Changing Market Towns


Significant investment for our market towns

The Changing Market Towns project has been awarded £2.13 million of Strategic Development Funding from the Church of England, which is being matched by the Diocese to bring the total investment over a five year period to £4.36 million.

The project  is focussed on the towns of: Wisbech, March, Chatteris, Littleport, Ramsey, Huntingdon, St Neots and Downham Market. The project is an expression of one of the Levers for Change within the Diocese of Ely's Ely 2025 Growth Strategy - Targeting Resources to Key Areas.

It focuses on enabling and sustaining church growth in small and medium-sized towns and will significantly enhance the Diocese's ability to realise its commitment to:

  • engage fully and courageously with the needs of our communities, locally and globally,
  • grow God's church by finding disciples and nurturing leaders, and
  • deepen our commitment to God through word, worship and prayer. It aims to work across whole towns, and not be constrained by some of the ancient parish boundaries.

The funding is enabling the Diocese to transform its engagement with Fenland town communities in the north of the region, bringing in new congregations and fresh expressions of church. It is supported by the organisational changes necessary to provide our church leaders with the freedom to focus on town ministry. It is also helping to pay for a network of community support workers with family, youth and other specialisms - leading the work of our churches in transforming their communities.

The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, said: "I am delighted that this major project has received support from the Strategic Development Fund. We hope that, through it, very many more people will be enabled to join a journey of faith and share in God’s work of transforming their communities. It is far-reaching, complex and ambitious and an expression of our faith in the power of God”.

Canon Matthew Bradbury, the Lead Minister in the Church of England's Wisbech Market Town Mission, added: “I am absolutely delighted with the news of the grant. After more than a year in the planning, it will be great to start advertising for the additional support workers who together with the members of our congregations will be striving to take the Gospel to the heart of the community".

Strategic Development Funding

  • The Diocese of Ely submitted its 'Changing Market Towns' application for Strategic Development Funding in June 2018, the application can be viewed by clicking here.

 Printable Version
Further Background on Market Towns
First published on: 21st December 2021
Further background on Market Towns, in which over a quarter of the people of the Diocese of Ely live in small towns. Outside the city of Cambridge, one third of the population live in communities of more than 7,000 people that are neither new towns nor part of the extended suburbs of Cambridge or Peterborough. For convenience, we refer to them as "market towns", since most have historically hosted a market.
Open Further Background on Market Towns

CMT Workers and the Bishop’s Officer (and CMT Leader) for Market Towns
First published on: 4th January 2022
Across the Fenland towns, the Changing Market Towns project has appointed workers with a brief to reach out to their communities in new ways. There are various Changing Market Towns Workers in place and this page tells you more.
Open CMT Workers and the Bishop’s Officer (and CMT Leader) for Market Towns

Market Towns Mid-Term Project Review
First published on: 21st December 2021
In 2021, the Changing Market Towns Project Board asked an external consult to undertake a mid-term review of the Project. John Truscott was appointed and in December (2021) the Project Board received his Report. This page summarises the key findings.
Open Market Towns Mid-Term Project Review

Changing Market Towns Prayer
First published on: 5th January 2022
Change is impossible without God. That is why prayer is vital. One important step is the Changing Market Towns prayer, written by Iain Osborne, Incumbent of Ramsey, and commended for use in every town:
Open Changing Market Towns Prayer

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We pray to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ

Ely Diocesan Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 142183, and a charity registered in England and Wales with Charity Number 245456. The registered address is: Diocesan Office, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4DX. All rights reserved.