New Worshipping Communities: A vision for Growth

Over the last two years, our refreshed diocesan vision has been to recognise the imperative for ‘Growing Disciples: Wider, Younger and Deeper’.  To facilitate growing new disciples in every parish, by 2023 we hope that there will be at least 75 new worshipping communities reaching widely into all parts of our diverse diocese: urban centre, outer estates, market towns and smaller rural communities.

The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham is committed to supporting churches in their plans for growth. This includes training and development, sharing resources and building networks where leaders and teams can share experience. Additional financial resource is another strand of this support.

The Diocese has been successful in three bids to the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) – a national fund set up by the Church Commissioners to support major projects that are focused on growing the Church. This includes funding to help establish 75 New Worshipping Communities in line with the diocesan vision of Growing Disciples Wider Younger Deeper. Two pots of money are available to help churches who are ready to further develop their plans.

  1. The NWC Fund  is open to all churches who can demonstrate that a grant from Strategic Development Funding  will significantly boost the development of a NWC
  2. The Capacity Building Post Fund, for larger resourcing churches, includes clergy (ordained) or lay appointments as ‘Associate Minister’.

How to apply

Churches can apply for a grant if they have well prepared plans in place to set up a new worshipping community. Decisions about deployment of the funds will be made by the Bishop’s Core Team, following guidance from an advisory group made up of ordained and lay leaders.

For more information, including levels of grants available and the criteria that will guide potential applicants in considering whether they should apply to the fund please click on the following links:

Help and support

For further information, advice or support please contact:

Neil Peake (Programme Manager):

Tors Ramsey (Church growth and planting enabler):

If you don’t feel you’re ready yet to apply for either fund, don’t forget the Growing Disciples Fund that can also provide important financial support to growth plans.

 What is a New Worshipping Community (NWC)?

NEW: it is different to what is currently happening; a different time, place, format. The NWC has a clear plan to grow new disciples and is motivated by mission. It will meet monthly at a minimum, but in most cases will be on a trajectory to meeting weekly. Embedded in this plan is the idea of growing to give themselves away.

WORSHIPPING: worship is a core element to the community’s life and includes prayer and praise, word and sacrament, fellowship, evangelism and the baptism of new believers (Acts 2: 42-47). It is when a community of faith comes together, focused around the person of Jesus, filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

COMMUNITY: it is open to gathering in new people, building a community where people are encouraged to belong and contribute to the life of the NWC.  Community life is envisaged to be based on the model in Acts 2.