New Director of New Congregations appointed

THE Revd Will Donaldson has been appointed to oversee an ambitious plan to grow up to 750 new congregations in the Diocese of Oxford.

Will is Area Dean of Oxford alongside being the part-time college chaplain at St Edmund’s Hall as well as Champion for Seniors at St Aldate’s Church, both in Oxford.

The Revd Will Donaldson has been appointed as the Director of New Congregations for the Diocese of Oxford

The Revd Will Donaldson has been appointed as the Director of New Congregations for the Diocese of Oxford

The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford, said: “As a Christ-like Church we are called to be present and engaged in every community. We now have new opportunities for us to reach out to those who are untouched by traditional church because they are physically, or culturally, just too far away. If every church began to plan for at least one new congregation or missional project, then we could see as many as 750 new congregations.” A population at least the size of Edinburgh is expected to move into Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, the geographical area covered by the Diocese of Oxford, over the next 15 years as a result of major new housing developments.

Will spent 25 years in parish ministry before becoming the Director of Christian Leadership at Wycliffe Hall theological college. There he taught leadership studies and had oversight of the ministerial training. He also previously worked as a Director of Ordinands in the London Diocese. He has considerable experience in multicultural contexts, has launched fresh expressions of church including a café church for the homeless, a sports ministry and a youth congregation of over 100 people.

Will says: “’I am very excited to be starting this new role in October and will be looking for a team of people to work with me in fostering church planting and fresh expressions of church. Our aim is to let new congregations emerge and flourish alongside the brilliant work that is being done in more traditional styles of parish ministry and chaplaincy work.”

Will is married to Ruth and they have four grown-up children. He loves visiting places of historical interest, reading about theology and history, travelling, theatre and cinema, watching sport and supports Manchester United.