Growth funding opportunites


Photo by Philip King.


14 October Update: Small grants available to help your church's Christmas festivities flourish!

The Growing in God Growth Fund has a small amount of money remaining to help your church creatively reach out to its community this Christmas time. Grants of £200-400 are available and any applications will be assessed on a weekly rolling basis until all remaining grant money is awarded. See below for the eligibility requirements, application form etc.

With unknown coronavirus restrictions this Christmas, this year is a great opportunity to get creative and try something a bit different. Could you organise a giant advent calendar that each day appears in different house windows? Could you create Christmas activity packs for families to help them reflect on the arrival of baby Jesus?

Last year the Benefice of Martlesham with Brightwell received Growth Fund money to purchase the Church of England’s ‘Follow the Star’ reflection booklets. The Revd Toby Tate, says:

“We gave out 200 ‘Follow the Star’ booklets and 50 ‘Everyday Faith’ booklets over the Christmas period last year. The message was the same each time - this is a gift and is an easy way to help you engage with the Christmas story. The booklets were small and could fit in your handbag – making it easy to read on the bus or wherever!  There was an option to hear more by downloading an app. Those who tried it liked the app, and the opt in part was good because they didn’t feel pressured.  These booklets provided an easy way to encourage people to reflect deeper on faith and the meaning of Christmas. I’d recommend you trying them at your church!”


Growing in God Growth Fund

“We are very grateful for the money and also encouraged by the recognition of the work we are doing. It will make it easier for us to do the best job we can in the Lord's name rather than always having to put cost considerations too high on the list,” Julia Perkins, Messy Church Leader and Lay Elder at St Mary’s Glemsford

The Growing in God Growth Fund is an initiative of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich to encourage sharing of the Christian faith and so grow our church family in number. The fund is to encourage evangelism and is for churches who wish to start a new project or strengthen existing ministries but without this help would struggle to do so. Examples of projects might include Messy Church, a youth outreach event or running an Alpha course.

Grants sizes are £200-£1,000. The Growing in God Growth Fund, the total of which is a set amount of £10,000, is currently available until 31 December 2020. The committee encourages you to check that funds are still available before applying.

What kind of projects do we fund?

  • Projects should come out of clear discernment as to God’s calling.
  • Mission should be the primary goals and applications that are clearly not for this purpose will not be approved.
  • Made on a one-off basis.
  • Needs to address the growth criteria of Growing Younger and/or Growing in Number.
  • Projects or activities that would not or are unlikely to happen without the support of this grant.
  • Activities or projects that are achievable and have clear objectives, plans and a timescale. In relevant cases, it may be helpful to show that a suitable number of staff and/or volunteers, who have appropriate skills, have agreed to be involved.
  • The fund should not be used for salary or wages.
  • Where an ongoing project or ministry is envisaged, evidence should be provided to show how it will be sustainable beyond the lifetime of the grant.

Who is eligible?

  • Only Anglican churches in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich who are not able to benefit from Inspiring Ipswich or Lightwave are eligible for this funding.
  • We do encourage partnership work and so if an eligible Anglican church is working in partnership with another organisation or church we would consider the application.
  • Parishes in receipt of a waiver for their Parish Share contribution and who have completed an action plan will still be eligible.
  • We encourage only one application per benefice, to allow more parishes across the Diocese to benefit from the grant.
  • It is also worth remembering that the fund is exclusively for evangelistic activities for those who are currently outside of the church. 

How to apply

There is only a small amount of grant funding remaining, and so any applications for Christmas activities will be assessed on a weekly basis until all grant money is awarded. Please check with Liz Jefferson that money is still available before completing an application.

When applying for the fund, please complete the application form and email it to Liz Jefferson, together with any supporting documents by the deadline. Postal applications can be sent to Liz Jefferson, Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, 4 Cutler Street, Ipswich IP1 1UQ. 

Application Form | DOCX

Case Study : Starting Rite

In December 2019, both Beccles Parish and St Edmundsbury Cathedral received Growing in God Growth Fund money to begin Starting Rite – a five-session programme providing spiritual nurture for new parents and babies.

Each Starting Rite session explores different Christian themes through activities like peek-a-boo, blowing bubbles and splashing water.

"One week we read together ‘Guess how much I love you’ and noticed how the line ‘I love you to the moon and back' is similar to the way that God loves us…. Words are not enough to express this love.”

The programmes have also encouraged parents to reflect honestly on faith and provided a safe place to ask questions. In reaction to playing peek-a-boo, one mother said, “sometimes it feels like there is a God and sometimes not.”

Starting Rite enables local churches to offer a welcome to all new parents, and at the groups parents and their babies have been invited to certain church services, such as Mothering Sunday. Volunteers from the church congregations have also been attending the Starting Rite sessions so that there would be some familiar friendly faces if/when they come along to a service.

Although the remaining Starting Rite sessions and Sunday services were cancelled due to coronavirus, good relationships were built and there is excitement to restart once lockdown eases. And we are excited to share that one mum has even asked for her baby to be baptised!

 

Updated 14 October 2020. Photo of baby by Anne-Marie Large.