SDF BID SUCCESS
Many of you may already have seen from the announcement made by the Diocese of Lincoln yesterday (which can be read in full here) the fantastic news that the funding application for £2.67 million made to the Church of England’s Strategic Development Fund has been granted!! We are thrilled that along with St. George’s, Stamford and Lincoln Cathedral, St. Swithin’s will receive some of that funding as we continue to partner with the Diocese to see lives and communities transformed in urban centres through the revitalisation of churches.
Since the invitation from the Bishop of Lincoln to Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) four years ago to partner in revitalising St. Swithin’s, it has been wonderful to see the church grow from 12 people to the church we are today. It has been so exciting to see God at work through the faithful prayers, costly generosity and hard work of so many of you who have joined the adventure here. Being #churchontour over the last 12 months whilst clearly not ideal - never the less - helped remind us that church is always about people before it is about buildings and was a gentle reminder that our call is not to be consumers cliques and comfortable, but to be an inside-out people, seeking to make the love of God known in every part of our communities.
This funding will make a significant difference and enable us to continue to develop St. Swithin’s to not only be a community where people can encounter the LOVE> of God, learn to LIVE> more like Jesus and GO> in the power of the Spirit to see lives and communities transformed, but also enable us to become a resource church from which we can ‘give away’ our best in order to see other churches revitalised. One key component of this will be the amazing opportunity to ‘send’ three curates each with a team around them from St. Swithin’s to revitalise three other churches in the next 5 years.
Practically speaking the funding will help secure for us some permanent, purpose-fit facilities (our 18 months of prayers are being answered!) and will also enable us to appoint an associate vicar to help me in leading the church . Over the next 5 years the funding also provides for two curates who will lead two of the teams mentioned above and will help us establish discipleship and leadership development and training.
In many ways this marks a significant change for us as a church but it is not so much a change of direction as it is a change of gear. But if there’s one thing that has been a constant at St. Swithin’s over the last 4 years, it is change!! This change of gear will involve growing deeper roots as well as growing further reach. We are really looking forward to continuing this adventure with each and every one of you and this next phase is one where we have the opportunity to move from #churchontour to #churchmature, to become a community where everyone is growing as a disciple and each person is discovering the unique part they have to play in seeing lives and communities transformed in Lincoln and beyond.
We do hope you will be able to join us on Sunday as we gather to worship God, give thanks for his faithfulness and look forward together to the next phase of the adventure.
Jim & Vicky