The Diocese of Truro has successfully bid to be one of 12 pilot dioceses for a two-year programme aimed at establishing partnerships between schools and their local churches, with the aim of engaging children, young people, and their families.

Working across three locations in the diocese – Bishop Bronescombe C of E Primary in St Austell, Bodmin College, and Camborne Science and International Academy – and 40 nationally, FLOURISH will see adult and young leaders from schools and churches, receive training and development. This initiative will be led by the Church of England’s Education team in collaboration with Ministry Development colleagues.

The project will officially launch on July 2. The worshipping communities will begin their pilot phase in Autumn 2024, with research into the growth and effectiveness of this approach shared throughout the two-year pilot. Learning from this could lead to the potential expansion of this vision beyond the pilot group to other locations in the coming years.

The FLOURISH programme will be based on five core principles:

  • Young people’s voices are instinctively at the centre of all leadership decision-making and implementation.
  • Clearly articulated and shared purpose to grow a younger and more diverse community of Christian disciples.
  • Strategic leadership partnership between school/college and at least one church community (with appropriate long-term governance and resource commitment).
  • Intergenerational faith development experiences involving children and their families of all ages.
  • Worship that is fully integrated into the regular rhythms, practices, structures and resources of the school/college’s vision for flourishing of children and adults.

Ruth Marriott, Director for Change and Renewal, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to the national church for a FLOURISH pilot. We know there was a strong field of dioceses to choose from, and FLOURISH was oversubscribed, so we are very pleased to have been chosen.

“FLOURISH fits very well into our strategic plans and our work with children, young people, and families to create accessible spaces to worship and re-imagine what worship can look like locally. It will bring additional opportunities and finance to develop work with schools and churches adding to monies already identified for Children and Young People work and funds given directly to deaneries through the On the Way deanery plans. This is a very exciting moment.”

Lee Moscato, Diocesan Director of Education, said: “I am so excited for what the Flourish Network can bring. For me, thinking about the work of our Diocesan Board of Education, this sees us bring some of our strategic commitments to the fore:  This is most certainly a Powerful Partnership – a partnership of schools, community, home, and church and supported by the partnerships within our central teams in our diocese – education, change and renewal and ministry working together to make this happen.

“It’s also exciting to consider how this will speak into other strategic commitments including the ‘Worshipping Life of Schools’ and ‘Community, Care and Connectedness’ – looking at how we can have the right people, in the right place with the right core mission of serving our young people, their families and the community together.”

The three Diocese of Truro locations will share their insights at local, diocesan, and national levels to assess whether this innovative approach to worshipping communities in educational settings could be a viable opportunity for dioceses to consider in future strategic funding plans.