Youth and children’s work in the Diocese of Sheffield to receive £1.8 million cash boost

14th December 2017

It has been announced today that the Diocese of Sheffield will receive a significant cash boost of £1.84 million to support the transformation of children’s, youth and families work in the area. This will help Church of England parishes across the diocese to engage, nurture and disciple children, families and young people.
It will help build on the early successes of the Centenary Project, a £1 million, 10-year initiative established by the Diocese in 2014 to create a step change in ministry with children, families and young people.
The funding will assist in the appointment of a further 10-15 full or part-time workers beyond the 14 already in post. This is alongside three part-time Area-Coordinators who will work closely with churches on their applications for a worker, to mentor a number of workers in post and to oversee the Centenary Project network across a designated area.  This could unlock a further 2,000 new relationships with children, families and young people.  The total cost of the project is £2.4 million with £575,000 coming from the Diocese and other funding sources.
Helen Cockayne, Centenary Project Leader, said:
“I am absolutely delighted to hear the news that the funding bid has been successful.  The future of the church relies on today’s children and young people, this award shows a significant commitment to that.  We now have a fantastic opportunity to really support and adequately resource parishes in their mission to the younger generation.”
The project also aims to achieve the following:

  • Active ongoing engagement with at least an additional 2,000 children, young people and families, many unchurched, leading to 300 (15%) moving into discipleship groups.
  • Establishment of at least 30 new expressions of ministry with 25 to 35 children, young people and families.
  • Launch an intern scheme training three interns a year to grow our own Centenary Project Worker talent.
  • Two new Youth Hubs in Doncaster – a Hub is a centre for gathering young people for regular community, discipleship teaching.
  • Work in partnership with St Thomas Crookes Sheffield SHINE project to nurture and disciple youth who make a commitment, with over 30,000 attending large [school-] based SHINE events or similar over three years generating new disciples, who will feed into the groups and larger hubs.
  • Work with a part-time fundraiser to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Centenary Project Worker posts in parishes.

Speaking about the news, the Bishop of Sheffield, Pete Wilcox, said:
“As I move around the Diocese in the next 6-9 months, I am going to be asking the question - what will a generous and flourishing Diocese look like in 2025?  However, we are not starting with a blank piece of paper as there are glimpses of an answer.  The first is the extraordinary fruitfulness of the Centenary Project in the last two years.  Second is this ambitious bid which allows us to build on that promise.  Thank God.”
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.
The other six dioceses to receive funding are Bath and Wells, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Winchester.

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