Wakefield churches receive £100 boost for outreach

The Bishop of Wakefield is giving £100 to every church in his diocese to help them start projects serving their local communities.

The generous donations are inspired by the parable of the talents and coincide with the Right Reverend Stephen Platten's 10th anniversary as Bishop of Wakefield.

A particular source of inspiration was the Parable of the Talents initiative in Kirkheaton Parish, where the rector gave each parishioner £10 as seed capital to spend on one of their own ideas contributing towards the church's overall fundraising.

"I have been encouraged by how people really connected with the Parable of the Talents. People were doing all sorts of clever things, dog walking, bird boxes, chocolate truffles, it really inspired people," the bishop said.

"I want to encourage each church to look outward into their communities and use this money to provide something that will touch and connect with those around them for some time to come," he said.

Churches will receive the funds at a celebratory 10th anniversary service at Wakefield Cathedral on 22 September.

They will be free to decide how the money is spent but the project should reach as many people as possible and it must also be recorded in pictures for everyone to share during 2014 to tie in with the nationwide HOPE 2014 mission initiative.

The Bishop of Pontefract and Suffragan Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Reverend Tony Robinson welcomed the fresh injection of funds for grassroots projects.

"This initiative speaks right to the heart of our faith and what it is to love our neighbour," he said. "Many people in our diocese are struggling with the effects of the present financial situation and the swathing cuts in benefits and public services. I hope this will be a small contribution to community action at a local level."