Support and Resources

Support is Personal

While we link to various resources, programmes, courses and organisations in this section, often what we really want is a conversation, not a hyperlink or a piece of paper.

Mission Accompaniers

Many clergy and parishes will find it helpful to be linked with a Mission Accompanier. These are experienced people who will work with you to discern good next steps towards increased health and sustainability. They don’t come with a pre-packaged formula, but will help you – parish priest, PCC, ministry team – work out, and work towards, what would be good in your local context. Click here for further details about Mission Accompaniers, and how you can engage with one.

Diocesan Team

The diocesan office team, working with the bishops, archdeacons and others is focussed on supporting parishes, and local ministry across the diocese. We’ve tried to group people and contacts we’re aware of, as well as those we aim to supply ourselves, under four main areas of work.

  • Worshipping God
  • Making Disciples
  • Sharing Hope
  • Transforming Communities

These are the areas identified in the open conversations as key to nurturing and supporting healthy and healing, sustainable and sustaining churches. Around an eighth of all those who regularly worship in churches in the diocese shared in these conversations, and so we believe grouping these resources like this reflects a widespread sense of what matters to and in our parishes.

If you are looking for courses and programmes which range across our four headings, then be sure also to check out this page for a different grouping of courses and resources.

If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for here, then please emailJonathan Kimber or ring 01905 732815 or one of the Ministry and Discipleship Team for a conversation.

Who to contact, where to look.

Here you will find some key contacts and resources for exploring each of these four areas of work. Within each of the four sections, they are arranged in alphabetical order. Click each title for a drop-down listing of contacts, their contact details, and other resources.

Worshipping God

Children’s Ministry

For ideas about intergenerational worship, children’s worship and all-age worship, as well as all things to do with children and churches, email the Children’s Officer Emma Pettifer or ring her on 01905 732823.

Church of England Resources

The main C of E website provides all the texts you need to produce local orders of service, together with a range of prayers and virtual worship. Go to this index page to access the main texts.

Lay Ministries

Lay ministries embrace a much wider range of mission and ministry than Worship, but LLMs and ALM Worship Leaders are key people in the worshipping life of our parishes. For these ministries, and for training in development for eucharistic ministers (including communion of the sick and extended communion) email the Discipleship and Lay Training Officer Doug Chaplin or ring him on 01905 732817.

Fresh Expressions / New Worshipping Communities

To find out more about starting a ‘fresh Expression of church’, or new worshipping community, explore the national website, or arrange a conversation locally with Mark Badger, Area Dean of Malvern and Upton by emailing him. You may also want to look at the Mission-Shaped Ministry course, run periodically within the diocese.

From Liturgy to Life

From Liturgy to Life is a locally produced course with all the resources needed to run it in a parish without significant time spent in preparation. It seeks to connect Sunday eucharistic liturgy with daily discipleship. Find the resources here.

Grove Booklets

These provide practical advice on a wide range of topics relating to worship both traditional and contemporary, from a broadly evangelical perspective. For the Worship series go here.

Praxis

Praxis is an organisation set up to support and promote good worshipping practice across the Church of England. Its sponsoring bodies embrace the breadth of the church: the evangelical Group for the Renewal of Worship, the catholic Alcuin Club, and the whole church’s Liturgical Commission. Find out more about Praxis here.

Smaller Churches

How can our smaller churches enable and enrich corporate worship? These churches are smaller in numbers of regular attenders, but may have buildings of all sorts and sizes. Thinking this through will involve some big questions. For help in exploring those questions, we have appointed a Dean of Smaller Churches, Alison Maddocks. Email Alison, or ring her on 07930 853433.

Worship and Liturgy Development

For general exploration about developing Worship and Liturgy, or training lay leaders, email the Discipleship and Lay Training Officer Doug Chaplin or ring him on 01905 732817. For advice on particular re-ordering proposals, you can also contact the Church Buildings Officer, by emailing Mark Carter or ringing the team on 01905 732809.

Young People’s Ministry

For ideas about worshipping with older children, teenagers and young adults, or any other support about working with these age groups (roughly 11 – 29) email the Youth Officer, Simon Hill, or ring him on 01905 732824.

Making Disciples

Calling and Vocation

To explore a sense of calling to some form of ministry – whether within the church or beyond its walls, whether more or less formal – contact John Fitzmaurice (Director of Ordinands and Vocation) who would love to have an exploratory conversation. You can email John or ring him on 01905 732814.

