I came back from my break to Lisbon and went into run our regular Place of Welcome on the first Monday in March. The conversation was about one thing – Coronavirus. It soon became apparent a closure was on its way. Well, that’s it then. Ill get laid off I thought. How wrong I was.
Within 4 weeks I was getting to grips with Zoom and running our Places of Welcome as Spaces of Welcome – an online coffee morning. Locally, emergency funding became available and so I started to apply for 6 months’ worth of “doing things differently” – a better laptop that could cope with Zoom, Teams etc, project funding to send people tea, coffee and biscuits. We changed our processes for running our Foodbank and weekly community grocery scheme with Bread and Butter Thing. Many of our regular volunteers were shielding or coping with children being at home so we recruited new volunteers from the local authority neighbourhood team and staff furloughed from Manchester Airport.
We changed our open access holiday breakfast clubs so that we were able to provide a bag of groceries and an activity pack to families. In the first school holiday we supported 40 families. We are about to prepare our Easter packs and we will reach 150 families.
We have core funding to December 2022
Tracey Rawlins CDW March 2021
Look out for NECN in conversation with Tracey coming soon on You Tube
To serve the churches of St Peter, Glascote Heath and
St Martin in the Delph.
Is God calling you to be our Team Vicar?
Do you have a heart for urban ministry, spirit led worship
and community outreach?
The Churches are situated on the eastern edge of the historic
town of Tamworth, on the fringes of the West Midlands.
They are both evangelical estate churches, located in well
designed multipurpose buildings.
This is an exciting opportunity to take forward the mission
of the church, to build bridges and work with the
We are looking for a Vicar who:
• Is a warm hearted and compassionate leader able to
relate to all people
• Is passionate about community outreach
• Will preach and teach in ways that connect the doctrines
of the Bible and the church to the current issues facing
our society today.
The churches take clergy well-being seriously and support
opportunities for personal development, spiritual growth,
and a good work-life balance. This is a full-time, stipendiary post.
Check out the Proximity website for more information about their packed programme to help mobilise and equip you and your team for urban mission.
Alongside keynote speakers Bob Ekblad, Rachel Gardner, Josh Smedley, Sam Ward, Andy Hawthorne and Sarah Small, there’ll also be testimonies from Eden teams, interviews with Eden members and leaders and worshipping together.
Plus they’ve got a bunch of TED style talks focussing on key topics such as:
Working across barriers to reach communities
Church planting in urban communities
Mental health and wellbeing
Working in developing nations
Climate and Community
Creatively engaging with your community
Raising up local leaders
There will also be an opportunity to join in a Q&A session with our keynote speakers.
All the sessions will be shown on our Facebook and Youtube pages so please keep an eye on these for regular updates/promo material. If you can share/like any of our posts that would be much appreciated.
Join Archbishop Stephen Cottrell and panel members to find out more about the emerging vision and strategic priorities for the Church for the next decade.
This is the second in a series of webinars that will explore what it means to be a church that is centred on Jesus Christ and shaped by Jesus Christ – a church that is simpler, humbler, bolder.
In this session, we will be focussing on the strategic priority to be a church where the mixed ecology of many forms of church is the norm. We will be using questions raised in the first of our webinars in this series to inform the content of this session.
As well as hearing from the panel, there will be time for your questions and to find out what the vision and in particular this strategic priority means for you, your church, or diocese.
a church of missionary disciples
a church which is younger and more diverse
a church where the mixed ecology of many forms of church are the norm.
We want to engage with as many people as possible through these webinars. Please forward this invitation to your church networks and colleagues.
“Our vision for being a Jesus Christ centred and Jesus Christ shaped Church will help us focus on what truly matters: the Christ like life of prayer; our worship and our service; the proclamation of God’s good purposes for the world; and how all this is fed and nurtured by word and sacrament, and by our own humble acknowledgment of our need of God’s grace, so that, together, we can build a better, more hopeful future.”
Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell – General Synod, February 2021
Central to my faith journey is being the person God has created me to be. This might sound incredibly selfish. What about serving others, fighting injustice, self-sacrifice and so on?
When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) I don’t think he was asking us to force anyone to become a Christian. I think he was modelling how to be yourself and by being yourself and not some caricature, you will attract others to following Jesus. As Catherine of Siena once said,
“Be who you were meant to be and you will set the whole world on fire.”
It’s about listening to God and listening to others as well as being heard. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “The first service of love one owes to others is listening to them.” The first word of the greatest commandment in Deut 6:4 is שְׁמוֹעַ “Shema” which means “Listen!” “Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD God is one.” And following on from that is the command to “Love your neighbour.”
