Norwich Diocese pledges £300k to mission
2009: The Diocese of Norwich has named some of the first projects to benefit from grant aid of £300,000 through its five-year Committed to Growth initiative. Diocesan Funding and Partnerships Officer Ralph Barnett reports.
The Diocese of Norwich has always sought to support mission and outreach projects being undertaken by churches and ecumenical groups and in 2008 it launched a five-year programme of grant aid to support its Committed to Growth Initiative.
During the year some £300,000 was pledged towards projects which are due to take place over the next five years. Almost £145,000 has now been paid to those projects that are up and running and this money along with funding from many other sources is helping churches to grow and share God’s love more fully with their local communities.
Here are just a few examples of the projects that have benefited from the Mission Fund to date.
BYRUS (Bramerton Youth Are Us)
Operating across 11 parishes in the Bramerton Group a grant of £6000 per year for three years is supporting the employment of full time church army youth worker Jacqui Hill. Jacqui now has regular contact with about 150 young people through the clubs that have been set up and the one off events which take place. These include organising residential camps at the Horstead Centre. Jacqui has also arranged an exchange with some people from our link diocese in Sweden.
Jacqui said: “ the Mission Fund enabled our church to change our focus - to look outwards at what we dreamt of doing. It supported new vision with new finances.”
St Thomas Heigham Church Hall
St Thomas Heigham was awarded a one-off grant of £10,000 towards the rebuilding of their community hall which had been badly damaged by fire. The grant will enable their new hall to have an extended catering area with upgraded facilities. New ramps and paths will also ensure that the hall is completely accessible to every member of the community including wheelchair users.
Project leader Dick Route said: “We are really grateful to the Diocese for the grant from the Mission Fund. This money has enabled our work to start and things are now looking much brighter for the future our church.”
St Nicholas Church North Walsham
The Rev'd Derek Earis was delighted when the PCC was awarded a grant of £9000 to help remodel the south-western corner of the church and to install new catering, welcome, learning and administrative facilities there. These have been specifically designed to help the church improve the quality of its mission and outreach - with a particular emphasis on serving those who are on the fringes of faith.
Sharing Good News
As well as mission funding the Diocese awarded over 50 small grants (up to £750 each) under its Sharing Good News Programme. Last year this pot of money was completely spent by September so this year in order to fund more projects the maximum grant has been slightly reduced to £600. This amount can still make a real difference as found by Swardeston PCC who used their grant of £658 to run a holiday club and buy materials to run an alpha course.
Further information on the above schemes can be obtained by contacting Ralph Barnett the Diocesan Funding and Partnerships Officer.
As well as helping people through the application process Ralph can also advise on other sources of funding that might be available. This could be a Grassroots Grant from the Norfolk Community Foundation www.norfolkfoundation.com which can provide up to £5000 towards projects that are clearly promoting community activity. Another source of matched funding might be the Church and Community Fund www.churchandcommunityfund.org.uk.
All over the Diocese both the Mission Fund and the Sharing Good News Fund are helping to bring people closer to God’s love and address community needs. So if one of these schemes looks like it may be able to help your church or group think pray, plan and apply.
Ralph Barnett can be contacted on 01603 882344