Can the C of E plant new churches and retain the parish system?

There has been a rather heated debate in the last few weeks about new church-planting initiatives in the Church of England, particularly with recent reporting of an initiative called Myriad, and its partnership with the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication. The Gregory Centre describes itself in these terms: The Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication supports … Continue Reading

What might church growth look like post-Christendom?

John Bavington writes: “Our current system is perfectly designed to see the results we are currently achieving” (Alan Hirsch) My word for the year is “anti-clericalism” I was trained for Anglican ministry in the late 1990’s, George Carey’s ‘Decade of Evangelism’. Lots of people were talking about “Church Growth” and “Healthy Churches” and moving from … Continue Reading

Is it time to scrap the ‘curacy’?

For many years (how many?) the Church of England has had a standard pattern for ordination training, that starts with two or three years residential (or now, three years part-time course-based or two or three years contextual training), followed by a three- or four-year curacy. This is so standard that initial training is always considered … Continue Reading

What is the best size for a church?

One of the fringe meetings at July’s session of the General Synod focussed on the needs of ‘mid-sized churches’, in this case defined as worshipping communities of 20 to 60. The reason for this was a question that William Nye, Secretary General of Synod and the Archbishops’ Council, had raised: Without meaning to, a lot … Continue Reading

Do we really need the clergy?

The Church of England is currently engaged in discussion and action which is pulling in rather different directions in relation to the importance of its clergy, and these debates were exemplified in the latest meeting of the General Synod in York over the weekend. One of last debates, held on Tuesday morning, concerned the follow-up … Continue Reading

What does church planting achieve?

One of the key changes that has been introduced as part of the Renewal and Reform programme within the Church of England is in the way that Church Commissioners’ money is distributed to dioceses. Instead of all of it being allocated using a formula determining need, part of it now is distributed as Strategic Development … Continue Reading