Evangelism Fund – guidance and application form
The Church in Wales Evangelism Fund
Guidance and Application form for Dioceses
The Church in Wales Evangelism Fund was established in 2018 by the Representative Body to provide major funding for dioceses to enact their strategies on evangelism and church growth. £10 million has been allocated to the Fund initially.
This section is intended to set out the protocols by which the Fund will operate and provide guidance for dioceses on making applications to the Fund.
Who may apply to the Evangelism Fund?
Applications may be made only by dioceses and must be formally supported by the diocesan bishop and his/her senior team, the Diocesan Board of Finance and the Diocesan Standing Committee. Every project supported by the Fund should include an appropriate element of resourcing from the diocese. The Fund is not set up to receive applications from parishes.
Recognising that evangelistic objectives may not fit neatly into established ecclesiastical boundaries, applications may also be made jointly by two or more dioceses. Equally, dioceses will be encouraged to share ideas and learning where they are working on similar projects. A project that involves working with other churches would not be discounted.
What kind of projects is the Fund designed to support?
The projects funded will be those which, if successful, should aim to:
- Create numerical growth amongst people in age groups under-represented in our churches.
- Create new forms of ‘church’ which will be attractive to those whom our existing churches are not currently attracting.
- Create significant positive changes in church culture.
- Impact an entire diocese, demonstrably support the diocesan strategy and provide learning for the whole province.
The aim of this Fund is to enable work by people with people. It is not a building fund. Any funding of work to buildings would need to be both demonstratively supportive of the aims of the project and also be a small element (15% or less) of the total cost. Funding of the acquisition of buildings or structural or other work to buildings to make them habitable and safe should come exclusively from the diocesan element of the funding or other sources. Applications which include funding requests for alterations to or equipping of the building solely and exclusively for the purposes of Evangelism Fund projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Evangelism Fund Committee.
Funding may be provided to develop and augment projects which are already operational, provided that they meet the terms of the Fund.
How will grants be allocated?
The Fund will operate by giving grants in response to well-constructed bids. Applications will be assessed and decided upon by the Evangelism Fund Committee, with provincial staff providing liaison with dioceses throughout the application process. In making grants, it is recognised that with new ventures comes risk and that risk must be assessed and managed, but not feared. The grant application process is intended to be robust and ask searching questions but not be so tough that a small diocese with limited resources is put off from applying. If requested we can provide provincial assistance in strategy development and grant application writing.
The minimum bid level is £250,000 and the maximum is £3million. Recognising that no diocese has spare capacity to manage the development of a major project, all bids should include the cost of employing a qualified and experienced project manager.
The General Approach: Conversation, Co-operation and Mutual Support
The Representative Body believes that this designated fund meets an urgent need within the Church in Wales. As a result, it is keen for this fund to be fully utilised, provided that it can be assured that all projects supported are consistent with the objects of the Fund, have been carefully planned and tested, and represent an acceptable level of risk and expenditure.
Given that applications are restricted to the six dioceses of the Church in Wales, and there is sufficient funding allocated to enable all dioceses to be beneficiaries (subject to them each submitting satisfactory bids), the purpose of putting in place a bid system is to ensure that each proposal has been carefully planned and is the “best that it can be”. It need not be a competitive bid system; rather it is hoped that the process will take the form of a series of conversations with dioceses as the bids develop.
Successful projects will be monitored regularly during development by the Fund Committee and evaluated annually once in operation to ensure that: a) any potential problems are identified and rectified at an early stage; b) the Representative Body can be assured that Church’s money is being used properly; and, c) lessons which might benefit the Church in Wales are identified.
The Application Process
We are inviting dioceses to engage with the application process in three stages. It has already been explained that we hope that the process will more closely resemble a developing conversation among colleagues rather than a formal application process involving third parties. The three-stage process is designed to facilitate conversation, co-operation and mutual support.
First, space will be provided for initial ideas for diocesan bids to be explored by diocesan senior staff teams with the Chief Executive, and for advice to be sought from provincial officers and/or others as necessary to help determine:
- Whether or not the embryonic bid falls within the terms of the Evangelism Fund;
- What further work might be required – perhaps with provincial or external help – to develop an initial application;
- If there are similar ideas under development in other dioceses, and scope for dioceses to work together/learn from each other.
The objective of this preliminary stage is to provide dioceses with every support in developing their ideas, and to ascertain at an early stage if there are any potential obstacles or difficulties, before a formal application is submitted. The discussion with the Chief Executive will explore those details about the proposal which are required for the formal application in Stage 1 (see below).
It is our intention that only those proposals with a realistic prospect of success will move to formal application. It is in nobody’s interest for additional work to be undertaken – and perhaps costs incurred – by resource-limited dioceses on proposals which are unlikely to meet the requirements of the Evangelism Fund. To emphasise: the Representative Body is keen for the Fund to be utilised, and will provide every support for dioceses to ensure that they are able to take full advantage of this new opportunity.
