87 new worshipping communities
Catherine Ellerby, Church Growth Programme Coordinator at CCX, celebrates the amazing progress made in London.
Under Capital Vision 2020, the diocese set a goal of creating or renewing 100 new worshipping communities across the capital. At the end of 2020, a total of 87 had been planted, revitalised or started from scratch…that’s something to celebrate!
We’re all keen to look ahead – especially at the beginning of 2021 – but we can also find hope by looking back to see the things God has done. So it’s with gratitude and excitement that we celebrate these 87 new communities. We thank God for the people who have been used to start and sustain these ministries over the last decade and for those in our capital who through them are encountering Jesus, some for the first time.
Not only is 87 a truly amazing number of new and renewed communities, but these communities reflect a passion to make disciples through multiplication and growth – a pattern which we long to see replicated again and again – of starting churches in new places, for new people in new ways.
There are examples of new churches planted or churches which have been revitalised which represent a wide range of different models of what church can look like. At last year’s church planting conference, Archbishop Stephen Cotterell described this as a “mixed ecology”, reflecting that:
“alongside inherited patterns, we will see a whole new smorgazboard of ministries and churches emerging, which is of course what is happening around us at the moment.”
As well as showing us different types and models of church, our new worshipping communities are increasingly reflecting London’s ethnic and cultural diversity with some actively embracing intercultural church. And we can see that planting in the diocese is not limited to any particular corner of the Church of England; by contrast, churches are multiplying and bearing fruit across all traditions.
As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, this provides a foundation for the future and specifically for how the diocese’s ambition of Creative Growth will be realised. We want to see every Londoner encounter the love of Jesus in the next decade. Starting with prayer as our foundation we can build on the momentum of these 87 new worshipping communities towards many more opportunities for growth over the next decade.
The Bishop of Islington’s team at the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication works with every tradition, size and model of church to support leaders and church teams across London, England and beyond as they look to multiply disciples, churches and networks. If you would like information or support on any aspect of multiplication and growth or are interested in our courses, including the Plant Course, head over to the Centre for Church Multiplication website – we’d love to hear from you.
Please also consider coming to this year’s church planting conference, you can find details and book tickets at multiplyX 2021: Together.
Here are just some examples of the 87 new and renewed worshipping communities which are reaching Londoners with the Good News of Jesus:
Hackney Church is the iconic Anglican parish church of Hackney. Now a diverse, dynamic and fast-growing church meeting across multiple locations around East London.
A church for students in the heart of London. It describes itself as a “contemporary church for young people, set up by the historic, established Church of England,” to worship God, explore the Christian faith and eat together.
St Philip’s Tottenham
A lively, growing church in the Traditionalist Catholic wing of the Church of England, located between Seven Sisters and Turnpike Lane Tube Stations and with a vision to love God and to bring God’s love to all the people of South Tottenham.
A church planted in the City of London at St Edmund’s the King near Bank. Made up of young professionals and creatives, families, youth and kids. Encouraging discipleship with Jesus and empowering people to have an impact in their own world and their city with the truth of Gospel.
A pilot pioneering sport and wellbeing programme to enhance community, well being and faith through sporting activity and fitness. Created by 10 Anglican and ecumenical partner churches around Bushy Park in the Hampton Deanery, working closely with the diocese.
A group of Christians living in Harrow who are exploring how to make church more accessible to all the different ethnic backgrounds who live around them. The services are in English but they always seek to include representation, affirmation and celebration of other cultures and languages.
Catherine Ellerby is the Church Growth Programme Coordinator at the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication (CCX).