mission shaped church
Financial operating costs would be covered by the sending church in
year one, and ministry costs might reach break even by year five.
Depending on how the following issues were handled, the plant might
flourish, plateau or wither.
Finding the next leader after the curate/pioneer left.
The enthusiasm of the next incumbent.
Enabling a significant proportion of the congregation to remain in
Handling the weekly struggles of setting up in a rented or shared
Finding the next home when the initial venue was outgrown.
Gaining an identity and legal status that reflected a growing
A story: St Nicholas, Cramlington
Having church planting twins is rare, but St Nicholas,
Cramlington a parish of 30,000 in the Diocese of Newcastle
did it in 1993. The story is told through a video, Reach Out,
that was produced locally.
Cramlington was a nineteenth century mining village, near
Newcastle, with a Norman church. By the 1990s this was the
only Anglican worship centre, in the middle of what felt like a
growing New Town. The parish was divided into four areas for
pastoral care and it was decided to plant into two of them.
St Andrew's Beaconhill was a pioneer church plant for a
neighbourhood. Built around the slim mission resource of the
four Christians who lived on that estate, it aimed to reach
local people who for a variety of social, cultural and
geographic reasons would not find it natural or easy to
attend the parish church. The planted church saw slow but
St Peter's Northburn was a progression plant, also for a
neighbourhood community. Its foundation was the strength of
the sizeable presence of Christians who went to St Nicholas
from that estate. An overall team of 45, including children,
was lay led by two gifted lay people.