Growth funding opportunites


Photo by Philip King.

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

Please note, due to the pandemic, the Growing in God Growth Fund has been temporarily suspended. We hope to relaunch in the Autumn. Please check back here or email Liz Jefferson for updates or to register interest.

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!

Previous Recipients

Grants have been awarded to projects including Messy Church, Alpha, Café Church and Open the Book workshops. We have also supported initiatives such as cooking lesssons, children's movie clubs and dementia awareness training.

In February 2020, £4118 was granted to: St Mary the Virgin, Bacton; Holy Trinity, Long Melford; St John the Baptist, Felixstowe; St Peter’s, Brandon; St Peter and St Paul, Old Felixstowe and St Mary’s, Somersham.

In December 2019, £6,826 was awarded to: All Saints', Laxfield; All Saints', Stradbroke; All Saints', Wickham Market; Christ Church, Felixstowe; Glem Valley United Benefice; Orwell and Deben Rural Benefice; St Edmundsbury Cathedral; St Mary the Virgin, Haverhill; St Mary, Mildenhall; St Mary, Great Blakenham; St Michael and All Angels, Martlesham; St Michael and St Luke, Beccles and St Peter, Creeting St Peter.

Updated 13 August 2020. Photo of baby by Anne-Marie Large.