£3m Funding for Church Growth in Margate and Maidstone

The Church of England has granted £3.2 million for a programme of church planting, or setting up new congregations, and revitalisation over five years. The focus is on parish churches in Margate and Maidstone, both in the Diocese of Canterbury.

Holy Trinity Margate will be re-established as a church supporting others in mission, working in partnership to revitalise the neighbouring parishes of St Paul’s Cliftonville, St John’s Margate and All Saints’ Westbrook. The grant will be used to pay for ministry as well as much-needed repairs and renovation at St Paul’s. Fundraising support is also included to help St John’s Margate with a major building project.

A second project in north Maidstone will aim to develop the partnership between St Luke’s – a thriving church which has trebled its congregation over the last three years to around 150 people – and St Faith’s, a church plant into a housing estate from last year that is already growing. St. Luke’s will also explore how it can become a resourcing church to other churches in Maidstone.

In 2023 our diocese adopted three Bold Outcomes for 2030 that broadly mirror the national six bold outcomes

  • Double the number of children and young disciples. 
  • 200 new Christian communities. 
  • Every parish, benefice and deanery showing signs of revitalisation. 

Colin Evans, Strategic Programme Manager said:

Our strategy is for growth and we have asked all of our deaneries, working with their parishes and benefices, to consider how they might grow missionally. We are therefore hugely grateful for the funding made available to help these parishes in their journey of revitalisation and becoming an event greater blessing to their communities. Contrary to what might be expected, we have relatively high levels of deprivation across our diocese including in Margate and some areas of Maidstone so this investment is critical in enabling us help that happen, as it can be difficult for the money to be found locally.

A first grant agreed in 2023 is currently enabling our diocese to employ youth ministers in seven of our largest churches. This second grant is supporting our first two resourcing churches, in Margate and Maidstone. This will be followed by a programme of further resourcing churches in other areas across the diocese.

In this latest funding round, the Church of England has awarded nearly £8.5million for projects to help churches spread the Christian faith, including parish renewal programmes and children’s and youth work in rural and urban areas. The awards, to Canterbury, Durham, Hereford and Southwark Dioceses, have been made by the Church of England’s Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board (SMMIB).

Carl Hughes, Chairman of the SMMIB said:

The Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board is very pleased indeed to award these grants for promising plans that we believe will help support the local church in the core mission of spreading the Christian faith, many of which build on previous investments.

All the proposals will help deliver the Church’s Vision and Strategy for the 2020s whilst reflecting the different contexts and needs of the parishes and local communities in which they are rooted.

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