National Estate Churches Network

Growing Leaders on Urban Estates

The Church Army research ‘Growing Leaders on Urban Estates’ was published last month, it follows four urban leadership formation and development schemes that have been piloted since 2017 as well as Church Army’s own training and aims to find out how the church can identify, resource, and enable people who live on urban estates to be relationally effective in leadership, mission, and evangelism.

Growing Leaders on Urban Estates report front cover

Identifying, forming and training leaders from, and for, urban estates is a key need identified in the Church of England’s Estates Evangelism Task Group (EETG) strategy towards the goal of having a loving serving worshipping Christian Community on every significant social housing estate in the country by 2030.

Two dioceses, Blackburn and York, were granted national Strategic Development Funding for their M:Power and Stepping Up pilot urban leadership schemes. As a key partner of the EETG, NECN successfully applied to AllChurches (now Benefact) Trust to pilot the Birmingham Diocese Local Ministry Pathway and the London Estates Course (now know as ‘Become’) for an overlapping time period that also coincided with the Covid pandemic.

The EETG/NECN steering group were aware from the outset that the four schemes/pathways have some structural similarities but also reflect geographic contextual and vocational/discernment differences that it would be helpful to document and share with the wider church. Church Army Research were engaged to produce a report based on the learning at the end of 2022. Their report ‘Growing Leaders on Urban Estates’ was formally launched at a fringe event during the February 2023 General Synod that was hosted by NECN and attended by Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, two bishops, synod members and the project leads for M:Power and Stepping Up.

You can read more about the research and view the report online at