Stage 1 Application
See below for timetable for applications.
There are then two formal stages for applications. The first takes the form of a relatively short proposal, guided by an application form which sets out the strategic context of the proposal, a concise description of what the project is intended to achieve, and basic financial information.
What will dioceses be expected to provide?
- A description of the project;
- An explanation of how the project fits into and supports the diocesan strategy;
- Details of the amount requested, the total cost of the programme and the proposed length of the programme;
- An exploration of the planned outcomes (including basic metrics to define “success”);
- An indication of whether development funding might be required (see below);
- A financial summary, which would include details of other funding (for example, from the diocese).
What happens next?
Applications will be considered by the Committee with advice from officers, and dioceses will have the opportunity to present their application to the Committee at both Stages 1 and 2.
At the end of Stage 1 the diocese will receive from the Committee a clear assessment of the application, and in particular details of any areas in which further work or additional information might be required for Stage 2.
The Evangelism Fund Committee is able to release funding to enable dioceses to develop their proposal. Applications for such funding are made in Stage 1 to help facilitate the preparation of the final (Stage 2) application.
Stage 2 Application
In Stage 2 dioceses are invited to submit a more detailed proposal, with support as necessary from provincial staff. This will need to include any specific items of additional information identified by the Committee in Stage 1, but also the following:
A project summary – no more than one side of A4.
A project description, including some of the points articulated in Stage 1:
- Demonstrable links with the diocesan strategy;
- Planned outputs and outcomes and how these will be achieved.
Details of project management and governance arrangements:
- How (and through whom) the diocese intends to manage the project, including the job description/person specification for the project manager;
- Practical governance arrangements, including ongoing reporting lines;
- Potential capacity issues;
- A project timetable from funding to implementation;
- Job descriptions for any posts created by the project;
- An exploration of change/culture management issues arising from the project.
A detailed financial plan, which will include:
- Details of how the Evangelism Fund grant will be used;
- Other sources of funding (including the diocese), and how they will be used;
- A distinction between capital and non-capital items;
- An exploration of the sustainability of the project beyond the funding term;
- The clear identification of which overheads are included.
A simple risk assessment, in which risks are identified in relation to their likelihood and potential impact, and the measures that will be put in place to mitigate those risks.
Evidence that the proposed project is likely to achieve the desired results, which might take the form of examples of similar projects already in place elsewhere, or a clearly-articulated argument which demonstrates the logic of the intended approach.
An evaluation plan setting out the measures for determining the success or otherwise of the project. These might include:
- What have been the outputs and outcomes?
(“Outputs” are immediate results, for example the number of attenders at a Messy Church; “Outcomes” are medium-term results, for example a growth in the numbers coming to baptism or confirmation through Messy Church.)
- What has gone as planned, and what has not gone as planned?
- Has the project been changed during its development or during its life?
- What learning might others in the Church draw from your experience with this project?
A plan to share learning from the project within the diocese and with the wider Church in Wales. How to you plan to cascade lessons learned with others?
Details of diocesan engagement with the development of this proposal, including formal resolutions of support by major diocesan decision-making bodies, for example, the Diocesan Standing Committee or Diocesan Board of Finance.
At the beginning of the application process each diocese will be allocated a member of provincial staff who will act as their contact and chief liaison for the duration of the application. To ensure clarity of dialogue communication between the Fund Committee and the diocese, including relaying decisions and assessments of applications, will be through the staff liaison and not via Committee members.
Since its launch at Pentecost 2018 the Evangelism Fund – and the opportunity it represents – has caught the imagination of church members across Wales. We hope to be able to share information about projects supported through the Fund – including, where appropriate, during the implementation stage – with the wider Church and beyond through social media and the Church in Wales website. Arrangements for doing so will be established on each occasion by the Provincial Communication team in consultation with the appropriate Diocesan Communication Officer and the leadership/management of the project.
Timetable for Applications
The Evangelism Fund Committee will meet at least once per year to consider applications for grants. Conversation with dioceses – through authorised provincial staff – will continue between meetings. During 2022 the Committee plans to meet formally just once but will, additionally, visit the Evangelism Fund projects already underway around the province.
Meeting of 6 October 2022
Applications to be received by 9 September;
Dioceses to be notified of outcome of meeting by 13 October.
The Evangelism Fund Committee
Appointed by the Representative Body in 2018 in consultation with dioceses
- The Right Reverend John Lomas, Bishop of Swansea & Brecon (Swansea & Brecon)
- Mr Geraint Davies (Independent)
- The Reverend Canon Dr Trystan Hughes (Llandaff)
- Dr Mike Nussbaum (Monmouth)
- Dr Cass Meurig Thomas (St. Asaph)
- Mr David Thomas (St. Davids)