Groundwork

Membership growth for small and medium sized parishes

Groundwork is a new workshop series geared at preparing the ground to grow your congregation through Advent, Christmas and over the year. We take a practical, hands-on approach to membership growth, inviting participants to practice new strategies over Advent and Christmas when our churches often have more visitors.

Participants in our pilot year left the sessions feeling hopeful and energized.

When the program is over, participants will have

  • A sense of their unique Christian and Anglican identity—who they are and what they do
  • An awareness of how and when to invite people to church
  • Redesigned or refreshed website and social media presence
  • Effective greeting, including a newcomer-friendly coffee hour
  • Refreshed worship, focussing on one or two elements: music, word, space, children, technology, or bulletins
  • A practical way to orient and incorporate newcomers
  • Applied these learnings to a special Advent or Christmas service  

Dates

September 21, 2019

October 19, 2019

November 16, 2019

January 25, 2019

All sessions are on Saturdays, from 9:30 to 4:00.

Who can participate?

  • Parishes with an average Sunday attendance 70 or fewer with a desire to grow in numbers and spiritual depth
  • Parishes that are open to changing, adjusting, modifying, and experimenting with their website, coffee hour, greeting, and worship
  • Parishes that can gather a team of at least four members (including the priest)
  • Team members who are ready to lead with new ways of doing things and share their enthusiasm, and who can commit time and energy to this undertaking. The team does not need to be limited to elected leaders; there should be some overlap with parish council, but motivation and interest are more important than elected position.
  • Team specialists: some parishes will have members who are interested in only one workshop. As long as there is a core team of no fewer than four people who can attend all four workshops, then extra members are welcome to attend specific workshops.  

Application process

Parish teams can apply to participate in this program, which is limited to ten parishes. To apply, contact Tasha for more information.

We will want to hear about how your parish is ready for this project. Is there broad support for the changes that this program is likely to bring about? What are the signs that your parish is ready to grow? 

Financial commitment/matching grant

Participating parishes will commit a minimum of $500 towards projects arising from the workshops. These funds will be met with a matching investment from the Diocese of $500, for a total of $1,000 for each parish to use towards membership growth initiatives.