Myriad has a vision to see 10,000, predominantly lay led, new churches and Christian communities planted within the Church of England by 2030. The Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication, led by Bishop Ric Thorpe, The Church of England’s bishop for church planting, is sponsoring Myriad to train and support dioceses, church planters, and churches who want to plant churches. Significant progress has been made in church planting within the Church of England in recent years with churches revitalised and leaders trained and resourced and hundreds, even thousands of people coming to faith in Jesus Christ, many of them from the kind of backgrounds and demographics not commonly seen.
As the Church of England began its renewal and reform process, and as the themes of a simpler, humbler, bolder, younger, and more diverse church and the mixed ecology vision began to emerge, The Gregory Centre teams started to ask what it might do to contribute to serve this. They shared the sense of this being a time of unique challenge and opportunity in which God is inviting us to explore new ways of being his church. The demographic and financial challenges facing the church and the decline that many have experienced have created humility and acknowledged that these challenges have not been fully addressed. The Covid-19 lockdown has accelerated and highlighted these issues and for many, this has resulted in an appetite for change.
The progress of the Fresh Expressions movement, the pioneer leadership track, the development of the Resource Church model, and the growing understanding of how church planting can reach new people, often younger people, and release God’s people to do church and share the Gospel in fresh and creative ways, fuelled the imagination and have helped to pave the way for Myriad.
Myriad is for everyday people and leaders who are pursuing the mission of God and feel called to plant new churches in their specific context, alongside existing parish churches. Myriad seeks to come alongside to provide training and support where appropriate, and bring together the learning from different networks and dioceses, who are already leading the way in this area. It sees itself as an enabler, a catalyst, and thought partner for dioceses and national church leaders to inspire change within the church.
Ric Thorpe, Bishop of Islington, said:
We are so grateful to Allchurches Trust for their support that has enabled us to launch Myriad. This is a bold vision to bring about a step-change in church planting across the Church of England to ultimately grow the Kingdom by reaching new people, in new places, in new ways.
Jeremy Noles, Head of Grants and Relationships for Allchurches Trust, said:
We are delighted that our funding can support this exciting new campaign which will grow and revitalise churches throughout the Church of England and see increasing numbers of worshipers from diverse backgrounds, including younger people. This fresh, creative approach is just what is needed after a challenging period, with many people looking to explore faith in different ways.
The Myriad team is grateful to the Allchurches Trust for providing a substantial match-funding grant which means that they will match every gift made.
For more information, visit myriad.church
Written by: Alice Morris