The Development Fund

How and why you should apply

We are called to put into deep water and let down the nets: to tell the Christian story with love and hope and confidence. Not every new initiative to put out into deep water needs funding to get going, but some do. Parishes, benefices and deaneries can now bid for grants from the Development Fund to enable missional creativity and support local Christ-like Church projects.

This page contains everything you need to know about the fund, including the eligibility criteria and application forms. As with any grant application process, there is a lot of information at first glance. We suggest reading sections 1 – 4 in order and click the [+] buttons to expand the information panels you are interested to explore. 

If you are interested in applying for a grant to support essential infrastructure for mission, you will find information in section 2. 

Workers at the Cornerstone social action project in Charlbury

1. About the Development Fund

The amount of money available to parishes and benefices in the Diocese of Oxford is c. £1.2m each year over the next three years.

Grant applications to the Development Fund must support local projects that are missionally creative, reflect where God is at work in the community and encourage wider learning across the diocese.

The Development Fund is open to all, but it is likely to be most helpful to parishes which, after paying their Parish Share and other essential running costs, have very little financial resources to invest in missional activity. We know that even modest grants can make a significant difference in such parishes.

2. Are there limitations on what we can apply for ?

Two types of grant are available to support missional activity by any parish, benefice, deanery or chaplaincy in the Diocese of Oxford. Find out more:

Short term, one-off grants are available to parishes and benefices to support an event or to kick start a new initiative. Grant applications will range from small modest sums up to £2,500.

Grants are available for larger initiatives and long-term programmes that require substantial sums. An organisation may only make one Tier 2 application per year and, if successful, may not reapply to the fund for at least 2 years after the last (successful) submission deadline date.

Grant applications in this tier will range from £2,500 to many thousands, though Development Fund grants will not normally exceed £80k in a single grant, or £200k over a maximum 5 years.

Further information about applying for a Tier 2 Grant can be found in Guidelines for Applicants, available to download from section 4 of this page.

Over the next three years, Bishop’s Council has made available £200k per annum to assist with the provision of essential infrastructure required for churches to enable their mission. Those parishes currently without these facilities in a usable state can apply for a grant that could make a real difference in supporting their mission and vision for their community.

You do not need to apply separately for this funding – if your project meets the criteria, the Review Panel will automatically take this into consideration whilst reviewing your application.

Further information about the types of infrastructure covered and how to apply can be found in Guidelines for Applicants, available to download from section 4 of this page.

You can find guidance to help you develop your Statement of Need on the Church Buildings Team web page.

Any parish, benefice, deanery or chaplaincy in the Diocese of Oxford may apply. Applications linked to schools should be made through the relevant parish (or deanery). In most cases we expect applications to be signed by the parish incumbent (or for a deanery, the Area Dean or Lay Chair) and any grants paid to a PCC (or Deanery) account.

There are four submission deadlines per year for Tier 1 and Tier 2 Grant applications. The deadline dates for applications are midnight on:

31 October 2021

31 January 2022
30 April 2022
31 July 2022
31 October 2022

31 January 2023
30 April 2023


The Development Fund is open to supporting a wide range of missional activity. This includes (but is not restricted to) supporting initiatives which align with our seven areas of focus. Please note that applications for grants to support Fresh Expressions of church and New Congregations, and work to develop School Chaplaincy or Parish-School relationships should be made through the Development Fund as this avoids the need for separate funding mechanisms.

Limitations and restrictions

There are some things which the Development Fund is not intended to support, such as routine repairs to buildings, payment of regular running costs (utility bills, insurance, parish share etc.) and activity which is already deemed to be funded by current financial arrangements. Since grant requests may exceed the available funds, the Diocese may look less favourably on applications for work where other grant sources are available.

3. Priorities for the Development Fund

The aim of the Development Fund is to encourage church communities in five areas. Click the [+] buttons below for a detailed description of each:

We are called to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world: contemplative, compassionate and courageous. The list below touches on each of these three marks of a Christ-like Church. You’ll find further information in the guidance document Signs of a more Christ-like Church, available to download in section 4 of this page.

