Help for Families in Mixenden for Half Term

Good News
From the left, Revd Robb Sutherland, Ash Green Community Primary School headteacher Mungo Sheppard and Halifax MP Holly Lynch, delivering vouchers to students’ homes.

As half term approaches we have some good news about how Holy Nativity Church in Mixenden have stepped in to help hungry families.

Ash Green Community Primary School provide breakfast packs and food parcels to the most vulnerable families and families have been able to access the government free school meals vouchers.

To fill the void during the holiday, Holy Nativity has secured funding to provide every child in the school with a £10 shopping voucher. The vouchers are being hand delivered, abiding by social distancing guidelines, by school staff, Reverend Robb Sutherland, vicar of Holy Nativity Church himself and school governors.

Ash Green’s staff members regularly undertake house calls during lockdown to check on children’s welfare, deliver food, hand out prizes for outstanding remote learning work. They support families with any concerns that can’t be dealt with by phone.

Revd Sutherland said, “We hope that a £10 Morrisons voucher for each child at Ash Green will help families across the estate and make being stuck at home in the coldest and darkest part of the year a little bit brighter.”

You can read the full story here.

Have you got good news to share about how your estate church is helping families during the pandemic? We would love to hear all about it. Please get in touch with christinem@cofebirmingham.com and we will put this on the website.

February News from NECN

2020 what a year!!

Whatever the year has thrown at you it has certainly been an unprecedented time. Much pain, bereavement, loss, stress, and uncertainty mixed up with furlough, time, creativity and new opportunity. In our journey out of 2020 let’s reflect on what you are glad to leave behind. What was a highlight? What surprised you?

As we look forward into 2021 where do you see HOPE? We would really like to share your hopes as a daily reflection on what brings hope this Lent. If you would be willing to share a word, sentence or brief word on where you see HOPE please send it in to ChristineM@cofebirmingham.com with a photo where possible.

Lent gives us time to reflect. Jesus walked the wilderness for 40 days, I am sure he was finding hope in nature, in his humanity, in love, in what had been, in what was to come. Let us enjoy hearing hope as we listen and share hope through this time.

Local Groups

NECN has local groups across the country who meet for mutual support, understanding the context in which each other works. A place where they feel included with relevant conversation and opportunity to share the joys and challenges of estate life and to hear others(without judgement).
If you would like to be a part of local group, please get in contact. We can either direct you to your local group or support you to begin a new one!

Email: christinem@cofebirmingham.com

Phone: Sara Barron on 07940 437473


Stories about where you live

Estate
A network looking to serve every estate.

Tell us about where you live! We would love to share stories of hope or need from your neighbourhoods. Could you write a couple of paragraphs with photos or perhaps in an interview style where someone else can write it up? Let’s encourage and support one another. If you have something to share, please get in touch.

Email: christinem@cofebirmingham.com

Phone: 0121 426 0436


All Churches Trust

**STOP PRESS ALLCHURCHES TRUST FUNDING**

Are you looking for funding to support your Covid response project? AllChurches Trust are open for funding bids which bring ‘hope’, whether practically or pastorally to your community. To check criteria and apply use the following link:

https://www.allchurches.co.uk/what-we-fund/


Common People Book

Book recommendation
Common People edited by Kit De Waal –

An anthology of working-class writers. From the first poem to the last story, it shares a passion, a love, a longing which moves your heart and powers your soul.

“Narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life.”


Transforming Lives for Good

TLG Emotional Rollercoaster Training

This is a wonderful opportunity for churches to learn some helpful skills for responding to those suffering from anxiety and stress. The programme written for working with children and young people also has much to offer adults in finding responses to anxiety and the present uncertainty. Training is free at present, just follow the link for more information.

https://www.tlg.org.uk/your-church/emotional-rollercoaster

February News from Sara Barron NECN Exec Director

New Executive Director for NECN

 

My name is Sara Barron and I am new into post as Executive Director.

I am a Baptist Minister having trained at Bristol Baptist College alongside Trinity College. I have worked as a pioneer in the Baptist and C of E settings, enjoying the diversity and encouraging unity. I lived and worked in Leigh Park a large estate of 33,000 just north of Portsmouth for 16 years having planted an intergenerational, ‘fresh expression’ of church there along with my husband and 4 children.

Whilst living in Leigh Park we worked collaboratively with the local schools, with local churches, local partners such as Mind and the local people to bring about creative ways to address food poverty, youth work, therapeutic work with children and young people, community garden, holiday provision, transition work and encouraged many community led events such as Eden Big Lunch. Living and breathing estate life brought me into the National Estate Church Network 5 years ago as a trustee and then fellow Estates Evangelism Task Group member. Seeing the charity flourish and grow hoping to a part of seeing a thriving church community on every estate.

