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Church Commissioners written question – answered on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to monitor the effect of renewal and reform programme church planting on planting on local (a) churches and (b) communities.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Church planting is an excellent way for local churches to develop their mission and ministry, especially into communities where the church presence may be limited. Over 2,000 fresh expressions of church have been created since the Mission-Shaped Church report in 2004. These churches have proved effective at reaching people who do not normally engage with church, and at reaching young people especially.

Since 2016 the Renewal and Reform programme and Strategic Development Funding have supported dioceses to develop church planting capacity in major population areas. These churches have shown significant growth and are also reaching de-churched, non-churched and young people.

We specifically monitor and evaluate all projects funded by Strategic Development Funding, including their impact numerically, spiritually and in term of community impact. The Church of England also collects statistics annually from every church, including church plants and fresh expressions of church, as well as commissioning additional research on the wider impact of church planting.

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