In a continued effort to invest in local missions across the country, the Church of England has awarded £13 million to help churches invest in children and families.

The Diocese of Guildford is the latest awardee, with £3.27 million going towards a nine-year project to reach secondary school aged Children.

The programme’s first phase will place youth ministers in three Church of England secondary schools and one state secondary school, recruit and train ten church-based apprentice youth ministers and four existing youth ministers.

The programme will also recruit a team to lead high-quality youth worship gatherings across the diocese.

A similar plan has been successful in the Diocese of Manchester; they invested £2.77 into mission in Bolton.

So far, they have engaged with more than 8,000 children and 400 adults through various activities – such as toddler groups and art classes.

Speaking to Premier NexGenPro, John Spence, the outgoing chair of the Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board, said: “I think anyone that comes to the Church of England would know why we have to too many situations, certainly, where we have ageing congregations.

“We have some wonderful, vibrant young congregations…but too often, we have only had offerings that appeal to older people.

“If we don’t engage with young people, then we will be dead.

“What’s more - the best time that people can come to know Jesus is when the young. Get into the habit of knowing that he’s by our side every step of the way along our Christian journey.”