Welcome to this web area about how the churches in England, local, regional and national, are responding to the new housing agenda.

The CTE New Housing Areas (NHA) group exists to help churches in England understand and engage effectively with the challenge of new housing areas. It was set up by the Enabling Group of Churches Together in England on behalf of the Member Churches.

The Group is currently chaired by Penny Marsh (Baptist pioneer in Ebbsfleet and New Housing Hub co-founder) and has members from the URC, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist and Salvation Army churches.

The members of the group are those representatives of Member Churches who are recognised as having a role or experience in the area of new housing. Other members represent significant networks or interests in the field of new housing. The group meets three times a year, always with a site visit, and generally once a year as a wider gathering of pioneer ministers, community chaplains, network resource officers/advisors etc. 

Our aims are to:

  • Facilitate networks among those involved in planning for new communities
  • Share good practice, especially for local church leaders
  • Help churches and churches together groups engage in the challenge and take the opportunities
  • Disseminate information which may help in the local mission of the church.

Outreach through:

  • Presence/Church Planting/New Ways of Being Church/Emerging Church.
  • Education and church schools.
  • Christian involvement in community centres, networks and groups.
  • Dynamic models of partnership at every level and in every discussion.   
  • Encouraging new opportunities with church land and property; green space etc. 

Research and learning via:

  • Information for understanding and engaging with the planning process.
  • Equipping church (local and denominational) thinking about the NHA issues.
  • Being a hub of information, personnel and web based, developing resources and seeking information about where the major NHAs will be.
  • Describing methods of local partnership (between churches, council etc).
  • Telling reflective stories (through this website and other routes) of both good and bad practice, success and failure, lessons which have been learnt. 

Churches adding value to the new community by:

  • Creating holistic vibrant community, especially in NHA’s where no previous community, aiming to make it sustainable.
  • Providing a ‘Holy Space’ for new building developments.
  • ‘Engaging partnerships’ which embrace housing, planning, economic, environmental and social where relevant.
  • Reflecting theologically in the context of the new housing areas.

The CTE NHA group shares experience of what is happening in the wider church, cultural and political context.

Whether complete new towns or add on estates, nearly all parts of England are being presented with the challenge and opportunity of new housing areas (NHAs). Here we provide stories and resources to encourage and equip. 

Here, Revd Simon Taylor, former chair (2005-2020), introduces the group, the agenda, and the web area: