A growing church for all people in all places: Allchurches awards major grant for estates ministry

Allchurches Trust has given a grant of more than £155,000 to the Church of England to help train and support up to 50 people living on estates and neighbouring communities throughout the UK to become leaders in estate churches.

One fifth of the Church of England’s 12,500 parishes are estimated to be ‘estate parishes’, meaning they include at least 500 social housing dwellings.

The funding will help estate church leaders work in partnership with community and other organisations to increase the number of children and youth groups working in areas such as education, wellbeing, crime reduction, the Christian faith and improvements in the environment.

The Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, who heads the Church of England’s Estates Evangelism Task Group, said: “We are enormously grateful to Allchurches Trust for this generous grant which will be vital in helping us support those people, both lay and ordained, who are leading transformative work on housing estates, bringing the Good News of the gospel to all.

“This is yet more evidence of the Church of England’s commitment to carrying through its pledge at the General Synod to establish a loving, serving and worshipping Christian community on every significant social housing estate in the country.”

Canon Andy Delmege, Chair of the National Estate Churches Network, said: “This grant comes at a critical point for the work of the Church of England on estates, at a time when residents and local services are under increasing pressure. Our vision is of estate churches that are a point of community cohesion, support and spiritual nourishment and, above all, a sign of hope for residents.”

Debbie Clinton, Director of Renewal and Reform, said: “Renewal of our ministry on estates is absolutely core to our vision of a being a growing church for all people and places. I’m inspired by the joyful and faithful work that is already under way and delighted this has received such substantial support from Allchurches Trust.”

Jeremy Noles, Allchurches Trust Grants Officer, said: “At the heart of our grant-giving is connecting churches with their communities and equipping them to meet the physical and spiritual needs of local people.

“Our grant to the National Estate Churches Network is aimed at resourcing the growing network of estate church groups across the country, and developing leaders who will act as catalysts for building impactful community partnerships on estates in Birmingham and London, with the learnings from these pilots then providing a blueprint for a national network.

“The focus on encouraging ministry with children and young people is also a great fit with our new Growing Lives grants programme, which offers funding to churches and Christian organisations to help them connect with local families.”

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