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TV-style event helps to allocate windfall

28 February 2014

by Primrose Peacock


Winner: the Community Shop Project

Winner: the Community Shop Project

THE winners of "Bishop's Den" - a competition based on the BBC TV Dragons' Den, held as part of a programme to develop new ways of attracting people into the Church in Cornwall (News, 16 August 2013) - were announced on Sunday.

Parishes, clusters, and deaneries had been invited to compete for funding, and the finalists entered the Bishop's Den at a public event in the Mylor Theatre at Truro College.

Forty entries were whittled down to a shortlist of six, who had to show how they would use the funds to attract people to their church. They were grilled by a panel of inquisitors chaired by the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, and included the Dean of Exeter, the Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper, and people from business and charity sectors. The compère was Alan Dedicoat, of BBC Radio 2.

Sheds of Hope was a scheme from St Columb Minor, Newquay. Their aim was to build sheds in their area to bring the community together in a gardening project.


From the Penlee Cluster came eWaves. The project sought to help other churches, particularly small rural ones, realise the potential of what is available from modern and emerging technologies.

The Fusion Bus Project was presented by young people from four churches on The Lizard. They wanted to buy a bus, for use as a mobile centre where young people could "hang out" and hear about the Church.

The Community Shop was presented by the village of South Petherwin. Their plan was to provide a shop in the church, in an area with poor public transport.

Pioneer Youth, from All Hallows', Kea, offered to work with others in Truro, setting up a hub of missional communities for young people. Kick Start 4 Youth was a similar project from the Callington Cluster, four churches in north Cornwall.

After deliberation, the panel announced that it would fund, up to £100,000 each, the Community Shop and eWaves. Certificates for grants of £1000 were awarded to four runners-up, from St Budock, St Austell, Penlee, and Fowey.

The leader of the project, the Archdeacon of Cornwall, the Ven. Bill Stuart-White, raised about £250,000 from the sale of parsonage houses.


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