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Vacancy: Ordained Lead Evangelist, North Sutton Centre of Mission and Vicar of St. Helier

Diocese of Southwark Logo

St Helier Estate is in Carshalton and Morden and straddles the London Boroughs of Sutton and Merton.  It is home to about 30000 people of whom about two thirds live in the parish of St Helier. It is a diverse estate with many young families as well as older residents. About half of the residents own their homes and approximately 38% of all households are social rented. The estate is currently recognised as having high levels of deprivation, unemployment, single parents, elderly people and people with long term disabling illness. 31% of all households with children are lone-parent households. Large parts of the parish are amongst the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country

Bishop Andrewes’ and St Peter’s are small but committed congregations.  We believe in the transforming love of God in Jesus, and we seek to share his love with our community, so people may have life in all its fullness. We are aiming to make “Jesus the heart of the community”.

Post Introduction

This role has been created in partnership between the Diocese of Southwark and Church Army to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the St Helier Estate and to transform the community in His name.  Centres of Mission are small teams of evangelists living and working with local people especially those disconnected from church, seeking to unlock God’s potential within them and to grow new worshipping communities amongst them.  The Lead Evangelist will lead the North Sutton Centre of Mission, recruiting a Pioneer Evangelist to work alongside them, and will also be the Vicar of St Helier.  Members of the two congregations are enthusiastic about this appointment and the Centre of Mission and ready to volunteer to support it.

Further information about the post can be found at https://www.cofepathways.org/members/modules/job/detail.php?record=2818

If you feel this is where God may be leading you a Job Description pack can be downloaded on  St Helier – Job Description and profile Final with pics

You can also download the Vision Statement for Southwark Diocese on Diocesan Vision Statement 2017-2025

Reflecting on your estates ministry

Estate churches are fragile communities, especially at the moment in the financial crisis brought on by COVID-19. With regulations and the pandemic situation changing day-by-day now might be a good time to pause and reflect.

How has your church community responded to the pandemic? What has this experience been like for you and for others? What has the experience revealed about inequalities and the structures of our society? Where is God in the experience? How might God be calling us to respond?

These questions are based on the structure of estates practitioner Laurie Green’s Pastoral Cycle:

  • Experience
  • Explore
  • Reflect
  • Respond

You can hear Laurie Green explain more about the process of getting stuck in and doing theology by clicking on the highlighted words above. Doing theological reflection always starts from experience.

A similar cycle of reflection, Gibbs Reflective Cycle, is explained in the video below by a German teacher who reflects on her experience of teaching German in a Spanish school. The starting point is grounded in experience, reflecting upon it, analysing it from different perspectives and coming up with a plan of action. This in turn leads to a new experience, further exploration, further analysis and refining the action plan.

An important point to note is that reflecting on experience involves listening to others as well as oneself, not diving straight into action. Another point to remember is to see the gifts that the people in your community already have, not just the difficulties that your community has to live with.

Stories from Strategic Development Fund projects

Strategic Development Fund

The Strategic Development Unit are hosting a series of interviews on Zoom with practitioners from some of the Strategic Development Funding projects to share some of the stories of those involved. (Agi is also circulating details via Mission Network News.)

The first interview was held last Thursday 17 September. My colleague Tom Conway talked to Rob Fowler and Russel Baylis about their experiences of leading and supporting a church plant in Whitleigh, in Plymouth, as part of the outer estates planting SDF programme in Exeter diocese. If you were unable to join us for this interview, it is now available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GcnT-1X5xk

Later in the series, we will be featuring projects in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham dioceses.

A full list of future interviews, with the links to enable you to register live to watch the webinars (at which there will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions), is below.

Thursday 8 October at 12.30pm  

This webinar will feature Manchester diocese’s project to establish small church plants in areas where there have been very low levels of engagement with the Church.

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/5416003570133/WN_rrquTRwwQM-8d4MiIHHDkA

Thursday 15 October at 12.30pm

Tim Montgomery will talk about Liverpool diocese’s project to turn around mission and financial strength in Wigan.   https://zoom.us/webinar/register/6816003579899/WN_gFDrqFeISHCUEH7HyEWF7Q

Thursday 22 October at 12.30pm

Liz Dumain will talk about building intergenerational worship in Birmingham diocese

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/8216003583738/WN_8RRPRV6mTFGNHHve_dQhSw

All of these interviews will be recorded and available for you to watch at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMwCFR_zx1Lsx1pp5ffRM4A .

GRA:CE Project Launch (online)

GRA:CE Project

At a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, what is the future for the national church? How should it respond to the intensifying social, material, and spiritual needs of the people it exists to serve? How has it adapted to declining levels of religious affiliation?

Drawing on three years of extensive research across the country, the GRA:CE Project – a partnership between Theos, Church Urban Fund, and the Church of England – seeks to address these core issues from a study of the relationship between church growth, discipleship and social action in the Church of England. It considers how the Church’s service to its local communities can enrich congregations, both numerically and in their discipleship. It does this through the distillation of over 300 interviews with clergy, lay people, and community members from over 60 communities across every Anglican diocese in England, as well as new analysis of national statistical data.

Uncovering how Anglican churches of all sizes, contexts, and traditions integrate social action and discipleship in creative and transformative ways, the GRA:CE Project provides critical insights into how churches can meaningfully engage with the needs of their communities, build strong relationships, and see their congregations grow both numerically and spiritually.

Join the GRA:CE Project for the launch of the research findings and recommendations, engage with expert panelists, and participate in this important conversation by clicking here.