Other resources are available too: Four study guides written by Bishop Steven explore what this means for us, our families and the wider Church; and the new Parish Planning Tool will help your church recognise where God is already at work in your community, and how you can best join in.


According to the gospels, Jesus often withdrew to spend time apart with God (Mark 1.35; Luke 5.16). Jesus calls the twelve disciples to be with him before they are sent out (Mark 3.14). In the great image of the vine, Jesus calls his disciples to abide in him so that God’s life may bear fruit in our lives.

To be a contemplative Church means:

  • To be deeply rooted in Christ as a branch in the vine, through prayer and worship, word and sacrament
  • To be sustained in joy and hope in the midst of a suffering world
  • To seek the continual grace and renewal of the Holy Spirit in our lives
  • To value deep wisdom and offer meaning
  • To take our theology seriously as dialogue with God as well as talk about God
  • To live in healthy rhythms of prayer and rest and work and be fully human
  • To be good news in an over active and busy world
  • To offer the gift of silence, still places and moments of encounter with the living God
  • To listen deeply to ourselves, to the world in which we live and to one another
  • To discern God’s call to us as individuals and communities
  • To wrestle with God
  • To surrender our doing in order to make space for stillness and dwelling, that God might be free to do and act within us.

“Contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter.” Rowan Williams


The compassion of Jesus is evident from beginning to end in the gospels. Jesus is deeply moved in his encounters with the sick and bereaved. His compassion shapes his priorities from beginning to end (Mark 1.41, John 11.33-35).

The Church is called to demonstrate this same compassion: to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the sick and visit those in prison (Matthew 25.37). Churches are called to be communities of kindness, gentleness and love.

To be a compassionate Church means:

  • To listen to the communities around us and to the wider world
  • To identify especially with the lost, the least and the last
  • To live out our faith as Christian disciples in acts of kindness and generosity
  • To act together to serve the poor, feed the hungry and welcome the stranger
  • To mourn for the suffering in the world and take that suffering seriously
  • To be tender and gentle with one another, bearing one another’s burdens
  • To find together a radical new Christian inclusion in the church
  • To provide places of hospitality and welcome for all in our church buildings
  • To offer to all, in love, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • To nurture children in school communities marked by compassion
  • To steward and care for the earth
  • To take action for peace and for justice.

“Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life . . . the Church’s very credibility is shown in the way she shows mercy and compassionate love . . . Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instils in us the courage to look to the future with hope.” Pope Francis


Jesus walks towards difficulty and suffering and takes the way of the cross. He sets his face towards Jerusalem out of love for the world (Luke 9.51; John 11.14-15).

Jesus calls his disciples to follow in this way of the cross (Mark 8.34, Matthew 16.24). The Church is a community of missionary disciples, gathered and sent to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5.13-16). We are called to make a difference through courageous lives of love.

To be a courageous Church means:

  • To deepen our vision of what it means to be human, of a just and peaceful world: to dare to practise hope
  • To seek to live our lives to the glory of God
  • To make a difference in our local communities through seeking justice and working for peace
  • To seek reconciliation in the Church and in the world
  • To be bold and consistent in our evangelism and witness to our Christian faith
  • To bear the cost of our discipleship through the whole course of our lives
  • To imagine and bring to birth new Christian communities in many different places
  • To work in creative partnership with other Churches, faith communities and organisations
  • To teach the Christian faith clearly and with confidence to children, young people and adults
  • To invest the resources we have been given boldly for the sake of the kingdom of God not hoard them in fear
  • To reshape our buildings continually for the sake of God’s mission in the present and future
  • To seek to reverse the decline of the Church in this generation.

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.” C.S. Lewis

To encourage discernment: noticing where God is at work; distinguishing between good ideas and God ideas.

