cafe church at the risen lord

We’ve been running a Café Church in the Parish of the Risen Lord in Preston, a typical inner-city parish, since October 2018. I had arrived as vicar of the parish and was impressed with the weekly Work Club which was hosted by one of our churches, St Matthew’s Mission, and had been run by a group of keen church members for some 5 or 6 years, During that time they had formed some good friendships with many of the clients. The group were keen to introduce these people to Jesus and a few years ago they began a home group with the aim of inviting Work Club clients along. This didn’t really take off and so In June 2018 we discontinued a small Sunday morning congregation at St Matthew’s Mission and launched our mid-week Café Church in the same place where Work Club meets. We thought it would be easier for Work Club clients to come to familiar premises.

Café Church meets at 7pm on a Wednesday evening and is very informal. We start with a meal, move into introductory discussion about some life experience or another which opens up the theme for the evening. The theme has often been the Bible passage which was the basis for the previous Sunday’s sermon or at times we have used the ‘Unlock The Bible’ material. There is no sermon as such, but rather discussion, feedback and summing up by the leader. We tend not to use too much printed material and rely often on the Lumo Gospel Dramas which we download from Youtube. For the first couple of months we had just 2 or 3 work club or fringe members attending, but over the winter these dropped off and for around 6 months almost the only attendees were church members with numbers as low as about 8. We thought that the weather probably was the main deterrent! But we persevered and over the last couple of months numbers have steadily increased to around 14-16 with around half of them non-church people. So, just at the moment we are feeling encouraged as fruit now seems to be coming from this ministry. Please pray for us! Thank you.

– Alastair McHaffie

Durham Estates Ministry Gathering

It was great to spend a day in Sunderland with forty colleagues from Estate and Lowest Income Parishes for the launch of the Durham Estates Ministry Group.  A day of hearing the delights, sharing the struggles, and celebrating God’s grace together.

Especial thanks to David Tomlinson and Ruth Young who are convening the Group.

You can find details of all our Local Groups here.

If you know of any Groups not on the list, or if you would like assistance in setting one up, please contact Andy Delmege

national justice and peace network conference

41st Annual  Justice and Peace Conference 

26-28 July 2019

The Hayes Conference Centre,  Swanwick

National Justice and Peace Network with Church Action on Poverty

 

Pope Francis calls us to be ‘… a Church which is poor and for the poor’.  To be  with those on the margins as equal partners, enabling them to find their own solutions to the issues they face.

Conference 2019 will work with Church Action on Poverty who are undertaking a three year project to challenge the Churches about where they put their resources. It will hear from ‘communities of praxis’ who are already involved on the margins, and engage in social analysis and theological reflection from the perspective of those on the margins.

Join us in 2019 to explore mission, theological reflection and social action with people who have been pushed to the margins of society by poverty.

How can we  build churches that……….

  • are interested in building the kingdom, not growing the church;
  • listen  to voices from the margins
  • expect to be challenged and changed by our neighbours,
  • put an emphasis on sharing food and hospitality;
  • are hungry and thirsty for justice.

We will also hear inspiring and challenging  stories from churches and groups that are living out the vision of a ‘church for the poor’ – being church on the margins of our society.

Speakers:

Revd Deirdre Brower Latz: has worked as a pastor in urban/marginalised communities in Bristol and Manchester and  lectures at the Nazarene Theological College in Manchester.

Professor Anthony Reddie:  the leading scholar in the practice of Black theology in grassroots communities of faithful practice.

We will also hear inspiring and challenging stories from churches and groups that are living out the vision of a ‘church of the poor’ – being church on the margins of our society. (Speakers and chair for this session to be confirmed )

Conference Chair:

John Battle, former Labour MP, Chair of Leeds Justice & Peace Commission

Workshops

There will be workshops from a range of organisations and speakers, all looking creatively at how our churches can be more open to people on the margins.

Children and young people

Children and young people are a vital part of the NJPN conference. There will be a crèche for children under 5 and a programme of activities for 5–11-year-olds. 12–18-year-olds will explore the conference theme in an active and thought-provoking weekend.

NJPN is committed to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable people. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to attend conference. Our rates for children and people on low incomes are subsidised. We count on the generous donations of those who can afford a little extra to make that possible

Conference booking forms

For email bookings:

Forgotten People Forgotten Places booking form (13)

For printing out and booking by post;

Forgotten People Forgotten Places leaflet (10)

Conference flyer:

Conference 2019 Flyer

Resources from Knife Crime Workshop

Pauline Weaver from the  Kings Norton Team led a Workshop on Knife Crime at the Birmingham Conference.

Please find the Resources from it here:

Lives Not Knives resource pack final

Appendix 2 Safe Spaces Flyer FINAL

appendix 1 service for lives not knives

 

Messy Church and Estates

 

Messy Churches on urban estates – research and discussion afternoon

Date: Saturday, 20 July 2019 – 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: Holy Cross Church, Billesly Common, Birmingham B13 0NS

An opportunity to hear the results of Ellie Bloxham’s research into Messy Churches on urban estates and to discuss it with other people who are involved in Messy Churches on urban estates.

Click here to book a place

NECN Network London Conference – October 2019

National Estate Churches Network London Conference 2019

‘London Estate Churches – Rewriting the Story’

Thursday October 10th, 2019 10am to 4pm

St Thomas Kensal Town

An opportunity to be encouraged and resourced for estates ministry in London, as well as to share our good news and support each other in the challenges.