Confirmed panelists are:

Dr. Grace Davie: Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Exeter and author of Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without belonging

Rev Graham Hunter: vicar at St. John’s Hoxton

Rt Revd Philip North: Bishop of Burnley

Hannah Rich: Theos researcher and author of the report

Richard Springer: Rector at St George-in-the-East, Director of the Urban Leadership School at the Centre for Theology and Community, and Dean of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Ministry for the Stepney Area.

The event will held on Zoom, and there will be opportunity for audience Q&A. Information on how to access the Zoom event will be sent upon registration

The GRA:CE Project has been made possible by the generosity of the Sir Halley Stewart Trust and the Hartham Church Charitable Trust. It is an exciting three-year research programme that is exploring the relationship between social action, discipleship and church growth. To learn more visit https://cuf.org.uk/what-we-do/the-grace-project

Fundraising support for churches during COVID-19 and beyond

Ecclesiastical Insurance

During these difficult times Ecclesiastical Insurance  in collaboration with fundraising specialists, the Philanthropy Company, have put together really helpful advice and support resources to help you to fundraise for your church community.

Top tips

First of all there is a checklist of top tips for how to begin fundraising. A link to this page can be found here. You will also find a link to various databases of funders and emergency grant funders on that page. There is a search function which could help you to identify a potential funder. Some databases are free and others are available if you pay a subscription.

Build your case

Secondly, once you have decided who you are going to apply to for funding you will need to build a strong case in your application form. This will include:

  • a strong vision of what you want to achieve
  • a breakdown of costs
  • a plan of how you are going to monitor and evaluate the impact of your project.

A more comprehensive checklist can be found be found on https://www.ecclesiastical.com/church/fundraising/application-checklist/

There is also a handy guidance sheet that you can use to help you to write your case if you are new to fundraising.

Outputs and outcomes – what’s the difference?

Finally, you will need to have a clear understanding on some of the key terms used by funders when you apply and when you report back on how the funds have helped your target group. This includes understanding the difference between an output ( the resources used by your church to help others e.g. a new youth worker) and an outcome ( e.g. young people are less isolated). Ecclesiastical Insurance explain this brilliantly on https://www.ecclesiastical.com/church/fundraising/outputs-outcomes/

A free webinar which lasts for around 30 minutes which goes over these points can be viewed on https://www.ecclesiastical.com/church/fundraising/fundraising-webinar/

A final word…

Funders like to see collaboration and partnership. Before you get going on your fundraising make sure that no one else is already doing something similar in your area. Or, if you come across other organisations working with a similar group of people, can you offer something different to that fills a gap? For example, if you want to reduce the isolation of older people can you work in local partnership with other denominations or organisations to complement each other’s work?

 

 

Prayer from the Estates

Prayer for NECN

This beautiful prayer has been written by Revd Sophie Cowan, as she has reflected on the sense of constant waiting whilst living on and ministering on estates. She has also journeyed alongside people who have experienced poverty in other contexts.

The prayer speaks of the void when people don’t stick around, and the disappointment when they do stay but fail to notice how much people living on estates have to offer the wider church, not least the prophetic voice.

God of course fills those gaps, and this we can witness to.

The image has been designed by Xu Haiwei on Unsplash.

**STOP PRESS – New Jesus Shaped People Resource**

Jesus Shaped People logo

Despite our technology, wealth, and 21st Century ‘know how’ we’ve been humbled by a virus, like an elite Premier League Football Club knocked out of the FA Cup by a team no one has heard of.

How did this happen, how can we get rid of it, when will it end, how is it going to affect my future are legitimate questions.

At Jesus Shaped People we felt there is another important question: What is God saying to the churches?

This ‘liminal space’ is a teaching moment, the spectre of suffering, death, economic meltdown, loss, and acute anxiety has at least temporarily arrested our attention and captured collective imagination. To try and help churches we have created a resource that is not an answer, but rather a tool to gather around this question; ‘What is God saying to the Churches?

 ‘Stay Alert to the Spirit’ (SATS) is a 7 week resource that includes material/ideas for worship, small groups, sermons, and intergenerational worship and teaching. It can be used in buildings or on line and offered free of charge.

For further info contact: Brendan Bassett   07470136193 brendan@jesusshapedpeople.net

Making Space for All God’s Children – a reflection by Joe Hasler

Parish Priest
Joe Hasler an estate church priest

 

Joe Hasler is a priest and former community worker who has lived and worked on estates for many years. He blogs about his experience and has created resources on his website http://www.joehasler.co.uk/

Joe has written a reflection  paper to indicate his desire to be engaged in a social evangelisation, alongside his desire for a prayerful and contemplative life.

He also reflects on the way COVID-19 has shaped church communities, discipleship and leadership.

The paper is entitled ‘Making Space for all God’s Children’.

If you would like to read Joe’s thoughts the link is:

http://www.joehasler.co.uk/?page_id=272

Welcome to MITE – Mission in the Edges

Diocese of Guildford Logo

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.’

Widow's mite

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  kirsten.rs@btinternet.com

Invitation to The Gospel, Redemption and Shame on-line conference

Shame

The Transforming Shame Network facilitated by Catherine Matlock invites you to an on-line conference on Wednesday 14 October 9.30am-12.30pm to explore transformation of shame within the Christian faith. 

The morning is for church leaders, pioneers and those engaged in mission to explore the issue of shame theologically and missionally. It will be both an introduction to the concept of shame in faith contexts, as well as an opportunity for deeper learning and sharing for those already aware of the impact of this issue.

They have a wonderful group of speakers, offering us a range of perspectives, including shame within the bible, mission, sexuality and race, with space for questions and discussion. There will also be creative sessions, for example Harry Baker, a much loved slam poet.

Please find out more details and register using the link below:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeI2Gi_to5zDV6XNtbF3q_V46e6LSAMibUkDEO8iaLD9CszDQ/viewform