Developing a Discipleship Plan

The Patterns for Kingdom Living resource offers pathways to help individuals take their next steps in faith, from any starting point. They may do this entirely on their own, or with some conversational support from someone else. You’ll find introductory videos (1 minute and 8 minutes) and all the resources here. Doug Chaplin, Discipleship and Lay Training Officer, will be happy to advise on this, or on other aspects of growing in discipleship. Email Doug or ring him on 01905 732817

Evangelism

Finding authentic and relevant ways of helping others come to faith is one of the important challenges and opportunities we face. Many have found the free Faith Pictures [https://churcharmy.org/resources/faith-pictures/] course really helpful in being able to talk naturally and authentically with others. Other courses are listed on our group resources for parishes page under Evangelism and Nurture.

For more ideas and support in this area email Bishop Robert Paterson (Dean of Evangelism) or ring him on 07979 600627, or email Doug Chaplin, Discipleship and Lay Training Officer, or ring him on 01905 732817. Bishop Robert also convenes the diocesan Community of Evangelists

Giving and Stewardship

Chris Boden, the Stewardship & Resources Officer, is very happy to have a conversation about all things related to giving and churches. He is well aware of the challenges and can help in a range of ways. Email Chris here or ring him on 07943 326411. See also the webpage on Enabling Giving.

Leading your Church into Growth

This national course can help a church think through how it helps others come to faith. Might two or three from your church benefit from attending? We have some budget set aside to subsidise places: contact Jonathan Kimber by email or phone 01905 732815.

Other mission-shaped courses are also on our group resources for parishes page under Evangelism and Nurture.

Parish Courses

A curated list of courses for individuals, groups or parishes is available here on the website. The courses listed here are grouped under four headings: Evangelism and Nurture, Discipleship and Spirituality, Ministry Skills and Ministry and Parish Development. They include both external courses, and some home-grown ones. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here and want to discuss ideas, then contact Doug Chaplin, Discipleship and Lay Training Officer. Email Doug or ring him on 01905 732817.

Smaller Churches

How can our smaller churches help existing members grow in faith and new people grow into faith, when sometimes even keeping the show on the road seems to take all our time and energy? Thinking this through will involve some big questions. For help in exploring those questions, we have appointed a Dean of Smaller Churches, Alison Maddocks. Email Alison, or ring her on 07930 853433.

Training Programmes

See Parish Courses above for a range of options. For Lay Training, contact Doug Chaplin by email or by ringing 01905 732817. For clergy training, including Regional and other courses, contact Jonathan Kimber by email or by ringing 01905 732815.

Sharing Hope

Children’s Ministry

Helping the next generation grow up as people of hope, with faith and trust in God’s future is a key part of the church’s ministry with children. To explore what help is available for your work with children, email the Children’s Officer Emma Pettifer or ring her on 01905 732823.

Communications

The Communications Team is here to support parishes in communicating with each other and with their communities – stories of hope, but also of faith, love and life more generally. They’d also love to hear from you regarding any stories of general interest. Contact the team here. Their webpagehas a wide range of advice and tips.

Education

Churches engage with schools to help shape the future vision and hope of the next generations. One way many parishes do that is through the Open the Book programme: find out more here. And across the diocese we engage with 100 church schools, and our Education team are very keen to strengthen links between churches and schools. Find contact details here and their webpages offer a wide range of information and support.

Evangelism

Finding authentic and relevant ways of helping others come to faith is one of the important challenges and opportunities we face. Many have found the free Faith Pictures [https://churcharmy.org/resources/faith-pictures/] course really helpful in being able to talk naturally and authentically with others. Other courses are listed on our group resources for parishes page under Evangelism and Nurture.

For more ideas and support in this area email Bishop Robert Paterson (Dean of Evangelism) or ring him on 07979 600627, or email Doug Chaplin, Discipleship and Lay Training Officer, or ring him on 01905 732817. Bishop Robert also convenes the diocesan Community of Evangelists

Funeral Ministry

The key differentiator of church funeral ministry is the note of hope in God’s future for those who have died and for all creation. National resources to strengthen funeral ministry are on the Life Events pages here. In Worcester diocese we offer training to appropriately selected and chosen lay ministers who feel called to funeral ministry. To find out more, contact Doug Chaplin, Discipleship and Lay Training Officer.Email Doug or ring him on 01905 732817.

