Anglican Church moves to revive faith in Britain

New Christian communities are to be created across England in an ambitious new growth programme announced on Wednesday. More than 100 new churches will be created in a £27 million drive “to revive the Christian faith in coastal areas, market towns and outer urban housing estates,” the C of E said in a statement.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the plans as a “wonderful example” of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God and to serve their communities.
A total of 10 dioceses will receive grants ranging from £887,015 to £5.34 million for church planting and evangelism initiatives.
“The Church of England exists to share the good news of Jesus through our words and our actions,” he said. “Across the country, churches are bursting with life – which in part is shown through how they love and serve their communities. I’m especially pleased about these grants because they demonstrate our commitment to following Jesus to the places of greatest need in our society.
“These projects are wonderful examples of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God – and faithful to their communities in love and mission. Through their innovation, they signal a growing determination in the Church to share the good news of Jesus Christ in ways that make sense for those in our most deprived communities.”
The Chair of the C of E’s Strategic Investment Board, John Spence, said that the grants would fund “bold ambitious initiatives” and added that “their scale and breadth show that the Church is feeling confident about its future.”
In the Diocese of Canterbury, a pioneering café-style church called Ignite in Margate is to be used as a blueprint for nine new worshipping communities in the Kent coastal towns of Herne Bay, Sheerness, Sittingbourne, Maidstone and Ashford; and also in St Peter Port in Guernsey.
On the other side of the south coast, in Plymouth, a £1.69 million grant will be used to create three new churches for people living in the city’s outer urban estates. “It is hoped that the new churches will provide support and inspiration for up to nine new churches in and around the city,” the C of E said.
The Diocese of Ely will promote church growth in a project focused on the market towns of Wisbech, March, Chatteris, Littleport, Ramsey, Huntingdon and Downham Market.
Bristol Diocese will use its grant to transform a former railway works building in Swindon into a new church aimed primarily at people under 40-years-of-age who have no current connection with a church. The diocese anticipates the new church will act as a catalyst for training clergy and supporting mission in both new and established churches across the area.

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