Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Regeneration is about restoring hope to communities that have suffered deterioration and decay through under investment. In Chelmsford Diocese there are many such areas – notably in the London Boroughs and the Thames Gateway but also in Colchester, Harwich and many other localities. 

In run-down areas there is a need to provide a new economic base to replace the one that has been lost and to provide residents with greater opportunities for employment. 

However, Regeneration is not just an urban issue. Village high streets and coastal towns are all needing to adapt to changes in society.

Linked with all the regeneration issues is the need to house the growing number of people in the Essex and East London, with the attendant issues of affordability and transport.

The word “regeneration” (which literally means “born again”) was actually associated with Christian Theology long before it was adopted by town planners. This is why churches have a particular responsibility to contribute a Christian perspective to the Regeneration industry. Restoring hope to communities, and in some places creating new communities, has to be the primary goal of Regeneration – building houses, schools and roads is only a catalyst.  Enabling people and communities to be born again is the primary mission of Jesus and should be the mission statement of all Regeneration Officers and certainly all church members. In Chelmsford Diocese, our experience is that people in the Regeneration business often share similar values to ourselves, because ‘community cohesion’ is an important part of their responsibility as well as delivering the built environment. This means that Christians can often develop positive dialogue and partnerships because of our common values.

For these reasons Regeneration should be a key mission activity relevant to large numbers of parishes and deaneries in urban and rural communities throughout Chelmsford Diocese.

The Diocesan Mission in Regeneration Adviser, Carol Richards, and her Deanery Advisers are helping us all to see and seize these mission opportunities which can transform the experience of generations of residents for decades to come.

As a Diocese we have a Christian presence in every community. We hope these pages on the Diocesan website will inspire church members to put their faith into action by engaging with people in areas of Regeneration to ensure local voices are heard, and to contribute a Christian message of hope as we work for the common good of the places where we live, work, play and pray.


The gallery has pictures of some of the regeneration projects and larger new housing areas from around the diocese.

Click here to view the gallery

Borough and District Map

Each of the Boroughs and Districts in Chelmsford Diocese has a Local Plan or Core Strategy with future plans for their area covering issues such as places to live, places to work, town centres, culture, community needs, transport, waste management, green belt, environmental management, design, heritage. Click here to go to a map showing all the boroughs and districts in the diocese. The map has external links to the future planning pages of each borough and district.

Click here to go to the Borough and District Map

Church in New Housing Areas

This is an external link to the Churches Together in England New Housing Areas page, where there are resources for the church and new housing, planning information and stories from projects around the country.

Click here to read more

Church Urban Fund Poverty Look Up Tool.

This is an external link to the Church Urban Fund Poverty Look Up Tool. Find out the level of poverty in your parish and how this compares with other parishes locally and nationally.

Click here to open


Click on the links below to download the information.

10 Top Tips for Outreach to New Housing Areas

How to do a Community Survey

Neighbourhood Planning

MPs in the area covered by Chelmsford Diocese 2015 - 2020

Political Make-up of Councils in the Diocese 2015

Local Plan Process and Community Consultation

Stories of Regeneration and New Housing areas around the Diocese

Click on the links below to download the story.

Lymington Project in Barking & Dagenham

The Marks Gate Story

Regeneration of Church Buildings in Chingford


Click on the links below to download the reports.

Large New Housing Areas in Chelmsford Diocese May 2016

What is a Community Land Trust?

Bishop Laurie Green on Estates and Regeneration

Public Art & Regeneration

Developments in Newham

Regeneration and Social Housing

The biggest regeneration projects

Housing Projections Report


January 2007 - Inspiring Communities

For more information:

Carol Richards


Carol Richards
Mission in
Regeneration Advisor

Email Carol Richards
Tel: 020 8534 8388

For more information please contact Carol Richards
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