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The GRA:CE Project launch

The GRA:CE Project launch

Theos and CUF launch a report on the relationship between church growth, social action and discipleship in the Church of England

At a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, what is the future for the national church? How should it respond to the intensifying social, material, and spiritual needs of the people it exists to serve? How has it adapted to declining levels of religious affiliation?

Drawing on three years of extensive research across the country, the GRA:CE Project – a three–year partnership between Theos, Church Urban Fund, and the Church of England – seeks to address these core issues from a study of the relationship between church growth, discipleship and social action in the Church of England. It considers how the Church’s service to its local communities can enrich congregations, both numerically and in their discipleship. It does this through the distillation of over 300 interviews with clergy, lay people, and community members from over 60 communities across every Anglican diocese in England, as well as new analysis of national statistical data.

Uncovering how Anglican churches of all sizes, contexts, and traditions integrate social action and discipleship in creative and transformative ways, the GRA:CE Project provides critical insights into how churches can meaningfully engage with the needs of their communities, build strong relationships, and see their congregations grow both numerically and spiritually.

Join us on 10th November at 7pm for the launch of the research findings and recommendations, engage with expert panelists, and participate in this important conversation.

Confirmed panelists are:

Dr. Grace Davie: Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Exeter and author of Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without belonging

Rev Graham Hunter: vicar at St. John’s Hoxton

Rt Revd Philip North: Bishop of Burnley

Hannah Rich: Theos researcher and author of the report

Richard Springer: Rector at St George–in–the–East, Director of the Urban Leadership School at the Centre for Theology and Community, and Dean of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Ministry for the Stepney Area.

Julia Unwin, DBE: Chair of the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society (2017–2019), Former Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 

Register here. The event will held on Zoom, and there will be opportunity for audience Q&A. 

The formal part of the event will finish at 8.30, with the chance to stay and chat to others in breakout rooms for a further half an hour if you would like. Information on how to access the Zoom event will be sent upon registration.

The GRA:CE Project has been made possible by the generosity of the Sir Halley Stewart Trust and the Hartham Church Charitable Trust.


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Hannah Rich

Hannah Rich

Hannah joined Theos in 2017. She is a Researcher exploring the relationship between church growth, social action and discipleship, together with Church Urban Fund. She has previously worked for a social innovation think tank and a learning disability charity.

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