Growing in God

Flourishing Congregations Making a Difference

The Gospel invites us to celebrate the good news of God’s saving love. That’s what lies behind our shared diocesan vision for Growing in God adopted in 2016.  God wants us to grow as his beloved children, he wants us to grow as loving communities, he wants us to grow in sharing his love beyond ourselves in both our words and actions.

“We cannot determine the fruit of growing in number or growing younger. We cannot compel people to have a faith – though we can do many simple things to make that growth possible – planting and watering – clearing the weeds and brambles – sowing seeds – not being fatalistic and believing in God’s providence. But we can determine what we do in seeking to grow in depth, attending to deepening our own faith and Christian practice, and engaging in actions that helps us to grow in influence”  Bishop Martin

Our priorities

Growing in Depth - to deepen our awareness of God with us through prayer and vibrant worship, centring our lives on Jesus Christ through the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of the Eucharist.

Growing in Influence - to participate in God’s loving movement towards the world in partnership with other congregations, denominations and people of good will.

Growing in number - to witness to the person and way of Jesus Christ, in word and worship, in service and daily life, inviting others into the fullness of life found in him.

Growing Younger - to engage all generations, allowing them to shape how we do church and investing in them as present and future ministers of the gospel; to develop our congregations to reflect the age profile of the context in which they are set

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth" 1 Corinthians 3:6




A series of resources will be provided to support Growing in God during 2022 - 2026 including:

    Website link
Vocations A series of events being offered throughout 2022/3 highlighting different vocations.  This was launched earlier this year at the Vocations Fair in May 2022 and has been followed up by vocations presentations in each Deanery,
Plan for Growth

Research into church growth suggests that “churches that intend to grow, tend to grow”. Therefore, we have provided new resources to help benefices create a Plan for Growth to help them flourish in their own unique context.  We have provided three simple steps to help you create your Plan for Growth:

  • 'Listen' to your communities,
  • 'Choose' your three main priorities
  • 'Plan' your next steps.
Suffolk Ministry Development Programme

To support our existing ministers, we are investing in a 18-month programme that includes residentials, study days and ongoing support. There are currently five cohorts working at various stages of the programme, and it is intended that all leaders will have access to this in the future.

Growing Rural We have revitalised our parish training to offer the Growing Rural programme (formly Germinate).  This has been developed specifically to help churches to grapple with and overcome the challenges of growth in a rural multi-parish setting.
Growing in God Growth fund We are pleased to announce that the Growth fund available for 2022 to 2026 has increased from £10k to £35k per year. The fund supports projects with a clear missional objective.
A refocus on Growing Younger Providing funding for innovative and inspirational work with children, young people and their families especially in areas of existing opportunities.  Further information will be announced in due course.
Development of INSIGHT Website offering courses, events and resources to all audiences.   The platform will continue to be developed through 2024/5. Home Page - Insight CofE Suffolkr


Other projects:

As part of this vision, we have already received Strategic Development Funding for two major projects:

Inspiring Ipswich: The project exists to realise the Diocesan-wide vision of ‘Growing in God’ within the Ipswich deanery, which would see existing churches and new worshipping communities growing in number, growing younger, growing in faith and growing in influence. Inspiring Ipswich aims to ensure that:

  • Wherever you are, churches are making a positive difference in your area
  • Churches are increasing their community engagement, meeting local needs and providing virtual and physical spaces where people can be together
  • Whoever you are, there are places where you can find community and explore faith
  • New churches, new communities, and courses offering safe places to explore faith are springing up across the town.

Inspiring Ipswich | weblink

Growing in God in the Countryside: The project aims to enable rural communities to flourish, and we believe this is God’s calling for the church in the Suffolk countryside.  The vision is:

  • To make and grow new disciples and disciple-making leaders in the countryside, especially through the small groups of the Lightwave Community
  • For our church culture and structures to be continually shaped for and by mission so that God's mission continues to flourish in the countryside in a mixed economy of different kinds of rural forms of church.
  • For our rural environments to be transformed for good as Jesus is made visible through the loving service of God's people in the countryside

 The main carrier of the vision is the Lightwave Community, which shines God's light through small groups.

Lightwave | weblink

Other resources:

How to grow your parish church | weblink

Growing in influence | weblink

Growing Younger | weblink

Making your parish sustainable | weblink













Page last updated: Thursday 9th May 2024 12:36 PM
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