In the 10 years since its establishment in 2008, the Fund for Church Growth has granted over £2.6m of grants to projects across the diocese that aim to develop and grow Christian witness within churches and out in the wider community.
The 256 projects supported with those grants have ranged in scale and focus from a new church and community hub in Cotford St Luke to toilet facilities in Bicknoller; from hearing loops in Bath to a youth worker in Quantock Deanery.
Bishop Ruth acknowledged the Fund’s 10 year anniversary in a presentation to Diocesan Synod on 11 July. In that presentation she thanked past and present chairs, members and assessors and the Friends of the FCG – all volunteers – who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the Fund supports our parishes in the best way possible.
The challenge of how to ensure that the Fund is sustainable has been revisited a number of times since its inception as it was felt that funding should not continually be sourced from the Common Fund. For the past 3 years, the Fund for Church Growth has instead been funded from Board reserves – widely accepted as a temporary measure.
A task group is being set up in the autumn of this year to develop a new model and report its recommendations to Bishop’s Council in the New Year.
Nick May, Diocesan Secretary says, “The aim during 2019 will be to create a financially self-sustaining body with both income and expenditure streams, with criteria for awarding of grants more fully aligned with diocesan strategic priorities.”
The Fund for Church Growth in its current form will cease operation by the end of 2018. Applications are welcome for the last two FCG meetings on 20 September and 26 November, with deadlines of 9 August and 15 October respectively. Visit this page to download the application form and guidance notes.
Any existing FCG grants/commitments will be fulfilled over their remaining years.