We want to encourage our ability to discern God at work in the world around us and in our own lives, and to respond by joining in with what God is already doing. Ways of thinking about discernment include:

  • What makes this a ‘God idea’ rather than a ‘good idea’?
  • In what way are you doing something different because you are listening to God?

The new Parish Planning Tool, created by the Diocese of Oxford is a great way to discern where God is at work in your community.

We want to encourage parishes, deaneries, schools and other Christian communities across the Diocese to be ‘missionally creative’ – finding imaginative solutions to missional challenges.

This does not require completely new ideas every time: being missionally creative might be about the way a congregation adapts an existing idea to their own parish or community. We take our definition of mission from the Anglican Communion’s ‘Five marks of Mission’:

  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  3. To respond to human need by loving service
  4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the Earth.

Missional creativity should shift our sense of what’s important: that may mean re-prioritising tasks and laying down some of what we already do.

To learn together, helped through a diversity of experimentation.

We want to encourage learning across the Diocese. Groups will learn as they discern and then carry out missionally creative work.

We want to encourage groups to:

  • reflect on what they have learned (this helps us recognise what we have learned and what we could do differently in the future) and
  • share what they have learned with other groups facing similar challenges elsewhere in the Diocese.

In sharing our learning and hearing what others have learned, we can better discern our next steps.


We also want to encourage diverse experimentation. Addressing missional challenges inevitably involves experimentation with new ideas: some will work, others will not. By supporting a variety of experimental ideas we will achieve a broad range of learning.

To support initiatives that are sustainable and would not happen without the fund’s support.

We want to encourage sustainable initiatives, underpinned by:

  • Planning which seeks a balance between:
    • realistic levels of input (people, resources, time and money), and reasonable expectations of hoped-for outcomes;
    • short-term ‘quick wins’ and longer-term sustainability and viability
  • Flexible approaches which allow for adaptation along the way in the event of unexpected opportunities and challenges
  • Reasonable expectations of an ongoing legacy of benefits after the Development Fund grant(s) end.

Many parishes commit much of their income to Parish Share with little remaining for missional activity, so the Development Fund aims to encourage such parishes to undertake imaginative work that would not otherwise have taken place.

4. Guidance notes and application forms

Everything you need to make a grant application is available in the documentation and forms in the table below (click the [+] button to expand each panel). 

Application forms are available in Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF formats. While we encourage as many applicants as possible to complete and submit the form electronically, if you wish to complete your application in hard copy, contact the Development Fund Administrator, Fiona McGrady, for a pack of paper forms. She can be reached at Church House Oxford, Langford Locks, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1GF or by email at

It is essential that you read this document before completing your grant application form

Download Guidelines for Applicants (PDF)

The document Guidelines for Applicants provides detailed guidelines to accompany each application form.

An additional guidance document, Signs of a Christ-like Church will help you describe how any project supported by a successful grant application will help you to become a more Christ-like church for the sake of God’s world.

Download Signs of a Christ-like Church (PDF)

Tier 1 grant application form – parishes and benefices

Download a Tier 1 Grant application form: Microsoft Word version | PDF version

Tier 1 grants are available to parishes and benefices. They are are for short term, one-off grants to kick start a new initiative. Tier 1 grant applications will range from small modest sums up to £2,500.

Tier 2 Grants are available for larger initiatives and long-term programmes that require substantial sums. Grant applications in this tier will range from £2,500 to many thousands, though Development Fund grants will not normally exceed £80k in a single grant, or £200k over a maximum 5 years.

Download a Tier 2 Grant application form: Microsoft Word format | PDF version

For longer projects, we ask for monitoring feedback every six months, using the template set out in the End of Project Report. If you are required to send feedback every six months we will automatically send a reminder email to you when the report is due.

We ask all grant recipients to submit an End of Project Report. This helps you to reflect on the work you have done, recognise what you have learned and how you have become a more Christ-like church. It will also help us understand the impact of our Development Funding across the Diocese.

