Growing Disciples Fund



The Growing Disciples Fund replaced the Mission Development Fund.

It was established by the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) to support all churches across the diocese to access relatively small amounts of money to fund initiatives that support the Diocesan vision of Growing Disciples Wider Younger Deeper.

The aim was to have a simple process allowing greater access to all churches across the diocese and not just those with the resources to submit more complex grant applications.

Recent changes

Why are the changes needed?

To support particular needs arising including technology to support online services as a result of covid-19 and the ability to part fund interns on the apprentice track.

What are the changes? 

  1. Building on the existing criteria it has been strengthened to include the Growing Disciples Plan and outcomes.
  2. Process has been streamlined including an easy to access online application form.

Primary aim of fund

To support mission & discipleship enabling the diocesan vision of Growing Disciples Wider Younger Deeper to flourish.

Updated criteria (and process)


  1. Church/Parish is within the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham
  2. The applicant church needs to clearly demonstrate HOW this application will seek to Grow Disciples: Wider, Younger, Deeper
  3. The applicant church needs to identify clear outcomes
  4. The initiative requires the support of the relevant Archdeacon and/or the Bishop’s Core Team ensuring that the work is part of strategic conversations
  5. It is expected there will be a contribution from the benefice/parish
  6. It is expected that applicants will be up to date with Deanery Share payments, although discretion will be given to the Growing Disciples Grants Panel
  7. Applicant Church will have a Growing Disciples plan in place with clear alignment to diocesan vision


  • New initiatives
  • Training / training materials/resources
  • Interns/Associates and additional ‘staff’ hours (see note under exclusion below)
  • Events – including venue hire
  • Technology that supports growing disciples. For example enabling online initiatives


  • Staff (employees). However some projects might need to buy in additional hours in order to enable delivery of a specific programme/event that is focused on growing disciples, which will be assessed on a case by case basis.


  1. Local team (PCC, Trustees, Leadership Team) discussion and formation of vision and plan
  2. Team apply online (using Microsoft Forms). Click here to apply.
  3. Queries raised with applicant as necessary
  4. Applications sent to and reviewed by grants panel
  5. Applicant and finance informed of decision
  6. Finance process payment
  7. Reporting of outcomes – commensurate with the size of the grants

Additional notes for applicants to be aware of:

  • Minimum grant of £100 up to a maximum of £2k
  • Each church can submit multiple applications up to a maximum of £2k in any one calendar year (NB Each Church not each New Worshipping Community). However, the approval panel retain the right to review this and revert back to maximum amount per parish, rather than per church, should the take up of funding take us significantly closer to exhausting funds allocated to this fund.

For advice or support please contact Neil Peake

Growing Disciples Plan

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