The Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund is launched today to support parishes in the area who are transforming lives through engagement with their local communities. This work supports part of the Diocese of Guildford’s vision to strengthen its partnerships with local communities to help create a stronger, fairer and more sustainable society.
Announcing the launch Bishop Andrew said:
“Our diocese is generally regarded as an affluent part of the country. Across our communities, however, there are areas of real deprivation, made all the more challenging by the relative wealth of those who live nearby. Many of our churches are already engaged in community-based projects reaching into those areas and inspired by Jesus’ own commitment to the least, the last and the lost. This new Communities Fund is designed to give them a helping hand, both with start-up grants and ongoing support.”
Grants will be made to projects and partnerships initiated by Church of England churches, and those in active partnership with them, which seek to tackle social issues that adversely affect our local communities. This includes issues such as mental health, older people’s support, family support, debt counselling, youth work, homelessness and poverty. The fund will also support projects which help to regenerate local communities and build community capacity to meet local needs.
The outcomes of such projects may include strengthened resilience of people in difficult circumstances, improved confidence and increased aspirations through training and the development of new skills and increased community capacity to support others locally.
BGCF will be funded by collections taken at confirmation, institution and licensing services, by half of all donations to the 2019 Bishop’s Lent Challenge, which has also just been launched, and by personal donations.
The Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund website, www.bgcf.org.uk, provides information on how to donate to the fund and how to apply for a grant.
The Bishop of Guildford’s Communities Fund is the new working name for The Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation, set up in 1993, which is a registered charity no 1017385.