Eight Shifts for Churches

Since 2017 the Church of England has been working to adapt and change our culture of ‘doing church’ in order to release fresh imagination and energy for ‘being church’. Hundreds of church communities have been trying out various ways to achieve this, focusing on what makes a real difference in supporting an everyday faith, every day. This page offers eight 'shifts' - things churches can do to support everyday faith.

These shifts are not about adding new things, but more about doing the things we already do in a slightly different way.

The eight ideas here have proved helpful to churches of all sizes and traditions, and you can introduce these shifts to your church in a variety of ways. It helps, though, to begin a conversation first with the leaders and members of your worshipping community.

This involves a simple process of:

    Set time aside in a PCC discussion to ask some simple questions that will help you to find out more about where people spend their time Monday to Saturday (as well as Sunday).
    What works in one church may not work in another, but ideas have a way of sparking more ideas and leading you to find something that fits your congregation perfectly.
    Choose just one or two ideas to begin with, and make sure you take time to keep talking about the difference these might be making for people.

One of the big things that some leaders and many members of congregations have discovered is that they know much less about what’s going in people’s Monday to Saturday lives than they thought and have shown much less interest than they imagined.

So, ask people questions about where they spend their time during the week and then try to use these ideas to carry on a culture of curiosity. And don’t restrict the questions or conversations to adults. How can we support our children and young people in their challenges and opportunities? Equally, when new people come into church, rather than asking how they can help in the life of the church, why not find out first how we can get behind them?

Changing the conversations is one of the quickest ways to change the direction of a culture.

So, wherever you are on the journey – whether you’re looking for ways your church could open the doors of people’s imagination, or for ways of ensuring that the vision becomes a reality over the long haul – you’ll find something to help you. Of course, there are other ideas out there, so please share what you’ve been trying and learning with others in your community, diocese and more widely through the Ideas page and help to get our big conversation rolling.

Valuing | people's places of everyday faith

Gathering | diverse stories of everyday faith

Praying | encouraging intercessions for everyday faith

Forming | worship to mould everyday faith

Teaching | insights for everyday faith

Sending | commissioning everyday callings

Connecting | equipping each other's everyday faith

Displaying | the life of an everyday church


Summary | an overview of all eight shifts

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