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St Cuthbert’s Darlington awarded £2 million SDF grant

We are pleased to announce that St Cuthbert’s Church in Darlington in the Diocese of Durham has received a major boost to support its vision of revitalising St Cuthbert’s into an open, accessible, and dynamic hub of worship, culture and mission.

St Cuthbert’s has been given a £2 million grant from the Church of England’s Strategic Development Fund as a Resourcing Church. This will enable St Cuthbert’s to:

  • Transform the church building into a space fit for worship, mission and cultural activities in the 21st Century.
  • Serve Darlington Town Centre through the appointment of a missional chaplain.
  • Develop new services and new congregations which will gather throughout the week so that St Cuthbert’s can offer church ‘anytime anywhere’ in a variety of styles that reflects our modern world of choice and diversity.
  • Offer hospitality, spirituality and heritage all at the same time to the people of Darlington through a café inside the church, open every day.
  • Create a network of people of all ages exploring and growing in faith – through music, sharing stories and ministries of compassion.
  • Become a musical centre of excellence and a community venue of choice.

As well as funding for the transformation of the building, the grant will enable us to employ a team of people to develop these new ministries. This will include a Pioneer Priest/missional chaplain, a Community Music Director and a skilled leader dedicated to developing ground-breaking work with young people and young adults.


In due course, as a Resourcing Church, St Cuthbert’s will – having revitalised itself – work alongside surrounding churches in Darlington Deanery, supporting them in similarly putting mission at the heart of church life and ensuring we as the Church are all telling the story of Jesus in the years to come. 


Vicar of St Cuthbert’s, the Revd James Harvey says: “Over the past year we have worked hard at St Cuthbert’s to discern a vision of developing new congregations, serving others through ministries of compassion, utilising our building and making the church sustainable – it is very exciting now to start making that vision come a few steps closer.”


The funding will also support the piloting of ‘Cultivate’, a planting strategy for the Diocese which aims to establish 100 new Christian communities by 2029, focussed on reaching the 99% of people who are not yet in church. The pilot programme, due to be launched more widely in 2023, is currently engaging five churches in a process of capacity building and culture-change in order to establish church plants that are developing health, growing vision, raising leaders and multiplying communities.

First published on: 24th October 2022
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