CAPTION: St Andrew's Church in Paignton is the location for the proposed new church plant

Plans for New Torbay Church Plant Get Stage One Funding Approval

Posted: 26th January, 2021

Plans for a new resource church in Torbay have successfully passed Stage 1 of a bid for funding from the Church of England’s Strategic Development Fund.

The proposed ‘Bay Church’ would be based at St Andrew’s church in Paignton.

“We want to see many more people experience something of the life-changing and hopeful message of Christ” Bishop of Plymouth

A resource church works closely with the bishop to intentionally resource mission across an area by planting and revitalising churches, developing leaders and providing other resources for mission.

The aim is to help evangelise the area and transform society.

The Bay Church project is being led by the Diocese of Exeter in partnership with St Matthias, Plymouth, which was the first resource church in Devon and has seen major growth in the number of students and families attending.

Proposed Church Plant Leader Appointed

The aim of the church would be to add to the established work of other local churches in the area with a particular focus on engaging with, and supporting, young people and families.

Matt Bray has been appointed as the proposed Plant Leader and would lead the church if the Stage 2 funding application is successful.

Matt is currently Curate at Harbour Church in Portsmouth, which is itself a resource church plant from St Peter’s Brighton.

If the Stage 2 bid is approved, Matt and his family will move to Torbay this summer and begin preparations for launching the new church at the beginning of 2022.

Practical Support

The Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, said “We are very grateful to Matt and his family for committing to the Bay Church project when it is still at proposal stage.

“Torbay has a population of around 134,500 people with a large number of children and families.

“It is also the most deprived local authority area in the South West, with many people not benefitting from the connection to a local church.

“As a Diocese we want to offer practical support, but also see many more people experience something of the life-changing and hopeful message of Christ and become part of a supportive spiritual community.”

The Bay Church project team hope to hear if the Stage 2 Strategic Development Fund bid has been successful by the end of April.