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Durham Diocese launches Church Planting Strategy

The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler has today announced a new strategy to rejuvenate Christian communities across the Diocese of Durham.

The aim, alongside a nationwide drive to engage more people with the Church of England and create a church that is younger and more diverse, will see 100 new Church gatherings established over the next eight years.  

The strategy will also see 250 trained lay and ordained leaders and 50 Partner Churches committed to supporting their diocese with “prayers, pounds and people.”

On the launch of Durham’s new ‘Planting Strategy’, Bishop Paul said: “There is no doubt that one of the most effective ways of reaching those who are not yet in church is to plant new Christian communities that are contextually appropriate to their local communities.

“Planting also provides rich ground for the revitalisation of established churches, develops an atmosphere of innovation and creativity, as well as empowering church members into meaningful missional activity.

“The planting of new Christian communities is not an activity simply reserved for a few pioneers, but an opportunity that every person, in every church, of every tradition is able to engage in.

“I am confident that our strategies, coupled with the will and determination of our members, can introduce thousands of people in Durham to the warm and loving embrace of God’s word.”


Durham’s new strategy coincided with the launch of two new churches – one in Wynyard, on the 26th September at 3pm, while St George’s in Gateshead launched their new Chapel at 7pm.

The Reverend Canon David Tomlinson Diocesan, Director of Strategy for Growth commented: “The Church of England is about serving its parishes in ways that bring hope, transformation, and opportunity. We are here because local people value what we bring. It has been a delight to support our project team in drawing this strategy together and I am excited about its outworking.”

To learn more about our Church Planting Strategy, click here.

First published on: 27th September 2021
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