Huge thanks to all those who took part in our online NECN Conference on 1st July, both as delegates and as presenters.
As with so many areas of current church activity, we learned a lot from the process and thought you might like to see some of the facts, figures, feedback and follow-up from the event.
What went well…
- around 200 delegates signed up for the Conference which we hosted on YouTube and Zoom. There have now been over 800 views of the uploaded content on our YouTube channel, which is a far higher reach than our physical Conferences. Feedback strongly indicates that, in future years, delegates would value there being both physical and online elements to the Conference. We’ll be taking that feedback on board for 2021 Conference planning.
- We asked what delegates found inspiring and the ‘stories from the front line’ given by our various presenters and shared in the breakout groups featured strongly in responses. 87% of respondents said they would like to see more regular estates stories ‘from the front line’, both in regular website and YouTube content. That’s followed closely by 69% of respondents wanting online seminars of relevance to estates ministry, and the same percentage wanting NECN to facilitate a monthly or quarterly online open forum for estates practitioners.
- Key estate ministry concerns were around a lack of local leaders, lack of confidence and lack of resources.
- Some suggested future Conference themes were Working with Secular Partners, Developing Youth Ministry and Leadership, Listening and Community Organising
Plus there were quotes, such as…
‘The lay leader speakers were articulate and inspiring and shared superb insight’
‘It confirmed for me that I have been doing all the right things in the right way, but I just need to be patient’
‘I was inspired by the evidence that progress has been made’
‘I believe your vision is definitely the way forward, to equip ALL people of God’s Church to go out into the community’
‘I found the numbers attending and the locations they represented inspiring. So often we feel alone on our ‘own estate’; seeing so many others in a similar situation and hearing their ‘Good News Stories’ is encouraging, uplifting and affirming of the fact that ‘with God anything is possible’.
‘I enjoyed seeing lots of different faces in their places and finding out about different ways leaders were emerging from estates’
And what we learned from the process…
- Though online access went very well generally, we could direct the breakout group and panel discussions more helpfully in future.
- It would be useful to give an overview of NECN and its work. 46% of respondents were at their first NECN Conference (which is great, welcome!) and some scene setting for them would have been helpful.
So, where now…?
NECN will continue to work to support to all those involved, or interested in involvement in, estates ministry nationally.
We sit on a number of key groups and will continue to advocate for practitioners on those areas of concern raised.
We are also seeking to work more closely with others engaged in urban ministry, to ensure the best possible fit of resources available to estate practitioners and churches.
We’ll be uploading more content, as it’s produced, around the development of local leadership. Our first open forum for estates practitioners will take place online in late September and will pick up themes from the Conference around identifying and nurturing local leaders.
We’ll be transferring content from our toolkit on Pinterest, over to the NECN website over the month of August.
We’ll be delivering the NECN London Conference on 8th October 2020 on the theme of Local Leadership, particularly from a BAME perspective; booking details available soon.
And we’d love you to be an on-going part of our work…
Please do join our mailing list by contacting NECN’s Support Officer, Christine on ChristineM@cofebirmingham.com Christine can also upload details of your estates vacancies, plus any resources you’d recommend to other practitioners, to our website
Please follow NECN on Facebook and Twitter (@NECNestates) and subscribe to our YouTube channel (NECN – National Estates Church Network)
And do get in touch with our Chair, Lynne Cullens, via firstname.lastname@example.org for any of the following
- if you have an estate story or stories to share; there is a real desire to see more regular online content.
- if you are able to give some time to support our Comms team at NECN, headed by trustee Robb Sutherland, in encouraging and supporting estate churches to tell their stories
- if you could be a part of an NECN email ‘Sounding Board’, giving feedback on draft resources, policies and developments
- any further thoughts and feedback on NECN’s work and areas for development
…and to those who responded to say they’d be happy to be contacted post-Conference but left no contact details, we hope you see this and hope to hear from you too!
With thanks from all at NECN for all you’re contributing to estates ministry, wherever you are and in whatever way. You have our continued prayers,
Sara, Robb, Emma, Dave and Lynne
The NECN Conference Team