Manchester Diocese has a strong commitment to growth, in numbers and depth of faith. There are two key words at the heart of our Growing strategy: Fresh and Refresh.
Fresh means new initiatives, intentionally designed to produce church growth. Refresh is about helping our inherited churches grow.
A Resourcing Church, or Hub Church, is aimed primarily at young adults. It has mission at its heart, and resources other churches in its area.
Until 2020 we had just one Resourcing/Hub Church in Manchester: St Philip’s, Salford. In 2020, three more were established:
St Werburgh’s Chorlton
The Ascension, Hulme
We are keen to encourage the planting of new churches, including plants outside traditional church buildings. Our main initiatives are:
Antioch Network of small church planting, Manchester’s very own initiative to plant new small churches. These are planted mainly on estates and in culturally diverse areas. They particularly welcome people with no church background.
Children Changing Places, a pioneering initiative to grow new worshipping communities among children and families. CCP starts in the early years, helping toddler groups be more intentionally Christian and setting up activities such as Messy Church. It also works closely with primary and secondary schools.
Church Revitalisations. We encourage established churches to inject fresh energy into another parish which is struggling, to revitalise the life and witness of that parish.
Fresh Expressions of Church. We encourage the planting of experimental new types of church, to connect with people who don’t relate to traditional styles of church.
This is our main church growth toolkit for leaders of all churches in the diocese, ordained and lay. Its emphasis is on offering ‘stepping stones’ to help people without a faith take the next step on their journey. Stepping Stones for Growth training events were held online in November 2020. You can access all the courses materials for running courses in your own parish, mission community or deanery here.
Mission Action Planning
We actively encourage every parish and deanery to complete its own Mission Action Plan. This includes plans for outreach and growth.
We encourage local churches to use the best resources in church growth and faith sharing. These include Leading Your Church into Growth training, and the Faith Pictures course on personal faith sharing (written by Manchester’s Head of Church Growth, Mike Starkey). See also Made Up North, a collection of insights of business people in Manchester gathered from business breakfasts organised by Ministry2Business.