Over 200 people packed the Mylor Theatre at Truro College on Sunday 23 February to experience the Bishop’s Den, which was the culmination of a diocesan-wide initiative to uncover ideas for ‘doing church differently’.

It was a Full Programme, with each of six finalists being given just 5 minutes to follow up their previously submitted business plans with a pitch to the Bishop’s Den panel of judges chaired by Bishop Tim and comprising Daphne Skinnard from BBC Radio Cornwall, Catherine Mead from Lynher Dairies, Ian Jones from Volunteer Cornwall and the Dean of Exeter, Jonathan Draper.

The presentations were innovative, slick, colourful and very different in approach; and they were well-received by an attentive and responsive audience; egged on by BBC Radio and TV presenter, Alan Dedicoat.

S.H.E.D.S. of HOPE. A project that supports health, well-being and personal growth, in other words building community, initially based around gardening and associated activities.

St Columb Minor.




EWAVES. A project to help churches, particularly small and rural churches, realise the potential of what’s available from a range of modern and emerging technologies.

Penlee Cluster.



FUSION BUS. A project using a bus to reach our rural communities, meeting needs, building relationships, engaging with faith and showing Christ’s love through word and deed.

Lizard Churches.


COMMUNITY SHOP. A community shop operating in a church.

To follow how this projects getting on keep an eye on their website http://www.threeriversteam.org.uk/south-petherwin/community-shop-news/

South Petherwin.



PIONEER YOUTH WORK. A project for young people to develop ways of establishing local ‘missional’ communities or clubs, based on creative activity and technology, and encompassing many of the recreational activities young people enjoy.

Kea and Truro Churches.



KICK START FOR YOUTH. A youth project leader to work with local organisations and agencies, towards the well-being of the younger generation, and, secondly, to create a youth church.




After much deliberation, the panel agreed that eWaves and the South Petherwin Community Shop were, in their opinion, the most promising projects and met many of the criteria they were seeking. There were some details that needed tidying up, but as soon as these had been addressed, significant funding would be made available.

The panel’s feedback was positive on the other four projects too; and although they did not receive immediate financial support, members of the Doing Church Differently team will be meeting with them all to explore ways of helping to bring their plans to fruition.


Five Smaller Projects, that had been short-listed prior to the event, also received awards:

  •  ‘Filling Station’ (Budock) – creating opportunities for unchurched people to meet in an informal setting to hear and respond to the Gospel.
  • ‘Uncover’ (Fowey) – equipping, enabling and enthusing regular Christians to read and discuss Luke’s Gospel with a non-Christian friend in a kind of ‘micro book group’.
  • ‘Ladies Pamper Events’ (St Austell) – make-up and manicure; talk and testimony; pampering and prayer!
  •  ‘Space Inbetween – Outside’ (Penlee) – creating a haven of tranquillity on the edge of the conurbation. Developing an adaptable all-weather shelter, a multi-sensory garden and a Spaces Inbetween gardening group – for a more earthed spirituality.

And a provisional award to:

  • ‘Art and Soul’ – a project to model incarnational mission among the artistic community, enabling exploration and engagement with Christian faith.

 We shall be posting progress reports on all the projects on the Doing Church Differently page over the coming months.