In December 2018, the diocese was awarded a Strategic Development Fund (SDF) grant of £2.67M to resource the urban church. 

Due to the time-limited nature of the SDF funding, together with the diocesan commitment to see transformation across the full spectrum of the church, a decision has been made for St Wulfram’s Grantham to become the new location for the “Centre for Formation in Catholic Mission” as part of the SDF programme.

The change to the project has been approved by the Strategic Investment Board, the National Church body which governs SDF programmes.

Our SDF grant was awarded to develop three current churches into resource centres, which will establish or revitalise a total of eight plant churches across our diocese in the next five years.

In our original SDF application, the planned resource centres were to be: St Swithin’s Lincoln, St George’s Stamford and Lincoln Cathedral, with the cathedral set to become the Centre for Formation in Catholic Mission in collaboration with catholic practitioners in the diocese.  

To date, there has not been progress on the catholic strand of the SDF programme at the Cathedral. To allow this part of the programme to flourish, and for the Cathedral to focus on its mission ahead, a new location for the Centre for Formation in Catholic Mission was needed. 

The Acting Bishop of Lincoln, The Rt Revd Dr David Court, said: “We have a bold vision for our SDF programme to revitalise the urban church. We look forward to what St Wulfram’s will bring to the programme. Please join us in praying for the ongoing mission of the Cathedral, and for St Wulfram’s as they prepare for this exciting new phase for the church.” 

In the Diocese of Lincoln, resource churches are given a mandate to reach beyond their parishes; they should be able to grow rapidly to plant other churches, with a culture of giving generously and sending graciously. The formal designation of St Wulfram’s as the Centre for Formation in Catholic Mission will further expand, define and resource this work, which will include at least three urban-centre church plants over the next five years.

This story was published on Wednesday 18th March 2020.