Helping people to explore their faith

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Helping people to explore their faith

Published: 05 July 2022
£80,000 funding from Benefact Trust is supporting ‘Explore’ - a project giving churches across the country the resources they need to support spiritual exploration within their communities.
A key part of the ministry of churches, large and small, involves serving not only congregations but also the wider community. Research shows that many people of all backgrounds are interested in spiritual exploration and that levels of need and openness have increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
This new-found openness to spirituality has meant that more people are keen to engage with the church, but this also poses a challenge for staff and volunteers already stretched to their limits. 
 
The Explore project is a partnership between the Association of English Cathedrals, the Church of England Church Buildings Division and Mission teams, the National Churches Trust, and the Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture at the University of York. It offers a simple way to provide mission and pastoral resources, as well as pathways to further exploration via a dedicated website.
 
With the support of our funding, the partnership has developed prayer cards, based on topics related to their research. The cards focus on ideas such as loneliness, grief, change, anxiety, hurt and thankfulness – all feelings that have been exacerbated by Covid-19.
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Examples of prayer cards
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The Explore team has also developed booklets which focus on big questions from a Christian point of view, such as ‘Is God real?’, ‘Am I good enough for God?’ and ‘Why do so many bad things happen?’.
 
The Explore website goes into even more detail, giving visitors the chance to explore many different areas of Christianity, from exploring the wider aspect of faith to exploring the bible and prayer. 
 
The resources and website give people the opportunity to explore their faith in depth, in easily accessible formats. It also gives churches the support and resources they need to welcome many more people.
 
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “The open doors of our buildings witness to the open doors of God’s heart. When any person comes through our doors, we have an opportunity to witness to their creator, redeemer and sustainer who longs to connect with them. The superbly written and beautifully produced Explore resources enable this connection. They are simple, accessible and engaging. My hope is they are made available in church buildings across the land. My prayer is the Holy Spirit draws many to Christ through them, and the beautiful, transforming work of God brings grace and peace to all those who engage with them.”
 
If you’re interested in ordering prayer cards and booklets for your church, visit https://www.cpo.org.uk/explore-resources or get in contact with Professor Dee Dyas (dee.dyas@york.ac.uk) for larger quantities. 

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