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In Conjunction with

Q: What kind of training input will I get?

Our content is based on five themes: vision and discernment; leading and teams; planting; discipling; growth and multiplication. Each gathering is based on one of those themes and online learning topics are categorized accordingly.


Alongside these themes, you will have a whole selection of things you can explore ranging from safeguarding, applying for grants, working with asylum seekers and many, many more.

Q: How much time does this require?

The journey of planting a small church, especially when someone is bi-vocational, can be very intense. We have designed the programme to be lightweight so you can do it alongside church. We anticipate that in each six months of the programme you will:

  1. attend the gathering (two days);
  2. carry out online learning (2- 6 hrs per month);
  3. have mentoring meetings (2 hours every 2 months);
  4. have a supervision meeting with the hub leader (1hr). There will be some additional onboarding activities that need to be done (e.g. safeguarding training, online induction event, etc.)
Q: What happens at the gatherings?

Gatherings involve worship, input, reflection and team time, during which teams reflect on the input and then start making plans for their new church community. It’s a time to meet with God, meet new people and ‘find your tribe’ and grow!

The gathering begins on a Friday evening and finishes around 9.30pm. We then  starts again for a full day on Saturday, finishing around 5pm, leaving your Sunday free.

Q: Are the gatherings in person or online?

We made the decision to hold the gatherings in person at Foxhill retreat centre, to make it accessible to as many as possible. We believe that the in-person experience for the gatherings is far better than an online experience as it encourages more interaction between teams and enables us to more readily facilitate conversations, share learning and build relationships.

Q: When are the gatherings?

The first gathering will take place in Autumn 2023 with the date to be confirmed shortly. the second gathering will then happen in Spring 2024 and follow this pattern over the 2 years.

Q: Do we have to arrange our own accommodation?

It is the responsibility of the teams to find their accommodation on the Friday night. 

Q: I don’t drive – how do I get there?

Chester has excellent road, rail and coach connections

Q: I can’t attend one of the gatherings. Is that a problem?

We ask that the planting teams try to attend all of the gatherings and we will provide all of the dates up front so that you can put them in your diary.

Q: How many people are in a team?

We anticipate that a team is usually between 2 and five people, but no fewer than two.

Q: My team is changing, do they have to commit to each gathering?

Most of your team should come to each gathering as this is a team-based experience. However, we recognise that teams can sometimes change with new people joining and others leaving.

Q: Do all my team need to fill out the application form?

No – only the lead planter needs to fill out the application form.

Q: I want to attend but I don’t have a team yet, will I still be accepted?

We recognise that people at the beginning of their planting journey may not have a team around them yet. We do though expect every planter to bring along at least one other person with them to the first gathering, and then to be building a team that will attend from gathering two onwards.

Q: Do I have to find my own mentor?

The hub team will partner with you to find an appropriate mentor. This will be someone we have confidence in and has fulfilled safer recruitment requirements. If you know someone that might be suited as your mentor, then do let us know.

Q: I started my church a year ago. Can I still apply?

Yes – we encourage people to apply if they are still in the early stages of church planting. We have designed the content to be applicable to both those who have already started as well as those yet to start.

Q: How do I know I am called to plant a church?

We can help you and your church discern this- support of praying friends and your church leader will be important. Get in touch and we will give you some material to help you.

Q: What is the difference between this and ministry training?

Ministry training is a deeper and longer journey into church leadership within major denominations. It normally includes a period of discernment, preparation, training and placement (often a number of years) before you get the opportunity to step into a leadership role. Illuminate is a lightweight approach to leadership training where you will be equipped with the basic skills you need to lead a new church community, under the oversight of a church leader.

Want a conversation about this?  Send us an email and we will arrange a chat


If you would like to read more about the Myriad initiative, visit their webpage here.

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Learn how to share the good news in innovative ways

At The Light College, all of our courses are designed to prepare our students to share the good news of Jesus in the most innovative and context-sensitive ways, while at the same time nurturing a deep devotional life and a good grounding in theology.

We are an approved academic partner of The University of Chester and all of our lecturers are university approved, with a wide range of experience and practical knowledge, passionate about their faith.

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