What is MITE?
MITE stands for Mission In The Edges – it is a deliberate play on the story of the Widows mite from Luke’s Gospel:
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’
We are a group of Clergy in the diocese of Guildford who meet together 3-4 times a year to share the joys and sorrows of working in and with more deprived communities in the diocese around Surrey and Hampshire.
Sometimes it may feel like we have little to offer and yet we have a huge contribution to make to the life of the diocese – in presence and prophetically reminding that we must take the poor seriously.
We talk about all kinds of topics that affect us from encouraging vocations and making diocesan training more accessible to people with differing levels of education, to what works in services when you have no one to help or do any children’s work and what version of the bible is best understood. How to be resourceful with little.
We share resources that we find useful and helpful and try to learn from each other what things make a difference in our ministries. We connect with different diocesan departments and try to keep the hidden poor in Surrey and Hampshire visible and heard.
We celebrate together the joys of church where you never quite know what the day will bring and the frustration at the systems and injustices that keep people in poverty. We encourage each other to keep on going because our successes and triumphs can be fragile – hard won and easily lost.
One key thing we have been working on after our diocesan conference with Bishop Phillip North, is trying to find ways to enable wealthier churches to join in with us in ways that will enrich both parties – and to this end we hope that we will be able to feed some of this work – a manifesto if you like into the diocese- born out of our experience.
We are also Part of the National Estate Churches Network. https://estatechurches.org/
If your parish covers an area that has 500 units of social housing and we can help you in any way please do get in touch.
Our Diocesan contact is Danny Wignall in the PDE dept. Danny.Wignall@cofeguildford.org.uk
Or Kirsten Rosslyn-Smith Vicar St Peter’s Shared Church firstname.lastname@example.org