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Liverpool: £1m cash boost for diocese in church growth plans

Liverpool diocese has received a significant £1m grant from the Archbishop’s Council to develop innovative, practical plans to grow the church through multiplying congregations ...

Liverpool diocese has received a significant £1m grant from the Archbishop’s Council to develop innovative, practical plans to grow the church through multiplying congregations. The grant will enable The Joshua Centre our resource centre to support multiplying congregations.

The diocese explains: “Set up under the direction of Canon Richard White, the Joshua Centre will provide practical help direct to parishes across our diocese as we work together to become a bigger church making a bigger difference.

“‘This fantastic news will enable us to provide parishes with support as they launch and grow new congregations,’ adds Canon White (pictured below). ‘We want to make sure the church is close to everyone in our diocese, both geographically and culturally, this will help us make great strides in that direction.

‘We want to see one congregation for every 4,000 people. That will need dozens of leaders for new congregations, leaders who are committed, commissioned, resourced and supported in their work. This money will enable us to achieve that aim.’

The Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral established the Joshua Centre in 2014 to be a resource centre of excellence for multiplying congregations. It is a resource for parishes and as its work grows churches will be supported in using their expertise to have more impact in their communities.

The Joshua Centre will be recruiting a Director for Multiplying Congregations to work alongside Canon Richard. With a track record in this area they will share the vision and work with parishes who are involved in mission activities where there is potential to start new worshipping communities, congregations. They will work closely with “Fellows” of the Joshua Centre commissioned by the Bishop Paul as local on mentors.

As well as the increased support from the Joshua Centre team, the money will enable start-up grants to be offered for new congregations, for example to enable them to employ a lay leader one day per week or in other ways. The vision is to create effective and sustainable models that others can learn from.

Bishop Paul welcomed the news saying: “This announcement is tremendous news and represents a significant milestone for our Diocese. I am enormously grateful to Richard White and his colleagues for carrying this application through. The Archbishops’ Council have already funded our ‘Transforming Wigan’ project which is having an enormously positive impact and providing strong learning. We can now start to work systematically on another of our priorities, to multiply congregations.

“If we are truly to be a bigger church, the royal road involves the multiplying of congregations. Across our Diocese I have a dream and a goal – one congregation for every 4,000 people in the first instance. This is a challenging but perfectly realistic vision, and this funding will help to bring it into being.

"Canon Richard White and the Joshua Centre will be able to develop their work, supporting parishes and local leaders in planting many new congregations that will make a bigger difference to their communities.”

About the Joshua Centre

The Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral jointly established the Joshua Centre to accelerate a drive to establish a truly mixed economy diocese. The ethos is intensely relational; one of high accountability and low control.
The centre is led by Canon Richard White, its Director and currently has two Fellows, commissioned by Bishop Paul in 2015, each currently leading or overseeing one or more new congregations. They mentor several less experienced leaders of emerging or new congregations.
The Centre will now be recruiting a Director of Multiplying Congregations to drive forward the work in multiplying congregations.

Find out more

For more information about the Joshua Centre, its work and how it can support you then visit

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