About Us

The Growing Good Toolkit has been developed by the Church Urban Fund to help churches reflect on and implement the insights of the GRA:CE research project.

Church Urban Fund

CUF was established by the Church of England as a practical response to unmet need and has been active in local communities for over 30 years.

We aim to tackle complex challenges like poverty and exclusion across England by mobilising people, churches, and whole communities to make a positive difference. We understand that local people know their communities best, so we make sure local skills and knowledge are amplified and valued in everything we do.

As a Christian organisation, we are motivated by a vision of the world as God intends it to be. We are passionate about building communities where material needs are met and everyone feels connected, valued, and loved.


The Growing Good Team

The Growing Good Toolkit has been developed by CUF with the support of the Growing Good reference group* and led by Dr Jessamin Birdsall, Head of Research and Evaluation and Polly Taylor, Project Manager.

The team are grateful to the congregations, church leaders and individuals who shared their stories with us.

  • Presence: St John's, Hoxton
  • Perseverance: Excel Church, Bilston
  • Hospitality: BRIDGES, Kent
  • Adaptability: St John's, Southall
  • Participation: St John the Baptist, Crewe

The Growing Good Toolkit films were made by Adrian Serecut and presented by the Right Reverend Lynne Cullens and Reverend Lauren Simpson.

*Growing Good Reference Group

  • Alastair McKay - Executive Director, Reconciling Initiatives
  • Steve Jones - Senior Pastor, Oxford Community Church
  • Heather Black - Programme Leader, Mustard Seed
  • Dave Champness - NECN Evangelism Consultant, Diocese of Blackburn Vision Consultant
  • Hannah Buck - Lead Development Worker, Transforming Notts Together
  • Cassius Francis - Just Finance Development Worker
  • Adrian Newman - Bishop-in-Residence, Church Urban Fund


The GRA:CE research project and Growing Good Toolkit have been generously supported by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust.