Church growth course for individual and group study

First published on: 13th January 2021

Stepping Stones for Growth, a hugely popular online course created to help church leaders grow their church in simple and achievable steps, is available free of charge from the Anglican Diocese of Manchester website.

Stepping Stones for Growth comprises six lively videos and a handbook, which explore ways that churches can grow in numbers and faith, in their own setting and across different church traditions.

Stepping Stones is suitable for use by individuals, church groups, and in online events and services. It was used to train over 600 clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of Manchester last November, where the feedback was extremely positive. Over 90% of participants said they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the course content.

The Revd Mike Starkey, Head of Church Growth at the Diocese of Manchester, developed the course content. He said, “Stepping Stones for Growth doesn’t assume any technical or specialist knowledge, so connects with a broad range of people. It is our very own Manchester toolkit to help local churches think about growth in new ways and we are delighted to make it available for other churches, dioceses, denominations free of charge.”

The Bishop of Bolton, Mark Ashcroft, who oversees the work on growth in Manchester Diocese, said, “Stepping stones is a brilliant resource, imaginative, participatory and both challenging and encouraging in equal measure; it helps parishes and other ministries to plan realistic and achievable steps to enable people to find faith, grow in faith and discover afresh the wonders of God’s love made known in Jesus Christ.”

Participants who completed the training in Manchester commented on how well structured the material is and on the extremely high quality of the video content.

Feedback included:

“The overall quality and content of the presentation was of a very high standard and well thought through. It was exactly the positive and encouraging, but realistic, input needed at this time.”

“The idea of building on relationships in simple ways was very refreshing and communicated in an understandable and inspiring way.”

Access the Stepping Stones for Growth course (six videos and handbook) here.




The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House, 
90 Deansgate, 
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400