last updated on: 18th Nov 2015
The purpose of the 2020 growth fund is to promote transformational growth in what we believe are 3 key areas for the Church, going forwards to 2020 and allowing us to help fulfil the 2020 vision. At the heart of the 2020 Growth Fund are three assumptions: that God wants His Church to grow, that He gives that growth, but that He also invites us to play our part. This fund is about helping to resource us to play our part in responding to God's calling, that many may come to know more of the transformation offered by our Lord Jesus Christ. The vision for the Growth Fund is to be responsive to Gods calling in a way that is sustainable in the medium to long term.
The image of the 2020 Growth Fund is that of a mustard seed, as in the parable told by Jesus, (recorded in Matthew's Gospel, chapter 13, verses 31-32). When the mustard seed is planted in well prepared soil, it puts down deep roots and grows larger than imaginable, so large that birds make a home in its branches. It is these three dimensions of growth that the fund seeks to encourage: growth in the number of those coming to and returning to faith in God (the size of the tree); growth in the depth of that discipleship (deep roots) and faith leading to Kingdom service to others (birds resting in the branches).
These areas breakdown as follows:
- Number of Disciples of Jesus
- Depth of Discipleship
- Loving Service of the World
Applications can be submitted in two different sizes. Applications may be for a one-off grant of £250 to £5,000 are known as Tier 1 Grants and need to demonstrate a clear outcome in at least one of these three dimensions of growth. Alternatively for up to three years’ funding of between £3,000 and £15,000 annually applications know as Tier 2 Grants can be applied for. These applications need to demonstrate clearly the outcomes that are sought in relation to all three dimensions.
Applications can be for local initiatives throughout the Diocese of Leicester in parishes, benefices, mission partnerships and deaneries, Fresh Expressions of Church, chaplaincies and centrally-led initiatives that encourage growth in the local church. While applications relating to all areas of work and witness are welcome, it is of note that national trends suggest that projects involving work with children and families are at the forefront of delivering growth, although all applications will be considered. The Fund will also take seriously applications from contexts where growth is already apparent, aware that such contexts are often fertile ground for further growth. For more details, please go to the relevant tier 1 and tier 2 pages.
The Growth fund is also pleased to annouce the video viewable here which has interviews from the Bishop as well as three of the Committee Members. This will be available on DVD should you wish for a copy to inspire your congregation, PCC or help start a congregation around what things are possible in your area.
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What support is available for applicants?
Please don’t let any part of this process put you off! A wide range of resources is available to help you. The Growth Fund Committee is keen to discern God's calling and not focus only on those churches who maybe more used to completing grant application forms. For smaller (Tier 1) applications, the Growth Fund and Pioneer Support Officer can provide support and guidance. For the larger (Tier 2) applications, a member of the Committee will accompany you through the application process and ask pertinent questions as you go.
As most Tier 2 (larger, multi-year) grants are likely to involve employment, applicants may find the pack for employers produced by the Church Urban Fund to be of assistance, as well as the supporting documentation that goes alongside this, found here. As well as fulsome information in most aspects of employment law and good practice, it also gives links to sample documents (e.g. contract, sickness procedures, interviewing questions, holiday record card, etc.) to save these needing to be created from scratch. It is a significant resource which should save much time and we are grateful to the Church Urban Fund for its production. It should be read alongside a short briefing note on Human Resources and the Growth Fund.
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How often does the Growth Fund Committee decide on grants?
Tier 1 grants are made by a smaller sub-committee which is aiming to meet every six weeks. Tier 2 grants are made on a quarterly basis and normally the Growth Fund and Pioneer Support Officer and/or a member of the Committee will have worked with you over a short period of time prior to a decision on your application.
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- Chair: Professor David Wilson (also Chair of the House of Laity, Diocesan Synod).
- Vice Chair: Ven David Newman, Archdeacon of Loughborough
- Ven Tim Stratford, Archdeacon of Leicester
- Revd Canon Mike Harrison, Director of Mission and Ministry
- Revd Clare King, St Chad Leicester
- Revd Michael Broadley, Emmanuel Loughborough
- Mr Jonathan Kerry, Chief Executive and Diocesan Secretary
- Mrs Sheila Newbury, Finance Committee
- Mrs Shayne Ardron, General Synod
- Mrs Ali Simpson-Smith, Youthworker, St Christopher Leicester
- Revd Jema Ball, Curate, St Andrews Countesthorpe
- Mr Chris Goodman, Managing Director, Soar Valley Press
- Mrs Emily Sharman (Tier 1 only)