A new church boasting gym and cafe facilities will be opened by the Church of England in a city centre nightclub district. The congregation, proposed for Bradford, will try and entice students and young adults. It forms part of “bold” £35 million plans by the Church to reverse a decline in attendance and champion “new types of churches”. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, said: “These projects show the dynamism and drive of the Church of England’s mission to share this good news with people throughout our dioceses and parishes.
“We are committed to this work because we want everyone to know how much they are loved by God through Jesus Christ, and how they can find that love for themselves.” Busy young professionals working near Holy Trinity Church in Leeds will be encouraged to try new weekday services, while money will also go towards creating house churches in rural parts of Suffolk. The Community of St Cuthbert, a new group inspired by the monastic tradition, shall be established in Durham and a social media pastor, lay or ordained, will spearhead digital mission from Stockton Parish Church in County Durham.
The cash forms part of the Church’s Renewal and Reform programme, which aims to create “a growing church for all people and for all places”. Programme director, Debbie Clinton said: “From a church in a nightclub area to weekday congregations and a social media pastor, the Church of England is not afraid to try something new to ensure it continues to serve every community in the country. “We believe that everyone should have a chance to experience the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the fellowship of belonging to a Christian community wherever they live, whether in an urban city centre, an outer housing estate or in remote rural areas.”
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