The Archbishops' Spending Task Group has awarded £100,000 to Poole Missional Communities for its success in developing church growth in a deprived area.
The Task Group seeks to secure the 'expansion of a project which has formed small missional communities and simple group-based churches in deprived settings, using lay pioneers under the leadership of a pioneer minister.'
The bulk of the money will go towards three years' wages for Paul Bradbury, the Pioneer Minister heading PMC, and a half-time finance and communication support worker, employed to raise further funds.
The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, said,
We are overjoyed that Paul and his team have been so successful in their application for funding. His pioneering of reflective and innovative ways of being Church in the community is encouraging for all.
This is obviously fantastic news. It shows real support from the national church for the work we are doing in a rapidly-changing area. We can now further develop our work of helping the church engage creatively and practically with its community. We can also put in place a strategy towards financial sustainability in the longer term.
The Church Commissioners earmarked £3m as part of a wider research and development programme, learning from projects leading to growth in the number of Christians, in order to replicate the growth elsewhere. Fifty-four applications were submitted from thirty dioceses and two mission organizations: the Task Group awarded money to nineteen of them. £1m of the £3m was awarded in November 2011.