Estate life also brought me to my other half time role, which is with Curbs project, a small charity resourcing, training and supporting those who work with Children in urban and estate contexts. My role as development worker gives me opportunity to share Curbs ethos for living and working with children and young people starting in their world. Building relationship through seeking to understand the challenges and joys they face and earning the right to share our story of hope, love and acceptance.

I would love to hear your story of Estate Ministry so why not get in contact!

Email Executivedirector@estatechurches.org or phone 07940 437 473

Rev Sara Barron

If you would like to receive further updates about the work of NECN why not sign up to our newsletter via https://estatechurches.org/contact-us/

New Resources from Jesus Shaped People

Many of you will already be aware of the work of Jesus Shaped People, helping people to become focussed on mission and service. They have a new course called Stay Alert to the Spirit.

There are intergenerational materials for both on and off line, or a mix of both. For more information you can get in touch with Dawn or Brendon at JSP.

Sara Barron NECN Executive Director

The Board of Trustees of NECN are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Executive Director, the Revd Sara Barron.  Sara comes to NECN as a former trustee and Vice-Chair and brings with her a wealth of experience of, and passion for, estates ministry.  She introduces herself below and she will take up her role in January 2021.

As a Board, we are very much looking forward to Sara leading us in this next phase of NECN’s life and development, and we continue to be grateful to Allchurches Trust for their generous funding which enables us to develop our work in supporting estate churches, practitioners and evangelism nationally.

New Executive Director for NECN

I am excited to introduce myself as the new Executive Director of NECN. I am looking forward to getting to know lots of you but here is a little bit about me.

I am married to Barney, we have four children and are both Baptist ministers. We moved to Cornwall 2 years ago to a missional listening role in the economically poorest county in England. However, previous to that I lived and worked for 16 years in a large estate of 33,000 called Leigh Park, close to the city of Portsmouth. Here we started ‘Café Church’, a place for those who had no experience of church to come and explore the gospel story. The last few years in the estate, having established the church, I worked as a pioneer for the Diocese of Portsmouth to grow new and different work with the local schools and addressing food poverty, amongst other things.

Alongside that for the last 5 years I have worked for Curbs project (Children in URBan Situations), a small charity which resources, trains, and supports those working in urban and estates ministry with children and families. During my time in Leigh Park, I got involved with NECN and became a trustee and later Vice Chair. This gave me an opportunity to be involved with the Estates Evangelism Task Group as it forged a strategic plan to encourage flourishing Christian presence on every estate. I am excited about NECN’s role in supporting and encouraging those called to serve in our countries’ housing estates.

Please be in touch if you would like to share your story of estate ministry or join one of our many local support groups around the country. I look forward to sharing my love and passion for estates ministry.

 

HOPE at Christmas

If you are looking for resources for the run up to Christmas, look no further. Thanks to generous sponsorship, estate practitioners can order this year’s Christmas HOPE magazine free-of-charge.

Why not distribute them door-to-door or via food bank parcels? If you use the code ESTATE20 you will just have to pay postage. Pick them up here.

The Church @ Five Story

There is a little heard real life story that refutes the popular image of Christianity in decline. Church@Five is that story. Through the tremendous efforts of a committed group of activists, led by Helen Shannon, something remarkable has happened on the Strawberry Vale estate over the last ten years. Jesus Christ has come to a North London estate located just off the north-circular road breaking in to numerous lives and bringing transformation. Where many live their lives in aimless drifting, Helen and her team resolved to live intentionally missional lifestyles, daily reaching out to others with the love of Jesus. The magnetic effect of simply loving people has proved irresistible. Through blood, sweat, toil and tears, Jesus has won the hearts of many in the community.

The team have produced an e-book that charts the story of Church@five and some of those whose lives have been changed since 2010. Check it out here.

NECN Conference 2020…facts, figures, feedback and follow-up

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 lynne.cullens@gmail.com 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

HOPE for all – Estates Magazine

CHECK THIS OUT! HOPE for all magazine full of helpful articles, encourages stories and all the cost of postage! Watch the clip below to find out more.

To claim your free copies go to https://hopetogether.org.uk/Shop/Products/500233/Hope_Together/Magazines/Hope_for_All.aspx    use the code ESTATES2020.

New ‘Mission on the Margins’ Training

StHild_011_A5 Leaflet_MISSION ON THE MARGINS

I am pleased to let you know about a new Mission on the Margins Practitioner track. Urban Life have been developing this with St Hild and we will commence accepting students in September.

Mission on the Margins is designed for people who are involved in mission and ministry in marginal contexts and with marginalised communities. We offer a wide range of modules and a flexibility that enables participants to discover the best learning path for them. Participants can be accredited at MA, postgraduate and graduate level or you can follow a non-accredited path. Modules are taught through a mixture of online seminars, further reading and in person sessions at St Hild’s Sheffield and Mirfield centres. I’ve attached a flyer that gives you more information or you can visit www.sthild.org/practitioner-tracks.

We believe that the training we are offering will enable participants to engage in learning that will increase their understanding of their practice. If you have any questions, then please feel free to ask.