The Changing Market Towns project has been awarded £2.13 million of Strategic Development Funding from the Church of England, which is being matched by the Diocese to bring the total investment over the next five years to £4.36 million.
The first phase of the project will be focussed on seven towns; Wisbech, March, Chatteris, Littleport, Ramsey, Huntingdon and Downham Market.
It will focus on enabling and sustaining church growth in small and medium-sized towns and will significantly enhance the Dioceses ability to realise its commitment to;
• Engage fully and courageously with the needs of our communities, locally and globally,
• Grow God's church by finding disciples and nurturing leaders, and
• Deepen our commitment to God through word, worship and prayer. It aims to work across whole towns, and not be constrained by some of the ancient parish boundaries.
There are different Changing Market Town roles in each Town. The roles have been carefully selected to fit the needs of both the local church, and their communities.
The Wisbech Changing Market Town Team consist of Canon Matthew Bradbury as the Town Lead, an Operations Manager, two Family Workers (one in Orchards C of E School and one in St Peter’s C of E School and a Youth Worker based at Thomas Clarkson Academy.
We also have Lauren Randall, the Educational Lead for the Wisbech Learning Community. Lauren is involved with community courses-working closely with local providers, managing the library at St Augustine’s and delivering training courses including the Vocations Course and Authorised Lay Ministry specialisms.
We are 12 months into the project here in Wisbech , and so far we have been blessed with so many opportunities to introduce Christ to the community. A recent journey of faith took place, from attending coffee mornings, a bible study group was formed, which gave confidence and a deeper understanding, resulting in a handful of people being Confirmed. This is just one of the many ways we are transforming the lives in Wisbech.
I look forward to updating you all throughout the project. Please keep us in your prayers as we work in the community connecting people to Christ.