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Parish Support Team secures external funding for Mission growth

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In October 2022, Diocesan Synod approved eight exciting projects designed to support our Diocesan Vision of enabling the local church to flourish and grow. You can read about the eight approved projects here.

Since then, your Parish Support Team have been working hard to develop the projects and secure funds to deliver them. I am really pleased to say that less than a year on since Synod approved the projects we have been successful in securing funding to resource the next steps in some of these project areas.

These new externally funded roles will help us as a charity to better deliver our core purpose, and passion, which is to serve local parishes as they enable people to discover a life Transformed by Christ. We hope and pray that these roles will be useful and supportive resources for you to draw upon.

I want to share with you now these exciting developments and what they mean for you moving forward.

Mission and Ministry
Firstly, the Church Commissioners have awarded us a grant of £528k over three years to put together a team to develop a mission growth plan for our Diocese. This team will be led by a Director of Mission and Ministry. This is a new role. The team will work with parishes to explore and spark more local mission activity. We expect that this approach will lead to significant further funding for investment in locally led and delivered parish mission and ministry over the coming years.

Net Zero Carbon
As a whole Diocese working together, we support the Church of England’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and we have lots of people who are passionate about the fifth Mark of Mission. As part of this commitment, we are excited to be able to lead a regional collaboration with four other dioceses. Each have been given funding to employ a new Net Zero Carbon Officer and we will share a Regional Learning Coordinator.

The Net Zero Carbon Officer will support the work of our churches, schools, parsonages, and offices. They will work closely with a new Diocesan Environment Officer, funded by the Anne French Memorial Trust, who will be working alongside local parishes to assist with their environmental improvements.

Church Buildings
We know that church building support is vital and I am pleased to say that we have received continuation funding for 50% of the cost of the Historic Churches Building Support Officer until 2027 from Historic England.

Furthermore, following on from one of the recommendations of the recent Church Buildings Commission report, we have also applied for and received funding from the Church Commissioners to pay for a new Church Buildings Support Officer. This role will work with parishes, offering advice, guidance, funding support and organising training courses. This role will also administer a new Minor Repairs and Improvements Fund, also from the Church Commissioners, for local churches.

As these new roles, in addition to like-for-like replacement roles in the Parish Support Team, are advertised please do share them with talented people you know so we can get great people who will make a real difference to those working in local parishes.

We hope that you have found this update helpful and useful in knowing more about the work your Parish Support Team is doing. Please pray that these roles reach the right people and help us to continue to support and serve you.

Tim Sweeting
Diocesan Secretary