I started my working life teaching RE and taught for 13 years. Although I enjoyed teaching, most of the time, I felt deeply unhappy and restless. One Lent I decided to take up exercise. A friend of mine persuaded me to try karate. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to hit people, but I gave it a go and found that I really enjoyed it! The karate gave me a new lease of life and energy and helped me to reconnect a part of myself that I suppressed. Eventually I found the courage to leave the security of teaching, the year I achieved my first brown belt grade.
I’d also heard an excellent sermon at the start of that academic year by an ex-Anglican priest where he had referred to a talk by JK Rowling to Harvard graduates about the importance of failure and the use of the imagination. I had become too comfortable, even though I was unhappy. I had forgotten how to be bold and daring. It felt like one of several nudges from God. It was time to move on.
This film was made in 2017 fiction reflecting fact as it shines a light on the hand to mouth existence of children living on the peripheries of Disney World. Highlighting the life of those in poverty against an idyllic backdrop. As well as a compelling story it shows the complexities of life experienced through the eyes of children.
I found a resonance which reminded me that children see life as normal whatever their experience until someone shows or tells them otherwise. There is childhood innocence, pleasure in the small things and vulnerability which brings a human beauty to what is a hard and heart-breaking life.
Are you looking for a new course to stay connected with young people in your community? Read all about the ‘Stay Alert to the Spirit’ programme put together by Jesus Shaped People…
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 and waiting time. The spectre of suffering, death, economic meltdown, loss, sudden change, and acute anxiety has at least temporarily arrested our attention and captured collective imagination.
Young people have been especially hit hard by the pandemic. ‘Stay Alert to the Spirit’ (SATS) is a 7 week resource that includes material/ideas for worship, small groups, sermons, teaching and intergenerational worship to be used in buildings or on line and offered free of charge. SATS is not an answer but a tool to help churches gather around this question; ‘What is God saying to the Churches’ and allow voices on the margins to be properly heard and be a part of the future.
Over the coming months we are going to take a look at who the Trustees of NECN are, their passions, their skills and what they get up to in and out of NECN.
If you would like to get more involved, feel you have passion or skills which could be useful please do get in touch. We have work streams as well as trustee opportunities.
My first encounter with NECN was several years before I joined the Board, via the annual conference which was held in Manchester. It was a really busy, lively, even slightly chaotic event, filled with folk from a wide range of estates ministries and contexts, and the discussions were noisy, good-natured and rich.
And I’m delighted to say they still are. NECN has flourished and developed in many ways over recent years, but it remains faithfully, determinedly true to its roots and its passion; the representation, affirmation, advocacy for and service to all those Christian leaders in our estate communities nationally – including myself – for whom ministry is both a daily joy and a challenge.
As Chair of the NECN Board, it’s now my privilege to work alongside the most gifted set of Trustees, who bring passion, focus and wisdom to our stewardship of NECN, under the leadership of Sara, our new Executive Director.
The future for estates ministry will be challenging; NECN will be at the forefront of advocating, resourcing, supporting and praying for estates churches and leaders in those challenges. If you’re not part of our network already, we’d love you to join us in that.
We wanted to let you know that Proximity is heading back online for 2021!
Running from 7-8 May, Proximity is our annual Urban Mission Conference and it’s totally FREE. We’ll be joined by inspiring and challenging speakers including Bob Ekblad, Rachel Gardner, Josh Smedley, Andy Hawthorne, Sam Ward and Sarah Small who will help each of us explore God’s call to his church to Mobilise.
Over the two days we’ll be digging into the book of Philippians and will be equipped, inspired and challenged for urban mission through teaching, TED-style talks, stories and worship. Whether you’re just exploring the call to mission, or whether you’re in this for the long-haul, it’s time to mobilise!
A new 8 week online course on Wednesdays from April 7th, 7–9 pm
Gordon Dey from Jesus Shaped People has created an eight-week, Zoom-driven course entitled World of Jesus that draws from his experience of leading pilgrimage groups to Israel and Palestine over the past 30 years.
Gordon is offering the opportunity for people belonging to JSP linked churches to experience World of Jesus on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm between Easter and Pentecost, beginning on Wednesday April 7th. The course will give insight into the context of Jesus’ ministry—the geography and history, and the way people lived their lives under Herodian and Roman control and influence, using maps, photos and other graphics. Afterwards we’ll explore the impact of this on the church today in small groups and plenary questions.
There is no charge to those taking part, however donations in support of Jesus Shaped People are warmly encouraged! Information of how to do this is provided on the JSP website: www.jesusshapedpeople.net
A flyer is also available to download and print on the website that can be used as a poster. If you want to take part please book a place with Gordon: email@example.com. Your place will then be confirmed and you will be sent more detail about each of the sessions. Later those who book a place will be sent a zoom code.
Places are limited, so ‘first come first served’.
Every blessing for Passiontide and Easter.
Jesus Shaped People offers programmes and learning resources especially for smaller inner city, urban and social housing estate churches.