We value Newcastle city centre in our diocese and will invest in the life of the city, engaging with civic life, seeking continued growth in areas of inherited strength, and developing fresh expressions to engage with areas of opportunity.
In three years' time, church life in Newcastle city centre will be more engaged, vibrant and growing - engaging with students, city workers and the vulnerable, growing congregations, and planting at least one community exploring new forms of worship.
In Year One, we will explore the idea of a resource church; conversations, scoping, planning.
What we are doing
The reality of a diocesan resource church took a big step forward with a successful funding application earlier this year which saw the award of £2.6 million from the national church.
Our initial plan to base the church at All Saints, an iconic Georgian (former) church in Newcastle, was halted due to the practical needs of the resource church being at odds with the interests of the conservation bodies.
The focus has now moved to other options in the city centre – watch this space.
The leader for our diocesan Resource Church, Ben Doolan, started his new role in January 2019 and has moved to Newcastle from St Michael le Belfrey, York.
Plans are in place for the ‘soft’ launch of the Resource Church in March 2019. This will lead to the official launch in October 2019 by which point the full team will be on board and the weekly pattern of worship will start at our first Resource Church in the city.
This will coincide with the start of the academic year to engage more intentionally (but not exclusively) with some of the city’s 67,000 students and those who work in and around Newcastle City Centre.
Our hope is that this new Christian community will bring renewed life to the city centre churches which in turn will resource other forms of mission to evangelise, both in Newcastle and across the diocese, by planting and revitalising churches, developing a pipeline of leaders and providing other resources for mission.
Ben Doolan, Resource Church leader:
"I believe that planting a Resource Church in Newcastle city centre is a fantastic opportunity to join in with other churches in the diocese to see our bold and engaging 'growing church bringing hope' vision come to fruition by the grace of God."