About the Programme
The National Church Institutions of the Church of England (NCIs) have identified the need for a comprehensive study of the causes of church growth. This is a major research opportunity, requiring significant expertise, to advise decision makers at every level of the Church, and indeed other bodies who wish to allocate funds effectively to support the work of the Church of England.
The Bishop of London introduces the Church Growth Research Programme
Funding has been made available by the NCIs for this project, which is due to last for 18th months in this current funding period (2011-2013). The work aims to investigate factors relating to church growth within the context of the Church of England with a particular focus on finding areas of ministry which are showing spiritual, and in particular numerical growth, and finding out why. The research is expected to generate soundly based findings which will disseminate good practice and inform resource allocation decisions.
In preparation for the current Spending Review Period, 2011-13, an Archbishops’ Task Group was created to reflect on the way in which the Church uses its resources. The work of this group, along with discussions amongst the House of Bishops led to three main themes emerging to focus the work of the Church and these were set out by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his Presidential Address to General Synod in November 2010. He stated that the Church is called –
- to take forward the spiritual and numerical growth of the Church of England – including the growth in its capacity to serve the whole community of this country;
- to re-shape or reimagine the Church’s ministry for the century coming, so as to make sure there is a growing and sustainable Christian witness in every local community; and
- to focus our resources where there is both greatest need and greatest opportunity.
These represent the priorities of the Church over the coming years and in the light of these stated priorities the NCIs have set aside funding for Research and Development in relation to Church growth.