Synod to discuss target of 10,000 new lay-led churches in the next ten years

Jul 3, 2021 by

by Madeleine Davies, Church Times:

The Archbishop of York is to deliver an update on Vision and Strategy.

THE establishment of 10,000 new, predominantly lay-led churches in the next ten years is among the ambitious targets that will be discussed at the General Synod this month when the Archbishop of York, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, delivers an update on the Vision and Strategy discussions announced last year (News, 26 November 2020).

It is one of six outcomes set out in a briefing paper, published last week, which also envisages the doubling of the number of children and “young active disciples” in the C of E by 2030.

More detail about the 10,000 was provided at last week’s MultiplyX 2021 church-planting conference, held online by the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication, which is led by the Bishop of Islington, the Rt Revd Ric Thorpe (see separate story). The initiative has been given the title “Myriad”, and is led by Canon John McGinley, the head of church-planting development at New Wine and a priest in the diocese of Leicester.

In his talk, Canon McGinley described Myriad as a vision that people could join, rather than a project or initiative. Its scale — it is envisaged that the 10,000 new churches will make one million new disciples — was deliberately big, to “cause us to plan and pray, and work differently than if we think we just need to do a little tweak or add a few extra things on the side”. While he was aware that not all of the Church’s 12,500 parishes were able to plant, “this is the scale of the call of God upon his Church and this nation.”

In other countries, including parts of Africa, it was lay leadership that was enabling rapid church growth, he said. “Lay-led churches release the Church from key limiting factors. When you don’t need a building and a stipend and long, costly college-based training for every leader of church . . . then actually we can release new people to lead and new churches to form. It also releases the discipleship of people. In church-planting, there are no passengers.”

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