The five churches of the Harborough Anglican Team have been jointly designated as one of six Resourcing Churches/Resourcing Church Teams across Leicestershire. What does that mean?
A Resourcing Church Team is given more resources than would otherwise be the case (or ring fencing existing resources that might otherwise have come under pressure for cuts) so as to help grow a bigger church to make a bigger difference. Around 5-7% of the population of this part of Leicestershire is part of any Christian church. That percentage decreases if we look at those under 30 years old. Resourcing Church Teams are rigorously focused not just on what is but on what could be but on better serving the whole community. At times this will involve hard decisions and prioritisation and cultural change but the possibilities, in God’s grace and power, are extraordinary. Over the next decade we expect to see the number of worshippers across the Team at least double in number. This is not numbers for numbers sake and certainly not about church survival, but focused on more people who both know God’s love and identity in Jesus Christ, and also His calling to love and serve those most in need in our community, and to help foster and build the wonderful community of Harborough. As the African saying goes – ‘as you pray move your feet’ – more people praying and more people moving their feet in community focused service.
We are blessed with many healthy existing congregations but around twelve of the sixteen regular congregations across the Team are fairly similar in style so, as we look to better serve the community, we also recognise that, alongside the ongoing renewal of existing congregations, we also need more new communities that bring a greater diversity. The expectation is that we will see one new worshipping community (congregation) each of the next seven years. These new communities may meet on Sunday, but also at other times, mostly in existing church buildings. They will help us better serve the whole community, recognising particular needs around children and families, more isolated seniors, teenagers and the substantial areas of new housing (especially the Harborough Airfield Development). One example of the first of these new congregations is the new 9:15am all age led community at St Di’s (more details here https://www.leicester.anglican.org/harborough-resourcing-church-launches-first-new-congregation/). A plan has been developed to build and develop a further six new communities, supported by additional resources from the wider church, over the next six years.
At the launch of the Resourcing Church Team vision by Bishop Martyn (the same day the Team Rector, Associate Rector and Associate for Evangelism Development were licensed), Bishop Martyn shared more of what this vision may mean. A copy of his sermon can be downloaded from here: https://www.leicester.anglican.org/market-harborough-resource-church/
A one page guide to Resourcing Churches has been produced by the Diocese. A copy can be downloaded here: https://www.leicester.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Resource-Church-one-page-document.pdf
The leaders of two Resourcing Churches/Teams, including Team Rector here Barry Hill, share more of the vision, calling and sacrifice in these two short videos.
To help the Diocese see six growing, thriving, Resourcing Church Teams across a range of areas, a full-time Project Manager (who is also formally a Churchwarden in Little Bowden) has been appointed. See here for more details: https://www.leicester.anglican.org/announcements/new-project-manager-for-resourcing-churches/