An exciting new initiative – Growing Younger

Carol DealeyCarol Dealey reports back to St John’s following the November Deanery Synod at Christ Church Summerfield – Deanery Synod meets three times a year.


Growing Younger Project

Bishop Andrew came to the synod to tell us about ‘Growing Younger’ a new and very exciting diocesan-wide initiative.

Growing Younger recognises that the average age of our congregations across the city is 61 years whilst the average age of people living in the diocese is only 36.

Passing the batonGrowing Younger also takes account of the Biblical imperative:  ‘We will tell to the coming generations the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders He has done’. Psalm 78:4.

The diocese has obtained a £1 million grant from the Church Commissioners and added some other money for mission.  This means that there is about £700,000 pa for the next three years to fund the work.

The focus will be enabling parishes to grow younger and there will be a range of support available:

  • Significant resources including conferences and training courses will be available for every church.
  • Two Growing Younger Facilitators to work with 5 parishes at a time to help them to develop fresh thinking and a model of good practice for working with younger generations
  • Nine Mission Apprentices to work in mostly deprived areas on Growing Younger projects. They will have training for the role and will work 18 hrs/week for 2 years
  • Twenty Children’s and Families’ Missioners to work to train, equip and inspire congregations to reach out to younger generations in their parishes. They will work for 21 hrs/week for 3 years. Churches will be encouraged to fund the extra time to make it a full time post. Two or more churches could put forward a joint proposal for a post if they wish
  • A new mission church will be established in the city centre to attract young adults and students. Discussions are being held with Holy Trinity Brompton about this church plant.

In order to progress the project, all PCCs are being asked to answer the following questions by December 31st this year:

What kind of structures do you currently have in place to reach out to children, young people, young adults and families, to draw them into the worshipping life of the church?

Is there a vision and enthusiasm within the church to develop these structures further?

Which of the resources listed above might be most appropriate at this time? The general encouragement of the Growing Younger team or something different?

If something more specific, who would be willing to put together a proposal for the services of a Facilitator or Missioner? (The Mission Apprentice scheme will be offered in a different way).

Proposals will be developed between January and March and it is hoped that the project will be in full swing by July. You can read more at:

Bishop Andrew encouraged all churches to keep a record of where we are now and how we develop over the next three years ready for the reports that will go to the Church Commissioners. He also emphasised the importance of keeping up to date with safe guarding.

Prayer Request: Bishop Andrew asks that we pray for all aspects of the project as it starts and for the Facilitators and Missioners as they start their work.


Focus on: St Boniface, Quinton and St Peter, Harborne

At each meeting of Deanery Synod we have a brief report from two churches so that we can learn more about each other.

St Boniface is an energetic, busy church with many young disadvantaged people living on an estate. The Vicar, Ray Yates told us about the church values:  God is at the centre with every member in ministry and every member reaching out in love to the community. They are seeking to reflect God’s heart for the vulnerable.

St Peter is easily recognised by its tower and is popular for weddings and baptisms. Their new vicar – Graeme Richardson, asked for our prayers as he seeks to explicitly express the love of Jesus to all the people in the parish and many visitors to their church;  as well as dealing with the practical issues of maintaining the building.

November 2014




20th Nov 2014 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 0

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