Ever since 2018, six Leicestershire churches, or teams of churches, have been operating as Resourcing Churches:
- The Cornerstone Team
- Holy Trinity Leicester
- The Harborough Anglican Team
- Emmanuel, Loughborough (working in partnership with the Good Shepherd church)
- St John’s, Clarendon Park
- St John’s, Hinckley
These form part of the mix of how, as a diocese, we aim to better serve and reach the 93% of people who are not currently part of any Christian community.
Supported by a grant from the Church of England’s national Strategic Development Fund, the churches receive a range of additional resources such as an associate vicar, second curate and mission apprentices. However, the focus is not on what they get but more on their vision to give; it is expected that, in every sense Resourcing Churches 'give away' far more than they 'receive' for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
Whilst we hope and pray the God will grow Resourcing Churches to double in size by 2030, with many new people coming to faith in Jesus Christ, the aim of such growth isn’t for what existing churches ‘get out of it’, or some sort of ‘survival strategy’, but in order to make a bigger difference in serving our communities and especially with those most in need. This kind of sacrificial giving away is painful for the churches involved but they committed to refocusing and reprioritising what they focus on to make it possible.
Each of the six Resourcing Churches/Teams committed to starting around six new worshipping communities over their first six years, so as to increase the diversity and better connect with all people in their context. Some of these new worshipping communities are much more grass roots up fresh expressions of Church, starting with just two or three people. Some are larger plants or transplants, starting with maybe 20 people and a church planting curate. Different needs determine different approaches (for example serving an area of new housing will need a different approach to serving those struggling with dementia or to working with teenagers as they explore the big questions of life and identity). So much prayer, seeking to follow the leading of God’s Spirit and being dependent on his call and identity are essential. Please pray for all involved as we continue to journey together.
You can read a review of the initiative so far here and a range of stories about what's happening in our growing Resourcing Churches communities here.