Download the End of Project Report: MS Word format| PDF version

The Development Fund offers grant funding to support a wide range of parish and deanery-level projects. This privacy notice explains how personal data is handled during the grant administration process.

Download the Privacy Notice for Diocese of Oxford Development Fund applications (PDF)

5. Grants awarded

The panels below list the parish/benefices who have been awarded a grant (click the [+] button to expand each panel).

During the course of the Development Fund we will be sharing some of the stories of change as churches embark on their journey of becoming a more Christ-like Church.

Specific grants awarded from the September 2019 round of applications (announced December 2019):

  • St Mary’s Church, Chesterton – helping the Café church to run for a second year
  • Ivinghoe with Pitstone – extra resources for Messy Church
  • Loddon Reach Benefice – funds to extend the parish magazine to reach out to the new housing in the area
  • St Luke’s, Maidenhead – creative resources for baptism families
  • Dorchester Abbey – support for the acclaimed ‘Narnia’ exhibition, returning in 2020
  • North Bucks Deaneries – provision of the “Rest-a-While” marquee for visitors at the Bucks County Show for three years
  • St Mary’s, Bloxham – tables for Care Church and help for Messy Church
  • Ladygrove in Didcot – funding for welcome activities for people from two new housing estates with 2,500 new homes
  • St Clement’s, Oxford – set-up costs for new monthly “Shared Space” event
  • St Joseph’s, Newton Leys – a laptop for a small but fast-growing church
  • St Michael’s, Horton – establish and stock a community food cupboard to help people in the community
  • Benson – a ‘Stations of the Cross’ sculpture exhibition in the churchyard with links to the Thames Pilgrim Path
  • Reading St Luke with St Bartholomew – Extend the parish garden project with a new greenhouse to enable activities to run all year round
  • St John’s, Stone – new toilets and an improved kitchen to allow greater community use of the church
  • Wallingford Deanery – a conference for all churches in the deanery to develop joint mission initiatives for the new housing in the area
  • Emmanuel Church, Woodley – Neighbourhood Centre building project to increase support for community outreach
  • St Mary’s, Ashbury – toilet and kitchenette facilities to make the church more welcoming and hospitable to visitors
  • St Mary’s, Cogges – an associate minister to develop Cogges as a resourcing hub for the Witney area
  • North Leigh – to build and develop links between churches and schools in Witney and Woodstock
  • St Andrew’s, Dean Court, Oxford – Redeveloping a wooden 1960s building to reach out and serve the community in new ways
  • St Michael at the North Gate, Oxford – an additional part-time minister for three years to establish the future mission and growth in city centre ministry
  • St Barnabas, Jericho – funding for a youth and children’s community choir
  • All Saints’ Sutton Courtenay – key contribution to upgrade church facilities
  • Eton Wick – work with families and the school to serve new unchurched families
  • All Saints, Dedworth – a shower and washroom with washing machines for the homeless
  • St Michael’s, Sandhurst – to extend the existing family worker’s remit to the local school and the new housing close to the church
  • The Claydons – improve the visitor facilities for the church and graveyard
  • SS Peter and Paul, Wantage – provision of resources to kickstart and relaunch work amongst children
  • St James South Leigh – to pilot a Sunday afternoon Café Church in the village hall
  • Chalfont St Giles – to support a two day mission and follow-up Christianity course later in the year.
  • St James Bix – to convert a Victorian church into a vommunity hub, providing additional opportunities to serve the 3 surrounding rural villages.
  • St. Leonard’s Church, Woodcote – to pilot ‘SLOW’ Church (St Leonards Outside Walls) in the village community hall.
  • St Mary the Virgin Charlbury – to run a Dementia Café for dementia sufferers and their carers in the local bowls club.
  • St Mary the Virgin, Upton – to provide improved facilities in the church annexe to better serve the village by hosting small gatherings.
  • Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – to run craft-based workshops in church as a follow-on to the existing School Open Book assemblies in the local Church school.
  • Bicester Benefice – to develop the ‘Cherish’ course, enabling young girls and women to explore self-esteem and other contemporary issues within a safe context.
  • St Giles Oxford – to provide counselling services to support mental health issues of the vulnerably housed / homeless users served by the Gatehouse Project.
  • St Thomas Holtspur Beaconsfield – to create a café in the church that will become a hub for the community, experiencing loneliness and isolation and to support existing social provision such as the foodbank and bereavement group.
  • St Mary’s Wheatley – to support the ‘Revival’ project, refurbishing the church to make it the central community space in Wheatley, addressing loneliness and isolation issues.
  • All Saints Wokingham – to support the ‘spaceforall’ project, to transform the church into an active community hub, developing strong relationships with new housing developments in the town, whilst also addressing social isolation issues in the parish.
  • St Paul’s Wokingham – to hold a mission weekend later in the year showcasing the work of St Paul’s to the local community, with themes around ‘creation, ‘creativity’ and ‘worship’.
