned by Bishop Paul in 2015 each currently leading or overseeing one or more new congregations. They mentor several less experienced leaders of emerging or new congregations.
The Centre will now be recruiting a Director of Multiplying Congregations to drive forward our work in multiplying congregations.

Find out more

For more information about the Joshua Centre, its work and how it can support you then visit.

Join in Prayer by signing up to their prayer bulletin
Contact emma.williams@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Use resources Visit www.oldoakresources.com for resources to support cafe style congregations

"I am convinced that the royal road to church growth, across the whole diversity of our Church of England, is the multiplication of congregations within our neighbourhoods and networks." Bishop Paul

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At a glance

We want to

1)  establish 30 new congregations focused on identified mission opportunity and activity.

2) grow by 900 new disciples across the 30 new congregations.

3) develop a network of 30 well-trained and excellently supported leaders of new congregations.

4)  identify 10 new ordinands from the new congregational leaders.

5)  create a resource hub to support this work

6) embed a flourishing, robust, sustainable model for multiplying congregations
The grants are part of a strategic development funding stream that the Church of England launched in 2014 and from which 20 dioceses have now benefitted.

The funding is a core element of Renewal and Reform, the Church of England’s programme to promote growth in the church in every community in England.

We are benefiting from similar funding to support our ground breaking Transforming Wigan project.