Transforming Wigan


Transforming Wigan seeks to engage 1-in-10 people on a discipleship journey with Jesus and looks to do so, intentionally and resolutely, through the making and growing of disciples. Its three principal goals are to Renew Discipleship, Re-orientate the Church and Revive the Community.

Started in 2015, Transforming Wigan’ was one of the first SDF projects in the Church of England The original bid document set out a 7-year project to turn around the mission and financial strength of the deanery of Wigan, the biggest deanery in Liverpool diocese (30 parishes, 21 incumbents, population of 180,000).Revd Tim Montgomery was appointed as Project Director in 2015 and led the team through to 2020 when the Benefice of Church Wigan was officially formed.

Transforming Wigan has focussed on growing a new culture of church to connect with the 99% of people in the deanery who had very little or no engagement with the church. 

From the outset the project was established on a strong foundation of prayer and a Wigan Order of Prayer has been at the heart of the project throughout.  A ‘Guiding Coalition’ of leaders helped the Project Director to steer the project through the key stages of forming the vision and strategy, gathering the early adopters and establishing a robust pathway for leading the necessary change and seeing that change through.

What Transforming Wigan has achieved so far

  • A programme to ‘refresh’ inherited worship communities and plant many ‘fresh’ new ones.
  • A new ‘hub-and-spokes’ growth structure to best serve this programme.
  • Strengthening the unity of lay and ordained leaders to work together as one Team Wigan.
  • Growing a new mission work through schools and colleges reaching over 2,000 students each year.
  • Establishing a ‘Brighter School of Discipleship’ for young Christians to learn and engage in mission.
  • Raising up and nurturing over 150 lay local missional leaders.
  • Developing key growth tools of ‘Cultivate,’ ‘Pyramid Review,’ ‘Planting Pipeline,’ and ‘Hub Growth Strategy.’
  • Pastoral re-organisation of the whole deanery into one benefice with 7 hub-parishes (January 2020)
  • More than 1500 new people engaged in new Worship Communities
  • Creating a new central infrastructure to provide management of finance, buildings, funerals, administration, HR, safeguarding and communications.

    You can find out more about the project ar
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