Programme for the day

10.00am Registration and Coffee
10.30am Welcome and Act of Worship, followed by an update from Andy Delmege on the NECN national Scene
11.15am Alan Everett and Mike Long – Responding to tragedy in our community (Grenfell)
12.00 Noon Comfort break
12:15pm Testimonies and Snapshots from Estate Churches
12:45pm Lunch (please bring your own or buy locally)
13:45pm ‘How Can Churches Rewrite the Story of Excluded Young People’
2:30pm Snapshots and Panel with questions

  • Getting Political: Working with an estate community to fight redevelopment plans
  • Doing Something New (Church Planting, etc)
  • Addressing Mental health and Isolation
  • Multi-Cultural Church: rewriting the historic story

3:30pm Final Response
4.00pm Depart or Stay to Network (Evening Prayer and Mass at 5pm)

Tea, coffee and water available throughout the day

To Book Your Ticket and for further details click here

 

last call for conference tickets

Dear Friends,

Our June Conferences are almost upon us – if you haven’t booked your ticket yet, click here to get yours.

We have a great range of workshops across the two conferences to help us in our work with children and young people.  These include:

  • building support for young people on estates
  • principles of working with children in estate churches
  • knife crime
  • working with schools
  • pioneering with children, young people and families
  • working in partnership

Lynne Cullens, our Vice-Chair, and a member of the Archbishop’s Housing Commission will also be leading a consultation on how estate churches can be involved in this.

Anna Morris, our web-designer, will be offering a digital workshop.

At the Birmingham Conference, our Trustee, Wayne Simmonds, will facilitate a workshop on engaging with refugee children and families.  Wayne writes:

Who are refugees and asylum seekers?

The forced displacement of hope and its consequences – the global refugee crisis- is unquestionably the most exigent social issue of our times. At the end of 2017 there were approximately 69 million refugees worldwide. Most of these refugees are from Syria (6.3 million), Afghanistan (2.6 million), South Sudan (2.4 million), Myanmar (1.2 million) and Somalia (986,400).

The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defines as “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence, and have well-founded fear of persecution for the reasons of race, religion, nationality political opinion or membership in a particular social group”

An asylum seeker is someone who has arrived in a country and asked for asylum. Until they receive a decision as to whether or not they are refugee they are known as an asylum seeker.

At the end of 2017 there were approximately 121, 837 refugees and 40, 365 asylum seekers. Refugees are allowed to work, and have largely the same rights as British citizens.

Common barriers faced by Refugees and Asylum Seekers include:

a lack of a Holistic Integration Programme, lack of adequate housing, confusion over how to access the NHS, lack of Written and Spoken English and high unemployment.

One can find refugees and asylum seekers living on almost every estate in the UK. What role can the National Estate Churches Network play in helping these refugees and seekers to overcome these barriers?

I am really excited about these Conferences.  Whether you are seeking to build from a small base, are looking to make a difference to the lives of children and families on your estate, or want to help your project or church step up further, this Conference will encourage and equip you – and we are all learners together: your experiences and insights will help others.

See you there!

with love and prayers

Andy

generous support for estates ministry

NECN welcomes generous support from Allchurches Trust to support Estates Ministry.

The National Estate Churches Network welcomes a grant of over £155,000 from Allchurches Trust to build national support for Estates ministry.  This gives the Church of England some of the capacity it needs to build on the pledge it made at the February 2019 meeting of General Synod to ensure a loving, serving and worshipping Christian community on every significant social housing estate in the country.

Working with the Church of England’s Estates Evangelism Task Group, NECN will have increased capacity to help resource estate churches through supporting and establishing a growing network of local groups of estate church leaders; identifying and disseminating good quality resources for estate churches; commissioning new ones where there are gaps; and continuing to build a strong ecumenical coalition of partner organisations.

A key focus of this will be on encouraging ministry with children and young people.  NECN’s national conferences in June are a perfect opportunity to celebrate this and to begin the work.

The other key strand of the Allchurches Trust grant is for two learning pathway pilots in London and Birmingham which will enable up to 50 people from our estates to be trained as leaders in their churches in appropriate ways.

Canon Andy Delmege, Chair of NECN, said, “This grant comes at a critical juncture for the work of the Church on estates, at a time when residents and local services are under increasing pressure.  Our vision is of estate churches that are a point of community cohesion, support, nourishment, and, above all, a sign of hope for residents.”

Jeremy Noles, Allchurches Trust Grants Officer, said: “At the heart of our grant-giving is connecting churches with their communities and equipping them to meet the physical and spiritual needs of local people.

“Our grant to the National Church Estates Network is aimed at resourcing the growing network of estate church groups across the country, and developing leaders who will act as catalysts for building impactful community partnerships on estates in Birmingham and London, with the learnings from these pilots then providing a blueprint for a national network.

“The focus on encouraging ministry with children and young people is also a great fit with our new Growing Lives programme, which offers funding to churches and Christian organisations to help them connect with local families.”

 

estates children and young people

 

News from our friends at CURBS:

Exciting news! This year’s National Estate Churches Network Conference is all about Children and Young People! So, if you work with Children and Young People, you have some in your church or none. Come hear the voice of young people speaking about their experience of church and their relationship with God.

Followed by practitioners workshops to aid your community in growth and flourishing.
Curbs a small charity that supports, trains, and resources estate ministry with Children and Families, will be running one of the workshops. We will be thinking about the joys and challenges that estate children face and what hope the kingdom of God brings.
Look forward to seeing you Bradford on 18th June or Birmingham on the 20th June. Click here to book your ticket.

CURBS are an excellent partner, with wonderful resources and support for churches seeking to work with children on estates.  Check out their website here.