Smaller Churches

How can our smaller churches – when people are often drained and exhausted by the effort required to keep them open – still nurture hope in those who worship, and in the communities they serve? Thinking this through will involve some big questions. For help in exploring those questions, we have appointed a Dean of Smaller Churches, Alison Maddocks. Email Alison, or ring her on 07930 853433.

Workplace Chaplaincy

Networks of volunteer chaplains seek to support people in their work, helping to transform the workplace environment with their pastoral care, witness and service. The three main organisations working in our diocese would be pleased to help you explore chaplaincy in your community. Find the details for each of these organisations on their websites Faith at Work in Worcestershire, the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission, and the Chaplaincy for Agriculture And Rural Life.

Young People’s Ministry

Helping the next generation grow up as people of hope, with faith and trust in God’s future is a key part of the church’s ministry with young people (roughly those aged 11 – 29). To explore what help is available for your work with young people email the Youth Officer, Simon Hill, or ring him on 01905 732824.

Transforming Communities

Church Buildings

Our church buildings can have great significance for the life of their communities in both rural and urban settings. Support is available from our Church Buildings team on how to make the most of them. You can find help from their webpage which has a range of useful information. For a conversation about possibilities and practical support email Mark Carter and his team or ring them on 01905 732809.

You might also like to take a look at the Explore project, which has a range of literature for visitors to churches, explaining their purpose and exploring the faith for those who come as tourists and occasional visitors.

Community Profile

Building a community profile can help identify needs that churches can respond to, and organisations they can collaborate with. You can find some information about building a profile on this page, and on this page are links to six basic ways to develop your understanding of your community.

Leadership Development

Often transforming leadership is the first step in transforming communities. There are a number of ways in which we can support people, including clergy, in their leadership development. Options include Developing Ministry, LYCIG and Coaching/Mentoring, amongst others. To explore this further, please contact Jonathan Kimber by email or by ringing 01905 732815.

Smaller Churches

How can our smaller churches – whose few members are often exhausted by the effort of keeping the show on the road, especially if they have a big building – still be a sign and instrument of God’s power to transform our communities? Thinking this through will involve some big questions. For help in exploring those questions, we have appointed a Dean of Smaller Churches, Alison Maddocks. Email Alison, or ring her on 07930 853433.

Social Responsibility

The Diocesan Commission for Social Responsibility (CSR) acts as the overall focal point for matters of social responsibility, connecting with our desire to engage with, serve and transform our local communities. It works with our workplace chaplaincies, and other groups, including the diocesan Criminal Justice Affairs Group. Get in touch with CSR by emailing its chair, the Revd Richard Clark.

In the Black Country, a key resource for this area of work is Transforming Communities Together set up by Lichfield diocese to include the other Black Country boroughs, and working with us across the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. Contact details are available on their website.

Workplace Chaplaincy

Networks of volunteer chaplains seek to support people in their work, helping to transform the workplace environment with their pastoral care, witness and service. The three main organisations working in our diocese would be pleased to help you explore chaplaincy in your community. Find the details for each of these organisations on their websites Faith at Work in Worcestershire, the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission, and the Chaplaincy for Agriculture And Rural Life.

Further help

As mentioned above, if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for here, then please email our Director of Ministry and Discipleship Jonathan Kimber or ring him 01905 732815. Alternatively email or ring (01905 732817) the Discipleship and Lay Training Officer, Doug Chaplin, who tries to maintain and update these pages, or contact any other member of the Ministry and Discipleship Team for a conversation.

A guide to help enable Good Conversations

We all bring plenty of experience of conversations, but it can be helpful to revisit some good principles once again. Have a look through what follows, and see what might be relevant for your circumstances.


A guide to Mission Action Planning

Mission Action Planning (MAP) is a process designed to help churches grow in depth, impact and numbers – in other words, to grow in health and sustainability. Some churches will find this approach very helpful in prayerfully charting their way forward under God at this present time.


Considering the future of a smaller church

For some, the Open Conversations may give permission for people to say out loud what might have been in their minds, “we can’t go on like this”.  This is not an expression of failure but rather an invitation to new possibilities.


Healthier Churches Fund

We are creating a five-year, £4.05m Healthier Churches Fund using money which has been freed up from investments alongside some Lowest Income Communities funding. Parishes will be able to apply for funding for projects to help make a difference in reaching out in their community and bring more people to faith.


Relevant Data about the Church and its Community

As we prayerfully seek God’s calling and way forwards for our churches, it’s important to include candid reflection on the present and recent past. This note offers guidance about some of the numbers that should appropriately inform our discussions. 


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