WOW Grants Encourage New Vision-Centred Ministries

Posted April 10, 2018

Five years ago, synod council approved an innovative grant program that is designed to support new ministry initiatives or initiatives that deepen or broaden the scope of current ministries. The goal of the program is to provide the financial resources to launch transformational, creative, innovative and inspiring ministries that are both missional and vision-centred.

Since its inception, the Walking on Water (WOW) Grants Discernment team has received more than 65 applications from parishes and related ministries, in all regions of the diocese. Each year the team meets to review and ultimately hear pitches from applicants about why their dream for ministry should receive funds.

One of this year's recipients was Holy Trinity, Welland whose dream for ministry involved renovating their antiquated kitchen facilities to enable them to better serve meals to the hundreds of people who use their food and hygiene bank, while also expanding their hospitality ministry to include food delivery to vulnerable people in their community.  Warden John Wellwood says that receiving their WOW Grant generated “a new level of enthusiasm within our Church members and enabled conversations about additional opportunities to serve our community at large.”

The WOW grants program is supported by the annual growth of funds from the sale of several church properties and set aside for this purpose. While applicants can apply for up to $20,000, the average grant awarded is closer to $7500. 

At a critical moment in their history, St. Matthew’s House in Hamilton received funds to allow them to complete a strategic plan for their upcoming annual general meeting in June. “With these funds we have been able to engage our community, our staff and most importantly those who use our services, to help inform our board on the direction we need to take in the years ahead,” said Barbara Busing, board chair and St. James, Dundas parishioner. “Thanks to the WOW grant we believe that we have a clearer future ahead after listening to advice from many people who know and love St. Matthew’s House as we do.”

The vast majority of applications are funded to some degree as the intention of the program is to build up the ministry of the diocese. In 2018, the WOW Grants team approved ten funding proposals totaling just over $90,000.

The next call for applications is expected to be announced in the fall of 2018.


List of 2018 WOW-funded Projects

Canterbury Hills Camp

To expand the Adventure Camp program by assisting with the purchase of canoes, equipment and transitional program funding.


St. James, Fergus

To transforming the parish’s existing Butterfly Garden into a community hub through enhanced outreach and hospitality.


Church of the Resurrection, Hamilton

To offer sewing classes, in partnership with HARRRP, that will support newcomers to build community, practice English and connect with local social services.


St. Matthews House

To develop a strategic plan to guide the revitalization of the organization after the loss of a major program 


The Bridge, Hamilton

To develop a new home care program to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst men recently released from incarceration.


Christ Church, McNab

To add a new Latino worship service and supports for migrant farm workers in the general vicinity of the parish.


Anglican Chinese Ministry in Oakville

To foster relationships with Mandarin-speaking residents of Oakville and area churches through the deployment of a missioner.


St. James & St. Brendan, Port Colborne

To restore water service and create a distribution system at the community space envisioned by the parish’s Bless the City project.


St. George’s, St. Catharines

To install a permanent sound system in a newly renovated worship space for the Advent Café community.


Holy Trinity, Welland

To renovate and upgrade the parish kitchen so that their outreach ministry can expand to meet pressing community needs.