  • St Mary’s Iffley – to run an enquirers course (and follow-up) in a deprived and isolated part of the parish.
  • St Eligius, Arborfield – to create a vibrant, flourishing space to serve the new Arborfield Green Village, particularly focussed on work with young people
  • St Peter’s Aylesbury – to enhance the existing Community Garden with a summerhouse to provide new children’s ministry opportunities alongside fresh food provision for local community
  • Aylesbury Deanery – to enable the initial phase of the North Aylesbury ‘Resourcing Hub’, developing new congregations to serve the growing population.
  • St James Cowley – to resource ministry for 21st C by installing an accessible toilet and full Audio Visual system in Norman church.
  • Wycombe Deanery – to establish a community of young leaders serving churches across the Deanery to develop strong links with young families and church/school partnerships
  • Bracknell & Sonning Deanery / Ranelagh & Sandhurst Schools – to create a dual deanery-sponsored chaplaincy role, based at Ranelagh CE School to grow faith and spiritual awareness amongst pupils. to support local churches in building skills and confidence in to enable appropriate engagement in schools.
  • St Mary Headington – to support the ‘building to serve’ project, to transform existing church to serve the needs of the local community one of the most deprived in England.
  • St Mary Magdalene Woodstock – to extend the hours of an existing town-based youth worker to provide Chaplaincy in Marlborough School, serving young people from the surrounding villages.
  • St Laurence Reading – to employ a Youth Work specialist to enable the whole worshipping community to play their part in the shaping of young lives and to build new forms of church with them.
  • Dorchester Team – to build on work with schools and families across the Dorchester Team, making disciples of whole families and developing opportunities for effective work with young teenagers.
  • Newbury Deanery – to develop a local climate emergency action plan by hosting a climate / environmental conference utilising key speakers resident in the deanery and supported by the Diocese environment task group.
  • St Mary Thames / Thame Benefice – to host monthly Sunday evening events (‘Eden’) for 14-18 years across the Deanery.
  • St Michaels Begbroke – to run termly all-age gathering with follow-on study courses in the village hall close to new housing estate.
  • St Mary’s, Princes Risborough – To develop teaching and expertise for the congregation to become more environmentally aware
  • St John the Evangelist, Whitchurch with Creslow – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming/recording equipment
  • St Laurence Church, Winslow – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming/recording equipment
  • St Mary’s, Church Hitcham – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming / recording equipment
  • St Mary and St John Stratfield Mortimer – To develop an outdoor Prayer Garden with the Eco warriors of St John’s School to engage young people in creative forms of prayer, worship, mission and contemplation
  • Holy Trinity Church Seer Green and Jordans – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming / recording equipment
  • St Michael at North Gate, Oxford – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming / recording equipment
  • Charlbury with Shorthampton – To expand the “Cornerstone” social action project established during the pandemic to a resource community hub, easily accessible by all members of the community
  • Aylesbury Deanery/North Aylesbury Team – To become a ‘resourcing hub’ for North Aylesbury, building thriving new congregations amongst both the deprived estates and ever-expanding communities of the town
  • St Marys, Cogges – To become a Market Town ‘resourcing hub’ planting fresh expressions of church, equipping rural church mission and supporting church and congregation planting in the Cotswolds and beyond
  • St Mark’s, Bourne End – To help St Mark’s become a forward-looking and driving force in the village by replacing the dilapidated church hall with a safe, accessible church and community hall
  • Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry – To become an effective and sustainable spiritual and pastoral hub to serve the diverse community by improving basic facilities of the building, including the development of a community café
  • Wycombe Deanery – To support the online Lighthouse ‘continuity’ experience at key points in the year (Halloween, Christmas, Easter) to extend the reach of the existing high energy summer holiday club experience
  • St Mary the Virgin, Mursley – To grow the connection with the village school and other community groups by the provision of improved audio-visual facilities (including a loop system)
  • SS Peter & Paul, Wantage – To grow the connection with the village school and other community groups by the provision of improved audio-visual facilities (including a loop system)
  • SS Peter & Paul, Wantage – To increase engagement with young people and families by the appointment of a children’s and family worker for 5 years
  • Stoke Poges – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming/recording equipment
  • St Mark’s, Milton Keynes – To expand a portfolio of social action projects (St Mark’s meals, Sanctuary (domestic abuse) and youthwork+) as a result of the increased need highlighted by the pandemic
  • All Saints, Didcot – To craft and produce an online event and reflective resource for Advent
