In Canterbury Diocese, a pioneering café-style church in Margate is to be used as a blue print for new worshipping communities in the coastal towns of Herne Bay, Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey and St Peter Port in Guernsey. Further communities will be established in Sittingbourne and Maidstone, with two in Ashford – nine new communities in total.

The £1.4million project has been made possible thanks to a grant of £887,015 from the Church Commissioners, a national body that exist to support the work and mission of the Church of England.

“Ignite” is a church gathering which aims to reach marginalised and deprived communities. It was founded in May 2008 at St Paul’s parish in Cliftonville. Cliftonville is the most deprived parish in the South East of England and the 16th poorest in the country by the Church Urban Fund poverty indicator. Ignite offers an unconditional welcome to all who come; acceptance and love are the distilled essence of what it is about. The weekly meetings involve food and a magazine-style service based around short interactive activities and input exploring a Christian theme. It has since been replicated at St Christopher’s in Ramsgate, using start-up funding from the Church Commissioners. Revd Canon Patrick Ellisdon and his wife Debbie, who were core members of the Cliftonville team, were commissioned to oversee the project on 19 July, 2018.

To find out more, email Patrick Ellisdon or Debbie Ellisdon.

Check out the locations of our Kent-based Ignite projects on the map below.