The Diocese of Sodor and Man has been awarded a substantial grant to help with plans for sharing faith among all ages on the island in the coming years. “Growing Faith for Generations” is the intent of the diocese and partner organisations, building on the diocesan vision for ‘together, making Christ visible’. News of the award was announced by Andrew Swithinbank, the Diocesan Secretary, in his report to the July Synod.
The Strategic Development Funding (SDF) grant comes from the Church Commissioners and Archbishops' Council of the Church of England. It is awarded to a diocese subject to detailed proposals which must meet criteria for strengthening and ~ in the long term ~ transforming the work of churches in the 21st century.
This is a gift for our shared work in mission” says Bishop Robert “and a tribute to the focused work of a small team of people over the last 18 months who have shaped ways for us to collaborate with the urban and rural parts of the island, and build on our vision of God’s work among us.
The working group members were Gill Poole (Mission Adviser), Ruth Walker (Youth Missioner), Andie Brown (Archdeacon), Bob Jeavons (SUMT), and Peter Davidson (Sodor Partners). Research and consultation included people from various parts of the island and all the parish clergy.
“Working from the Diocesan vision for together making Christ visible, we have looked at what is going on at the moment and explored the ways people would like to strengthen and deepen what they offer to the communities around them” said Gill Poole. “For example, Ruth Walker talked to each of the parish clergy about their church’s overall contact with young people to identify where investment is needed.”
Andrew Swithinbank headed up the working group and consulted closely with the central CofE team who deal with strategy and development, to guide the complex work involved.
“Given that grants are geared partly to population size, I’m delighted that those responsible for allocating the grants have recognised this small diocese’s innovation, vision and ambition, and have responded generously in the grant they have allocated in response to our proposed plans” said Andrew.
“It is a major achievement to secure this grant and I am grateful to the concerted effort of colleagues within the diocese and our partners in other organisations. The next stage is to set up the teams and governance necessary to do the real work in the coming years. Please join us in praying for the guts and wisdom to use this opportunity to work together in growing faith for generations to come.”
The SDF grant will be added to the overall 'Growing Faith' budget which includes funds from the Diocese, SUMT, Sodor Partners and private donors. More about the plans will be posted on the Diocesan website during July.
Here's a very simple summary of the Growing Faith for Generations programme.
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