  • St Mary’s, Banbury – To develop a series of church-based creative arts activities designed to improve well-being and mental health, for all the local community, particularly those most severely impacted during the pandemic
  • St Michael & All Angels, Aston Clinton – To enable the provision of a Dementia Café and further community outreach by funding a feasibility study for the provision of accessible toilet facilities
  • St Barnabas, Thatcham – To support local families and strengthen community links by establishing a group for new parents and their babies
  • St James the Great, Bierton – To develop the new ‘Connect’ family service, online worship and community connections by providing a new audio system
  • St John the Baptist, Burford – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming/recording equipment
  • Grove Parish/Wantage Deanery – To establish a schools chaplaincy in Wantage Deanery, working with the community of St Mary the Virgin, local academy trusts and parishes
  • South with New Hinksey, Oxford – To create a church choir of pupils from the local CE primary school
  • Icknield Benefice – To develop pastoral care and bereavement support by providing Cruse bereavement training to a lay-led team
  • St Mary the Virgin, Weston Turville – To expand mission in the parish by providing accessible facilities in a new church extension
  • Reading St Giles – To grow the Urban Abbey initiative for university students by employing a Traineeship and Scriptorium Adviser
  • All Saints’, Faringdon – To increase engagement with young people and families by appointing a children’s and family worker for four years
  • Oxford Academy/Littlemore Parish – To recruit a chaplaincy team leader for the Oxford Academy and the surrounding and supporting primary schools
  • St Laurence, Caversfield – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming / recording equipment
  • SS Simon and Jude, Castlethorpe – To equip the church better for its mission by installing a kitchen, toilet and baby unit
  • Penn Street with Holmer Green – To reach out to young families by establishing monthly open-air ‘Woodland Worship’ services
  • St Michael & All Angels, Hughenden – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in livestreaming/recording equipment
  • Holy Trinity, Theale – To expand work with new online congregations by investing in audio-visual and livestreaming/recording equipment
  • Greyfriars Church, Reading – To grow the church and work alongside partner charities and churches to support those in need by completing the building of a new church centre
  • St Mary’s Church, Ludgershall – To serve the requirements of the community more effectively by providing WC and kitchen facilities and wifi
  • St James’ Downley, High Wycombe – To provide practical support to those with additional needs, build relationships and share faith by setting up Growing Hope High Wycombe
  • St Mary the Virgin, Fawley – To allow greater use for worshipping and community life by carrying out a feasibility study for reordering the church, incl. provision of basic facilities
  • Earley Trinity – To help establish and develop the Earley Community Hub by employing a children’s and youth pastor and an operations co-ordinator
  • Holy Trinity, Drayton Parslow – To serve the requirements of the community more effectively by providing an accessible WC, kitchenette and meeting room
  • St Mary the Virgin, Longcot – To serve the requirements of the community more effectively by providing a WC, kitchen, meeting room and improved access
  • St Mary’s, Chipping Norton – To serve underprivileged and unchurched young people and families in Chipping Norton by employing a youth pastor and a children and families pastor
  • Parish of Witney – To engage with young people in local churches, schools and communities by appointing a youth/schools worker
  • St Clement’s, Oxford – To support the mental health and spiritual needs of teenagers and young adults and to grow wider community relationships by initiating the Flourishing Life programme
  • St Mary & St George, Wycombe – To complete the missional church plant project and continue the trend of church growth in a deprived area of High Wycombe
  • St Peter & St Paul, Buckingham (Buckingham Parish Church) – To lead outreach to young people in Buckingham by employing a youth and student pastor
  • St Paul’s with St Mary’s, Wooburn – to become a more inviting church by purchasing equipment to produce more accessible service sheets
  • Holy Trinity, Henley-on-Thames – to increase evangelistic opportunities amongst families by starting up an after-schools club
  • St Mary the Virgin, Mursley – to improve connections with the wider community by making better use of the church open space
  • St Andrew’s, High Wycombe – to create a space for young people to meet and to access pastoral and compassionate support by setting up ‘Renew Cafe’
  • St Mary’s, Hardwick – to expand provision to the community by carrying out a feasibility study for the installation of WC and servery and mains water supply
  • Church of the Holy Family, Blackbird Leys – to carry out early-stage project development for a new church building in order to support and reach out to the community and put the church back at its heart
  • Benefice of Colnbrook and Datchet – to create a ‘Community Bridging’ Chaplaincy with local primary and secondary schools
  • Woughton Ecumenical Partnership – to reduce digital poverty by setting up an internet café at Fishermead Trinity Church and Community Centre

