The Diocesan Mission Fund Committee have met for the final time in 2023. They have certainly had a busy year as they have considered 28 application to the Diocesan Mission Fund, 3 applications to the Offa House Spirituality Capital Fund, 2 applications to the Church Improvement Fund and 13 applications to the Net Zero branch of the Church Improvement Fund and they are still receiving applications for mustard seed grants of up to £500 from the Diocesan Mission Fund as these are assessed as needed, all year round.
Part or full funding has been provided for a huge range of projects this year: soft play equipment, community days, app development, youth workers, outreach events, Alpha courses, church yard reflections, prayer stations, coffee van mission, transport to church from school for pupils, chocolate church...And the new Net Zero strand of the Church Improvement Fund has helped to fund solar panels, double glazing, air to air heat pumps, cavity wall insultation, LED lighting and under pew heating.
The next deadlines for Diocesan Mission Fund and Offa House Spirituality Capital Fund applications is 31st December 2023, with this being over the festive period, please do email any enquires to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 14th December so that you can get any support you may need ahead of the deadline. These applications will be considered throughout January. The second opportunity in 2024 is 31st March, this deadline is also for Church Improvement Fund grants. For Net Zero Church Improvement Funds we have a two-stage applications process, an expression of interest form must be submitted, these are accepted all year round and if successful you will be invited to submit a full application by either 28th February or 31st July. More information, application guides and application forms can be found at here.
We are always delighted to receive reports, share good news and learn from projects. Here are some highlights in the hope of inspiring you develop your own project:
Buzz at St B’s Weekend Away:
“The weekend took a number of adults and children who were on the fringes of faith and has helped them to see faith and church as central to their family life. At least five families have made significant steps in their journey of faith, and the weekend has been an important part of that journey.
"… thank you to the diocese for helping fund this initiative. The funding enabled families to come who would not otherwise have been able to afford it.”
Joint Youth Worker St Catherine's, St Christopher’s and St James, Coventry:
“4 young people from St Catherine’s and 2 from St Christopher’s were confirmed within the last year.”
Seashells Toddler Group at St James, Bulkington:
“We applied to the DMF for a grant to buy some new tables for our baby and toddler group, Seashells. We were able to use the whole grant plus some money saved from our entrance fee to buy 6 toddler size go-pak tables. These are much lighter to move and store for our volunteers, and allow for a more flexible use of the space. Without a doubt the new tables have enhanced the experience of Seashells for both our volunteer team and those who attend the group. We are able to use the space more creatively – this has meant that our craft area (based on the Bible story) is more accessible and visible and has therefore been used more by the children. We are able to provide a safer space for the snacks and refreshments too.
“We continue to have a core regular group of about 20 children (plus their parents/carers) attending every session, very few of these are connected with the church in other ways and we consider our group to be a ‘fresh expression’ of church itself.”
Under Pew Heating at St Leonard's Ryton on Dunsmore:
“We now have a warmer and more inviting church to encourage more people to attend. This will use less electricity. We are saving [an estimated] 4,900 KWh, 1.4 tonnes of CO2 per annum at £1.300 at our current tariff.”
Community Day at St Peter and St John's, Rugby:
“The fact the whole parish was leafleted was a huge achievement and gets the message out to everyone that we are open, for Church and church activities, but also that everyone is welcome to come along to the groups we have in the church.”
“…the leaflet drop reached people who might otherwise not have known about the event as they are not online. The Mayor has highlighted how non-online lonely people are a significant concern for the council at present, I think this event has shown that they can still be reached and included in community events.”
Also, this wisdom was shared in a report which could fit a number of projects from mission to getting to net zero:
“Be ready to change! Keep your eyes on the final goal, but listen to the Lord who may guide you to fulfil it in different ways.”
What could you do? We look forward to receiving your application…