In July 2020, St Andrew’s officially became one of four resourcing churches in the Diocese of Oxford. This redesignation together with a significant investment of funding from the Church Commissioners Strategic Development Fund enables us to play a particular role in the Oxford Diocese, Wycombe Deanery and across our region.
Resourcing churches are being created across the Church of England as part of a strategic policy to see the church renewed and revitalized. All resourcing churches are seeking to do three things in partnership with their Diocesan Bishop:
Over the next 6 years, St Andrew’s will be looking to plant a further 2 churches in the Wycombe area and support and encourage other churches to reach out in new forms of mission and evangelism.
Over the next decade, the Diocese of Oxford has set out an exciting and challenging vision to establish and grow 750 new congregations. This will range from small new worshipping communities through to new church plants or teams sent to revitalise struggling churches.
This is a challenging task, but one we believe will be the best way to enable us to proclaim afresh the good news of Jesus Christ to those who do not yet know him personally.
Peter Wagner argues that “The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches.”
Tim Keller wrote in an article ‘Why Plant Churches’;
“The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city.”
In 2018, St Andrew’s was involved in sending a team of 35 people to revitalise a struggling church called SMG on the other side of High Wycombe. This new church has begun new mission initiatives, new services and made connections across the local community. smgchurch
As we look to the future vision, we are praying and discerning where we might seek to plant something new so that can seek to be God’s transforming presence for our town and community.
What is a ‘Greenhouse’?
Greenhouse is a new initiative launched nationally by the Church of England that is being adapted for different contexts at a local level.
Greenhouse is designed to connect small teams of people from a variety of different church settings who may have the seed of an idea and want to explore how to nurture that idea into something that will grow and flourish into a new worshipping community. The goal is not to get people to come to church, but to begin to develop and grow a new way of being church around the people for whom we are serving.
Through learning communities, teams from different churches around the Wider Wycombe area will look at how they might develop their idea within a nurturing environment to work from where they are now, and to dream what might be. They will be encouraged to make plans for the next 6 months and then come back to share with the learning community how this journey has developed. This level of accountability gives a real focus and incentive to move forwards. Alongside the learning communities will be mentoring and coaching if needed, together with an App called FXGodsend that provides a framework for each local team.
At St Andrew’s, we want to encourage and support churches across our region through leadership groups that provide prayer, teaching, worship and a chance to network with other leaders.
We currently have two main networks that we host on a regular basis: