In June 2024, the Diocese of London was awarded a £9.4 million grant from the Church of England’s ‘Diocesan Investment Programme’ (DIP) to catalyse church mission in Hackney and Islington over six years.

Hackney and Islington Deaneries are home to over 500,000 people and growing fast.

Both deaneries have young populations (33% under the age of 19) and are deprived with the highest number of socially rented households in the UK (125,000).

This context makes reaching young people and mission on estates a strategic priority. Half of parishes across the two deaneries are in the broad Catholic tradition. Renewal in the Catholic tradition is our third strategic priority. These strategic priorities, as well as a recent history of successful partnerships and revitalisations across Stepney Area, gives inspiration for the Hackney and Islington Programme (HIP).

Across our churches, our overarching ambition is to:

  • Grow in number, depth and impact
  • Cultivate collaboration, including working across traditions
  • Reach estates and low-income communities
  • See more young people part of church life
  • See greater diversity in the church

Action through partnerships

HIP is a catalyst programme that will galvanise growth across the Hackney and Islington deaneries through strategic, sustainable and collaborative parish partnerships – resulting in a mixed ecology of churches that are increasingly young, culturally diverse, impacting estates and seeing renewal of catholic mission.

Throughout the programme, we will:

  • Foster and encourage greater collaboration through grouping parishes together across four distinct missional workstreams (see below)
  • Provide mentoring, coaching and missional expertise on each workstream to support parishes in building greater missional confidence


HIP is central to the Stepney Area plan. Grassroots consultation began in January 2023 and builds on a successful mission plan in Stepney’s third deanery, Tower Hamlets.

The HIP will lead to a broad renewal of the Hackney and Islington deaneries and result in:

  1. 55% of parishes (28) across the two deaneries being revitalised
  2. Worshipping Community growth of over 2,320 (over 23% larger than 2022 count):
  3. 40% of parishes (20) with an average weekly attendance of 25 or more children and youth
  4. Parish contributions increased from £2.4 million (2023) to £3.8 million (2030)


To reach these targets we have developed the following four workstreams:

  1. Planting and Partnerships: Eight New Worshipping Communities will be created through ten church plants/partnerships
  2. Youth: Five Youth Minsters will be established (serving 21 parishes between them), creating four New Worshipping Communities
  3. Estates: Five Estates Missioners deployed (serving five parishes between them), creating five New Worshipping Communities
  4. Catholic Renewal: Two Catholic clusters (serving eight parishes between them) and a Mission Covenant established, supported by a Catholic Mission Enabler, creating nine New Worshipping Communities