6. The development fund panel

John Sykes, Diocesan Lay Chair, chairs the panel of clergy and laity who review applications. 

The panel has a difficult task; it was already clear from the first round that applications would exceed the money available. That’s just one sign of the creativity and commitment to becoming a more Christ-like Church that is very apparent across our diocese.

Mr John Sykes (Chair)Diocesan Lay ChairLay
Mrs Alison EvesChurchwarden, BurghfieldLay
The Venerable Judy FrenchArchdeacon of DorchesterClergy
Mr Mark HumphrissDiocesan SecretaryLay
The Revd Paul OxleySt Mark’s, Milton KeynesClergy
Mrs Lynne PhilpotLay Chair, Deddington DeaneryLay
The Revd Rickey Simpson-GrayTeam Vicar, The ClaydonsClergy
Ms Janet RogersCommon Vision Programme Manager and Secretary to the panelLay
Mrs Fiona McGradyDevelopment Fund AdministratorLay

7.  Keep up to date with projects supported by the Development Fund

You were made for such time as this

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The Revd Erika Biscoe tells us about her pioneering ministry helping young girls to find their voice and restarting the Cherish programme following the pandemic.

Community Gardening in East Reading

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The community garden on Erleigh Road, in Reading, saw many visitors during the summer and locals have been able to make good use of the garden that is providing a much needed relaxing green space away from the busyness and urbanity of the built up area of East Reading.

Salt of the earth in Milton Keynes

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Bishop Steven visits the Milton Keynes Deanery, meeting with lay and ordained church leaders and helping pack boxes at St Mark’s Meals.

The pandemic brought life as we knew it to a halt. But across the diocese, there have been signs of hope – inspiring stories of how we can grow by doing church a little differently. The Development Fund can support you in your fresh expressions of church. Watch this short film and get inspired.