Jo Stephens, team vicar of St Peter's and St Paul's in West Hucknall, first came across Growing Leaders when taking part in the course during her ordination training at St John's Nottingham soon after its publication several years ago.
'I took part in the course when it was quite new - it was useful then and it's still a relevant, excellent resource for the Church now.
'It's been an amazing couple of years at St Peter's and St Paul's. We've had a vision of making more outreach happen, so we needed to equip people to make this a reality. Thanks to people taking part in Growing Leaders we've started new activities including a youth club, which attracts 25 young people every fortnight. Earlier this year we also started a community cinema club which brought 70 people to church for our first screening.
'As the vicar I want to be able to set these things up and then take a bit of a step back, but I needed to invest in people so they can lead these things.
'From the 11 people on the course two participants are now regularly preaching and leading services, one is considering being a church
warden and two have become deanery synod reps.'
Since her ordination Jo has remained in the Nottingham area, including serving her curacy at St Peter's Toton and St Mary's Attenborough, a CPAS patronage church, before moving to Hucknall two and a half years ago.
'St Peter's and St Paul's is a great church which brings together a mixture of traditions and people. The parish includes a deprived area
on a housing estate as well as professionals with business experience.
'Growing Leaders worked really well for different people with a variety of learning styles, especially with its options of reflective and more hands-on activities. The course has gelled people from all backgrounds together and given them more confidence in church life, as well as outside.'
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