Anglican Ministries' Campaign to Restore Hope in the Church

A major Anglican mission agency initiative entitled Restoring Hope in our Church was launched this Easter by a coalition of mission agencies in an effort to help Anglican churches all over England and Wales reassess their spiritual health and vocation.

The campaign is initiated by the Church Pastoral Aid Society in the wake of warnings of the diminishing sect. As one of the long-standing denominations in Christianity, it is a high time for Anglicans to refresh their vision and fulfil their primary calling to love God and to love their neighbours.

'Restoring Hope in our Church' sent out resource packs containing three booklets and a video to parochial clergy and key church leaders over Easter. The 25 minute video, is presented by Tom Wright, the distinguished theologian and newly appointed Bishop of Durham. It outlines the Archbishop of Canterbury's hopes for a 21st century Church as well as an honest assessment of the challenges facing the Church today.

'Restoring Hope in our Church' has been produced as a 'Gift to the Church from the Church' by six of the major Anglican mission agencies including Springboard, the Church Army, the Church Mission Society, the Church Pastoral Aid Society, the Mothers' Union and the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG).

The resource pack has been designed for use by all churches, regardless of size or setting, and support has been come from across the Anglican community. Jayne Ozanne, project manager for the Restoring Hope initiative and a member of the Archbishops' Council, claims that there is no coincidence that the sponsors of the projects are all from the Anglican community.

"In partnership with the dioceses and local parish churches, we believe we can gain great strength in working as a body and learn to serve all the church congregations in the most relevant way to meet the diverse needs of the nation."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams said, "I'm encouraged that this project has generated so much expectation and goodwill. I hope that parishes will respond to the opportunity it offers to consider what God is saying to us about his Church and how we might respond to God's love in a changing world."

In addition to the video the resource pack includes a guide to help facilitate small group discussion, and a directory to help connect people with local follow-up resources. Two Springboard booklets - 'Growing Healthy Churches' and 'Discerning Church Vocation' - offer suggestions about how churches can take these issues further.