A message from Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
The six sessions of the Growing Good Toolkit – developed based on research from CUF and Theos - will help churches grow in faithfulness and fruitfulness. My prayer is that Growing Good will help us become a Church vibrantly fulfilling its mission to form disciples who are called to love their neighbours and seek justice. As Christians, we can’t help but show our love in this way because God, our Heavenly Father, first loved us.
Have you used the Growing Good Toolkit? Share your feedback today.
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Just Church? Why social justice matters to followers of Jesus Christ and the church.
On Thursday, 31 March, Bishop Adrian Newman (Bishop in Residence, Church Urban Fund) chaired a webinar including Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, author of Embracing Justice, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2022. In this special webinar, speakers unravelled the why, what and how of Christian social justice, and discussed the challenges and opportunities for churches to embrace justice – and encourage their communities to do the same.
Live Lent: Embracing Justice is the Church of England’s Lent theme for 2022. At the same time, the Church Urban Fund is promoting material from a practical new toolkit called Growing Good, which explores the dynamic relationship between church growth, Christian discipleship and social action.
As the church continues to decline in numbers, we are witnessing an understandable emphasis and focus on church growth. But the question is, where does that leave social justice and effective Christian social action?
This webinar aims to reaffirm us in our commitment to Christian social justice, as an essential part of the church's mission.
A Growing Good Story: Presence
Over the last 10 years, St John's Hoxton has grown its presence and visibility in the community.
Taking simple steps to open up its space, listening and responding to the hopes and concerns of the local community and providing a safe space for young people has led to new relationships, flourishing and growth.
Immanuel got involved with the church football team and encouraged his friends to join in. He's now an active church member and part of the leadership team.
St John's Hoxton is featured in Session 1 of the Growing Good Toolkit which explores the theme of presence.
Our experience of the Toolkit
The Diocese of York recently incorporated the presence session from the Growing Good Toolkit into their Stepping Up lay leadership training programme.
“It helped people to get a fuller picture of their church’s presence in their community.”
After the session, participants came up with some next steps to strengthen the presence of their church in the community. One church realized that their welcome sign could only be seen from one angle, and are now discussing with the PCC how to improve the physical visibility of the church so that local people can know that that the church is open, active, and welcoming!
Grow, connect, make a difference this Lent
In a post-COVID world, many churches are facing the challenges of reconnecting with the wider community and addressing new and escalating needs. Growing Good equips churches and people of faith to grow new connections, invite more people to participate, and adapt to make a bigger difference in their local community.
Growing Good can be run by churches of all denominations, sizes and locations.
"The Growing Good sessions provide space to reflect on and celebrate the important work churches are already doing. But they also challenge people to see their community with fresh eyes. The pandemic has challenged all kinds of assumptions – including who does the helping and who needs help. Growing Good provides a framework and the tools that churches need to reflect on the changing landscape and plan ahead." Rachel Whittington, Chief Executive of CUF
Many local churches want to engage with social action, but need support and resources to get started. Please donate today to help equip more churches to grow in faithfulness and fruitfulness.