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Church of England to spend £27m on new churches

Wed 11 Jul 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

The Church of England has announced it will spend £27m creating more than 100 new churches.

The Church's ambitious growth programme hopes to revive the Christian faith in coastal areas, market towns and outer urban housing estates.

Ten dioceses including Bristol, Ely, Exeter and Canterbury will receive funding.


Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover represents the Canterbury dioceses and told Premier the Church is putting its money where its mouth is.

"The Church is always called to reach out, meet God's people and share with them the life changing faith of Jesus Christ," he said. "Today that's what the Church of England is saying. We're putting our money where our mouth is. We're saying we're going to use the money that God has given us to do God's work."

In Canterbury for example, the project aims to create nine new worshipping communities based on on the model of Ignite, a church gathering in cafes which aim to reach marginalised and deprived communities.

Ignite offers an unconditional welcome to all and weekly meetings involve food and a magazine-style service based around short interactive activities and input exploring a Christian theme.

Bishop Trevor told Premier it's all about building relationships.

"Upon building relationships you can start to build your faith. It's not about great campaigns, it's not about great statements. It's getting alongside people, becoming friends and then you can work on that."

Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury said the plans are a "wonderful example" of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God and to serve their communities.

He said: "The Church of England exists to share the good news of Jesus through our words and our actions. 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."

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