Church mission in the Diocese of Sheffield to receive £3.5 million cash boost

8th January 2019

It has been announced today that the Diocese of Sheffield will receive a major cash boost of £3.5 million to support its strategic aim of creating 12 officially designated Resourcing Churches by 2025.  This will support Phase 1 of the plan to establish three of the first Resourcing Churches in the Diocese.

The funding will be used to create three multi-disciplinary, missional teams across the Diocese.  These will be based at Rotherham Minster; Goole (St John the Evangelist); and a partnership of churches in the Dearne Valley centred on Wath.

It is also in conversation with various other parishes in the Diocese (not least but not only including the largest congregations in the Diocese, based in West Sheffield) to explore their potential to add to this number. 

A Resourcing Church is a church which intentionally resources mission across an area by planting and revitalising other churches, developing leaders and providing other resources for mission. Its aim is to help evangelise a place and transform society.  In such churches there is a culture of ‘giving away’.  This means generously giving away people and money to reach out and rejuvenate other churches and communities.  It is not necessarily a big church or a rich church; it can be based anywhere and across the traditions.  The Diocesan Strategy anticipates that such churches will be found across the full geographical and theological spread of the Diocese. 

To ensure that these first three Resourcing Churches have the best chance of success, the funding will be used in a variety of ways, including the following: 

  • To attract excellent clergy and CPWs (youth and children’s workers).
  • To appoint a Buildings’ Manager to support management plans to better utilise the existing church buildings for mission.
  • To appoint a Fundraising Adviser to support the churches with income generation, grants and giving.

The total cost of the project is £5.56 million over six years with just over £2 million coming from the Diocese and parishes.

Over these six years, it is hoped that the project will achieve the following:

  • The creation of 23 new congregations and 36 new missional activities.
  • Over 1,000 newly-engaged adult regular attenders, with 285 adult disciples.
  • Over 1,000 young people regularly attending a missional activity with 144 new young disciples.
  • £268,697 additional money paid to the Diocesan Common Fund by the Resourcing Churches.
  • A buildings Management Plan for each church building.

Alex Shilkoff, Programme Manager, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to re-imagine and create styles of church that reach all people in our communities throughout the week.  Church doesn’t just have to just be on Sunday or only in a Church building.”

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox said:

"We are immensely grateful to the Strategic Investment Board for this grant award, but all the more to the Living God for this opportunity to invest in fresh and imaginative ways in the service of Christ Jesus and in the power of the Spirit.  The choice of Rotherham, Goole and Wath demonstrates our commitment to secure our witness to the Gospel across the length and breadth of our Diocese.  Given the present political and economic situation, our contribution to the life of local communities throughout South Yorkshire and the East Riding is likely to be all the more necessary and valuable in the next five years.”

Strategic Development Funding is awarded by the Church of England’s Church Commissioners to support major change projects that lead to a significant difference in dioceses’ mission and financial strength. It is only available to dioceses and the projects must fit with their own strategic plans.

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