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Jo Duckles/Diocese of Oxford
UK News

Churches in Oxford to get £3m to 'become more Christ-like'

by Cara Bentley

Sixty projects applied for the funding from the diocese's development fund which launched earlier this year to help parishes with little resources fund mission projects and short term, one-off grants are available to parishes to support an event or to kick start a new initiative as well as grants available for larger initiatives and long-term programmes that require substantial sums.

A church cafe, messy church and the extension of a Narnia exhibition are some of the projects that received funding, as well as plans to help the homeless with new toilets, showers and washing machines.

John Sykes, chair of the Development Fund Review Panel, said: "Not every new initiative to become more Christ-like needs funding to get going, but some do. The panel had the challenging but rewarding task of deciding which projects would be successful in their bids for the first round of funding. We were delighted by the high standard and thoughtful nature of the applications we received."

Janet Rogers, programme manager for the fund, said churches will be helped through training as well: "Some projects may not have been given a grant, but we're supporting them in other ways. For example, parishes who were looking for help with their websites and social media will be invited to training workshops to form a learning community."

Other parishes will receive advice for youth initiatives and get help to set up new congregations.

The deadline for the next round of applications is 31st January 2020.

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