How does a church come out of lockdown?


It’s a question many are grappling with around the world. It feels like it has been a long winter and it has been easy to slip into hibernation and wait for the world to change. Well, we at Christ Church Manchester have been praying, plotting and scheming. 


Just to back track a little, CCM is a multisite church in the United Kingdom with five Sunday services in four locations. We began this multisite journey back in the darkness of 2009 by planting a new site in Fallowfield, an area in our city, out of a church of 50 people in a different area called Gorton. It’s been quite a story of Gods faithfulness and hard graft!


Anyways, last summer Colin Baron felt God push him to plant six more sites and to try to plant them all at the same time. Previously we have done one at a time because we couldn’t quite imagine stretching ourselves and our resources to any more than that! Colin started to talk to the team about what he believed and needless to say, we were all immediately filled with vision and confidence…


OK….that’s not even slightly true.


Actually, we looked at each other, rolled our eyes and pointed out all the problems with this plan! But Colin kept talking, we all kept praying and eventually faith began to grow. 


Lockdown has been rubbish. Absolute garbage. None of us in leadership at CCM wanted to come out of lockdown limping or looking backwards and dwelling on how difficult it had been. We wanted to sprint out of lockdown, with dreams, faith and plan for church planting and kingdom advance. We prayed more, talked loads and have ended up with six embryonic site plants. Some are further ahead than others, some have some actual people in and some exist only in our prayers – but it’s a start!


In Manchester we want to start sites in the Northern Quarter (central Manchester), Reddish (on the border on Manchester and Stockport), and Denton (on the Motorway ring road). We also want to plant Hindi speaking and Spanish speaking groups. We also want to get plant into Munich. We are working closely with Andrey Bondarenko and a church in Krakow of Russian speaking Ukrainians. Now, if I am being completely honest this is a bit of a flyer, but I think Gods in it. And if He’s in it, we’ve got to have a go, right?


So what’s our next step? 


Simple really. Prayer. Lots of it. We have prayer meetings for each of these sites. You can see them all here. We’d absolutely love it if the Catalyst family would pray for us. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to pray with us ( 

By Tim Simmonds

tim simmonds

Tim is on the leadership team of Christ Church Manchester and has been involved in planting a number of sites in Manchester. He also works with a group of churches in Eastern and Central Europe helping them to plant churches and develop multisite churches.