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Evangelicals plan more new church plants

09 September 2016


Reflections: Scarborough harbour and town

Reflections: Scarborough harbour and town

CONSERVATIVE Evangelical Anglicans are preparing to plant churches outside diocesan structures. The next one is likely to be established early next year in Scarborough.

A conference in Leeds later this month will explore how to equip supporters to establish “healthy, local Anglican churches”. It has been organised by Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), the Church Society, and Reform, and will take forward previous commitments to “revitalise” existing C of E churches, and plant new churches, with or without diocesan approval (News, 3 October 2014).

The conference website mentions a need to “strengthen and equip clergy, wardens, and PCC members for the task of pioneering, establishing, and securing churches, and also considering what is required to be regions that can build churches”. The conference will be chaired by the Rector of St Helen’s, Bishopsgate, the Revd William Taylor.

An AMiE church plant was established in Salisbury in 2014 (News, 20 February 2015).

The Assistant Curate of St John’s, Newland, Hull, the Revd Lee McMunn, is planning to move to Scarborough to establish a new church there next spring. A website promises “a brand new Bible-teaching church” that will be “Reformed Evangelical”. The church is seeking financial support (it aims to be supported by its congregation after three years), and is asking supporters to consider moving to Scarborough.

The Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Alison White, said on Wednesday: “The churches in Scarborough, of all denominations, offer so much and have a vibrant life, and I really am hoping that any proposed new ministry would respect the tremendous work that is already happening, and seek to work alongside the ministers and communities already established and incarnated in the context.”

A spokesperson for the diocese of York confirmed that the church would be outside the structure of the diocese. In addition to being part of AMiE, the church will be part of the Yorkshire Gospel Partnership, which seeks to “multiply evangelical churches in Yorkshire”.

Church-planting is part of the agenda of the “shadow Synod” which was convened in Tunbridge Wells last week (News, 2 September). A statement referring to it as “the Partnership Synod”, confirmed that representatives from 12 churches in three dioceses were present.

“The main focus of the meeting was on the gospel imperative to see more churches planted both within and beyond the Church of England,” it said. Those present also considered how their churches could provide financial support “to other gospel-minded churches in the diocese of Rochester, as it deals with a shortfall” (News, 5 July).

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