Estates Evangelism Task Group Live Stream!

The Church of England’s Estates Evangelism Task Group (EETG) is gathering representatives from Church of England dioceses and key organisations working with estates churches for a conference next week and we would like you to join us online!

There are three live streamed keynote addresses that will be available to everyone via NECN’s YouTube channel.  Why not head over there and subscribe to the channel and set a reminder for the streams?

Keynote 1: Rosie Hopley – Working on the Margins

Live 2:30pm – 3:45pm Monday 29th November 2021

Rosie will be sharing her story of working with women in the sex trade in Bristol.  She will also be talking about the lessons she has learned about raising leaders up from the margins.

Rosie Hopley is founder and former CEO of the Christian charity Beloved, co founder of a social enterprise LoveWell, and co founder of Bristol prayer gathering Vision for the Vulnerable.

In 2011, Rosie began to research ways that women in indoors prostitution might be supported. Together with a small team of volunteers, they began visits to women in Bristol massage parlours in April 2012. In 2015, Rosie began exploring employment pathways out the sex industry. In 2018, LoveWell held its first workshops with vulnerable women. Most recently, cohorts of women have joined the social enterprise’s six- month Work Well training and employment programme.

Rosie is passionate about gospel transformation and development of people. She enjoys learning about God’s reconciling love and writing. Recent articles have been featured in Woman Alive magazine, as well as blogs for the Church Mission Society and the Unreached Network.  She is currently an MA Theology student with the Church Mission Society, studying African Christianity.

Prior to Beloved, she ran her own communications, PR and research business, mainly working with government bodies, NHS and private healthcare organisations and Universities.

Live stream here.

Keynote 2:  The Archbishop of York, Most Revd Stephen Cottrell

Live 7:15pm – 8:15pm Monday 29th November 2021

Stephen will be talking about the Church of England’s vision for estates churches.

Stephen Cottrell came to faith as a teenager through the work of youth organisations in his local church.  After a brief spell working in the film industry, and at St Christopher’s Hospice in South London, he began training for ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, in 1981. He later studied for an MA with St Mellitus College.

Serving his curacy in Christ Church and St Paul’s, Forest Hill, south London, in the mid-1980s he was priest-in-charge at St Wilfrid’s, in Parklands, a council estate parish in Chichester from 1988 to 1993.

He then moved to West Yorkshire, as Diocesan Missioner and Bishop’s Chaplain for Evangelism in the Diocese of Wakefield and in 1998 he also became a member of Springboard, the Archbishop of York and Canterbury’s team for evangelism. In 2001, he was called south to become Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral and three years later was consecrated as Bishop of Reading. He became Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010 and served there until 2020 when he became the 98th Archbishop of York.

A founding member of the Church of England’s College of Evangelists, he also chairs the Board of Church Army.

Stephen is married to Rebecca who is a potter. They have three sons.

Live stream here.

Keynote 3:  Chris Lane and Hana Amner – Church Planting on Estates

Live 9:00am – 9:45am Tuesday 30th November 2021

Chris Lane is a church leader at Langworthy Community Church in inner city Salford, having planted the church in 2004 after helping to start an Eden Project in partnership with The Message Trust. He is chair of trustees for LifeCentre Salford which is a community hub that works across the city providing essential services for people who are in need. Chris is also a Tutor in Theology at Emmanuel Theological College and has a national role as Tutor for Pioneering and Planting at St Mellitus College. He is the author of Ordinary Miracles, a reflection on the work in Langworthy over the past 20 years, and an upcoming book Not Forgotten, due for release in June 2022.

Chris is married to Esther and they have three children.

Hana, AKA “Creative Priest” is an Artist based in Saltney, Chester. She also lives out her vocation as a Pioneer Priest in the Church of England. She plants creative spaces of welcome for the local community.  As an artist she make art that seeks to provoke thought, discussion and action around faith, society and culture.

Live stream here.

Why not join us online and join in the conversation?

These sessions will be streamed live on NECN’s YouTube channel.  If you can’t join in live, they will be available for later viewing.

Follow #EETG2021 online.


EETG at the Church of England National Synod

General Synod November 2021

The Church of England has an ongoing commitment to resourcing and planting worshipping communities on social housing estates. To help drive this forward, the Estates Evangelism Task Group (EETG) was formed in 2015 as part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform strategy. Several trustees from NECN are part of that working group and have been working to highlight the need for a commitment from the Church of England leadership to having a vibrant church presence on all estates. In February 2019, synod overwhelmingly backed a motion to see a loving, serving, worshipping Christian community on every significant social housing estate in the country.

Now we find ourselves in 2021 post covid, with a newly elected synod who are keen to see that this commitment is followed through.  Here is a transcript of one question raised:

Mr Adrian Greenwood (Southwark) to ask the Chair of the House of Bishops:

Q33 What progress has been made with the implementation of the National Estates Ministry Strategy, which was approved by General Synod in February 2019? And what steps will be taken to ensure that the Strategy is embedded and delivered throughout the term of the new Synod?

The Bishop of Burnley to reply on behalf of the Chair of the House of Bishops:

On a national level, the Estates Evangelism Task Group continues to work towards achieving Synod’s goal of a worshipping, loving, serving Christian community on every significant estate in the nation. It is currently reworking its strategy around the goals of the national Vision and Strategy and continues to operate through partnerships, conferences, communications and direct support for some dioceses. However, it is the dioceses themselves who carry the key responsibility for implementing Synod’s motion and so it is important that every diocese develops a strategy for their urban estates, that LICF grants are directed towards the most deprived communities and that, in those dioceses where re-organisations are planned, the impact on estates and low income communities areas is carefully monitored lest it be disproportionate.

Adrian Greenwood:

++Stephen please would you pass on to Bishop Philip our thanks for all his leadership in the area of ministry and mission on social housing estates.

Given the answer that the front line responsibility lies with each diocese, but also given the fresh resolve from the NCIs to serve and equip the local church, may I ask what can the NCIs do and what can this synod do over the next five years to support +Philip in his leadership role and the dioceses as they turn this strategy in to reality?


First of all we have already discovered that clergy numbers went up in the Church of England last year slightly. We need to be careful about some of the stories we hear and what their truth actually is. Some dioceses find themselves having to cut clergy numbers others are not.

We have an aspiration to grow 10,000 new worshipping communities which some people have scoffed at. The Bishop of Burnley hasn’t. The Bishop of Burnley is getting on with it. With a big vision to plant a church on every estate.

We looked in the mutually and finance report of the league table of diocesan assets and I think we all noticed that only one diocese in the Province of York appeared on the first page of the top 20.

In the parts of the country where I’m privileged to serve there are large estates where we have been unable to create a Christian worshipping witnessing presence, and the work of the Estates Evangelism Task Force, mandated by this synod, is one of the most exciting things we’re doing to actually turn the words on a page of our vision and strategy about wanting to reach out to our nation into actual reality.

I hope that in the triennium working group and other places, we will begin to see our resources and our resource allocation aligned with this synod motion which aligns itself with the vision and strategy and I look forward now that I’m in the north to working very closely with the Bishop of Burnley on making this happen.

As EETG prepare for next week’s conference, bringing those agencies who work predominantly on estates and who equip estates churches, it is greatly heartening to hear synod speaking so clearly of the desire to bring our vision to reality.

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 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 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!


Phone: Sara Barron on 07940 437473

Stories about where you live

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.



All Churches Trust


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:

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.

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 or phone 07940 437 473

Rev Sara Barron

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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.