Stage One: Explore

Welcome to the journey of exploring everyday faith!

Becoming an Everyday Church is a three-stage journey. The first of these stages is about exploring: giving ourselves an opportunity to start thinking about faith in all aspects of our lives.

Exploring is about starting conversations around faith. Over the past few years, we have heard from many churches, worshipping communities and dioceses who have been supporting faith in everyday life. The pattern that has emerged is the importance of conversations: the first step is to get the conversation going. Sometimes this can seem intimidating, even in a church setting, when we aren’t sure how the other person will respond. In a way, it’s about building the confidence that many of us lack in speaking about our faith.

To help on this journey of starting conversations, there are two resources which have been produced and trialled by dioceses: Canterbury’s Changing Lives Conversations and Bath and Wells’ Everyday Questions. Both resources are available for download via the links below, which also include more detailed information:

Changing Lives Conversations

Everyday Questions

How long does it take?

We anticipate that Stage 1 will last around six months, though this will vary in individual contexts. Starting conversations may be resource-light, but it's also change-heavy, and experience suggests that it will be met with resistance in some quarters - though this is not impossible to overcome! Stage 2 will be available on the Church Support Hub when you are ready, but we would encourage each community to take this journey at a pace that suits your individual circumstances. For some, that may be a matter of months; for others, a year might be more appropriate.

As you progress on the everyday church journey, we're interested to hear how things are going - good and bad - and any feedback you have along the way. You can send this to our Inspiring Everyday Faith team. Your feedback is crucial to shape how this is made available to parishes and worshipping communities across the country.

Along with the resources available for download, the Everyday Church channel provides ideas from other parishes that have worked well. If your church has tried something or you have an idea, share it here.

How will I know when I'm ready to move to the next stage?

As well as starting these conversations, it’s important to notice change. Although some may find change easy, most will find it more challenging. We suggest a pattern to noticing change that follows:

  1. Imagine. What changes would you like to see, hope to see, dream of seeing!? Have you noticed any changes in people’s conversations, levels of trust and openness, more outward reflection on their faith journey?
  2. Identify. What have you seen or heard that is different in what – or who – people are praying for? How do people respond to the questions initially? How do they respond after a month, or longer?
  3. Insights. What does this show you about the ways in which your culture is changing? What have you learnt works well in your context to begin conversations about everyday faith? What needs to be done next, or to help strengthen this?

Ask these questions before you start using the questions. Check in again after a couple of months, and again at six months. If you're noticing the changes you want to see - great! You're ready for Stage Two. If you're not yet seeing these changes, or you're just starting to see some, don't worry - every church (and every individual) is in a different place on their spiritual journey. The 'How to' guide for the Changing Lives Conversations has suggestions about how and where you can try these questions. And, above all, don't forget to pray!