With a decline in church attendance in Wales worse than any other British region, the Church in Wales has launched a £10million fund to address the problem of dwindling numbers. Anglican churches in Wales are closing at the rate of more than 10 a year. Between 1996 and 2016 the number of church members dropped from 91,247 to 45,759.
Church in Wales leaders hope the fund will help breathe new life into its churches. The church has announced that grants between £250,000 and £3m will be available for projects. It hopes this will help reach people of different ages not attending church, trigger new forms of church, and focus on people rather than buildings.
The project will will help the church “think big and change our culture,” said the Rt. Rev. Andy John, Bishop of Bangor and a member of the new fund’s management committee. “For too long, churches have been hampered in their outreach because the money simply hasn’t been there or it has all gone into propping up buildings.”
“We are putting our money where our mouth is,” said the Most Rev. John Davies, Archbishop of Wales. “We have long talked about growing the church, and now we want to invest in projects across the country to enable that to happen.”