This month saw the launch of the latest resource produced by CPAS. Growing Through a Vacancy is designed to help churches thrive and grow during the period without a vicar.
The material in the handbook for churchwardens and clergy is based on research led by Bob Jackson, director of the St John’s Nottingham Centre for Church Growth, which highlights the stark level of decline during many vacancies. A brief guide is also available for PCC and vestry members, as well as supplementary online material.
The latest Ventures Update is out now, with stories from a summer of faith-building friendships, growing in grace, praising God and having fun together.
We hear from three young people who love the Quantock 1 Venture so much they keep coming back for more. 17-year-old Jack said: 'The activities at Quantock are fantastic, but what keeps me coming back are the people. I have made some of my best friends on this camp, and have been inspired by the leaders. In the studies on John’s Gospel I learnt more about our need for a saviour.'
This week CPAS is convening a biennial gathering for the leaders of larger churches at High Leigh. More than 80 delegates are currently attending this three-day consultation for leaders of churches with a usual Sunday attendance of at least 350.
John Dunnett, CPAS general director, led a session yesterday on the particular challenges of leadership in a larger church. Read more ...
Looking forward to Falcon Camp!
This October half term, the Autumn Falcon Camp for young people aged 11-18 will take place at the Rock UK Frontier Centre in Northamptonshire. Overall leader James Aidoo tells us a bit more about the plans for the week:
‘Our theme this year is called “360”, and the teaching will focus on how the gospel impacts our whole lives. We’ll look at what the Bible says about walking with the Lord in every area of life, recognising that some of the young people are committed Christians, some think God is just for Sundays and others think God is for no days!'
With an increasing number of parishes being made up of three or more churches (over 60% in some dioceses), equipping leaders working in this setting is one of CPAS' key priorities. We've teamed up with Lead Academy and the Arthur Rank Centre to develop learning communities for clergy and influential lay leaders in multi-parish benefices.
York, Liverpool and Gloucester are the first three dioceses to pilot these learning communities. Several teams of leaders from multi-parish benefices will meet together four times over two years to share good practice and receive input from outside speakers on topics such as changing culture, leadership, discipleship and mission. Between the sessions, the teams will implement their action plan, with help from a 'supporter' who will visit to offer evaluation on the action so far and guidance on next steps.
'This is one of the most valuable things the diocese has provided for me during my curacy’ - Steve, pioneer minister
Steve attended a series of training days led by CPAS leadership specialist Charles Burgess as part of the Diocese of Gloucester’s training for curates. Read more about how Steve and rural vicar Debbie Forman were impacted by these events, as well as other stories about our work in the new edition of Catalyst, the free CPAS supporters' magazine.