Mr John Wallace
MA, MSc, MA
|DThM Student in the Department of Theology and Religion|
I am a mature (very) postgrad student on the DThM course at St John’s College, Durham. My area of interest is church planting from the catholic end of the C of E, rather than the more prevalent HTB model. I am linking this for comparison purposes with new churches built in the Victorian era as a result of the Oxford Movement and particularly with the activities of Fr Richard Temple West who planted St Mary Magdalene, Paddington and the merchant Richard Foster who contributed to the building, in part or in whole, of churches in Walthamstow and other parts of East London.
My interest comes from 2 directions. First, my own liberal catholic parish planted a new church in a housing development area and secondly, the 'Growth Agenda' literature urges churches of other traditions than evangelical / charismatic to take planting seriously. It also fits well with the Diocesan (St Albans) vision of spiritual and numerical growth.
I am currently studying three church plants with different origins and different levels of maturity. Two are in London, one part of a traditionalist parish which has been running for eight years and the second in a more modern catholic parish, now in its third year. The Diocese describes it as a 'church graft'.
The third is in the East Midlands and meets monthly in a school. It has recently received its Bishops Mission Order, which was its official recognition, after meeting for a year informally. This plant has had significant problems over its Anglo-Catholic sponsorship so will provide a contrast to the other two churches.
I have now finished my research visits, each church monthly for 20 months and will be analysing data and drawing up case studies so will be framing initial comclusions.