My old college, St. Johns Nottingham is launching a new 'Centre for Church Growth' - it's almost as though they read this blog. It looks like Bob Jackson will be heading it up, and it will deliver teaching as part of the college programme (hooray! Can we backdate it for people who were there in 1996?), conferences, consultancy, and research. This is great news, if Dioceses and the CofE are ready to take it seriously.
There's a conference for Dioceses in the Midlands and North this September, looking at Diocesan church growth strategies, what works and what doesn't, and it includes a panel of clergy from growing churches talking about what parishes need from their Dioceses. If you're in this part of the country, then the head honchos and honchettes at your Diocese will be getting invitations, do pester them to book their places. I look forward to something for us Southerners before too long.
Bob Jackson's introduction to the new centre reminds us:
Archbishop Rowan recently suggested that the top priority for the Church of England over the next five years was ‘to take forward the spiritual and numerical growth of the Church of England, including the growth of its capacity to serve the whole community of this country.'
Having mentioned Sheffield last week, we can maybe add Chelmsford to the list of Dioceses which are taking this challenge seriously. If you're in the CofE, what's your experience?