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.

manchester estates day

A great day today with 30 or 40 estate church colleagues from Manchester at William Temple Church on Wythenshaw.

Thank you to Bishop Jill Duff and our own Andy Delmege for an inspiring afternoon . We were blessed by wisdom and encouragement.

A nourishing day full of poetry and Biblical images. Thanks to Stephen Edwards for organising and his work with the Group.

Training Revolution

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, but expecting to get different results, then we, the church, need to give ourselves a health check in the area of training.

If you’re from a non-academic, working class or estates background and you actually get your calling recognised by the church, then often you end up forced into a training pattern that just isn’t for you.

During my years of struggle through theological training, I’ve learnt that God doesn’t make mistakes. He didn’t make a mistake when he called an unschooled ordinary man to be the foundation of his church and he doesn’t make mistakes when calling people into leadership today. I wonder could it be us making the mistake in how we are trying to train those that God is calling?

There has to be change if we’re are going to take seriously the stats of today’s church. 60% of people in the UK identify as working class and yet are so underrepresented in the church, where 81% of its committed members have degrees, when the national average in only 27%. We urgently need leaders from non-middle class, non-university educated backgrounds, who can share the good news of Jesus with those who are not yet part of a church, so that they can hear the gospel in their own language.

If we are to reach the forgotten places and the forgotten people, we need pioneers who think outside of the box. Those who are just wired to do things differently, including the way that they need to be trained. We can’t afford to lose those whom God is calling just because they don’t fit into our current training structures.

Things don’t have to be the same. We can teach and learn in different ways. We can evidence learning in different ways. So why aren’t we doing this?

We don’t have to follow the same pattern of training followed by deployment. We can deploy and train at the same time, even if it takes longer and is messier.

I hear people say things are changing. In fact, I’ve said it myself. But it isn’t changing quickly enough if we don’t want to lose a generation of leaders whom God is calling to the margins.

When I watch my gifted and called daughter anxiously staring at a blank screen in a state of panic – in the same way I did – trying to write a theological reflection, when she was created to discuss it and share her learning verbally; my heart breaks for her and those like her whom God is calling – and for us, the church, who desperately need them.

manchester estates ministry day

This Thursday 16th May 2019
William Temple Church, Wythenshawe M22 0BU

Keynote Speaker: Rt Rev’d Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster

With Canon Andy Delmege (National Estate Churches Network)

FREE Event though donations welcome on the day towards costs.

Visit for more details and for parking/directions information.


FREE mission opportunity

Fantastic Opportunity!!
Calling all those working on estates!
We have a brilliant opportunity to give every year 6 the ‘it’s your move’ book, on every estate, as a gift to aid their transition to secondary school.
‘It’s your move’ is a book written by scripture union here is a little they have to say about it…
Whether you were a confident or a scared 11-year-old, chances are that you were at least a bit apprehensive about starting this new phase of your life.
Research conducted by Scripture Union confirmed that the big change from primary to secondary school can be really stressful, as children come to terms with being the small fish in a much bigger pond.
That’s why we developed It’s Your Move, a brilliant book designed to help primary schools as they prepare their top year pupils for their move to secondary school. It’s packed with wise advice and true stories of young people who have already taken that big step.
Now on its sixth edition since its publication in 2001, It’s Your Move has helped over a million children move on with confidence.
To benefit from this amazing one-off deal and get your free copies to give to your local schools. Ring 01908 856000 ask for the 2015 copies (as many as you can use) and use the following code ym18old
They come in packs of 10, and each has a small guide to how they may be used. You will need to pay postage. If you have other churches in your area perhaps you could order together to save on postage.

Archbishop of Canterbury launches Housing Commission

Archbishop of Canterbury launches Commission on Housing, Church and Community

The housing crisis is to be the subject of a major new Commission launched today by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

Academics, housing experts and theologians are to meet over an 18-month period to examine how the Church of England can build on its own work in housing and contribute to the national debate on policy.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community will explore a Christian perspective on housing policy with a particular focus on providing good homes and promoting thriving communities.

The Commission will be led by Charlie Arbuthnot, an expert in the financing of social housing, and the Bishop of Kensington, Graham Tomlin, an academic theologian who has been active in efforts to support residents following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Other members of the Commission include Rev Lynne Cullens, from the National Estate Churches Network, Sir Robert Devereux, former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Professor Christine Whitehead, Emeritus Professor of Housing Economics at the LSE.

The Commission has been set up following Archbishop Justin’s book Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope published last year in which he argued that the principal aim of housing should be the creation of community and that good housing is essential to equality and justice.

An independent report from the Centre for Theology and Community and the Church of England will be published at the launch today with seven case studies of church-linked housing projects in rural and urban areas and across different regions of England.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “Britain’s housing crisis is one of the major challenges facing this country – and it is hitting the poorest the hardest. While there is already significant work being done to find solutions, the Church has something unique to contribute.

“Up and down the country we are living out our faith in Jesus Christ by loving and serving those around us. Through food banks, night shelters and many other projects, the Church seeks to bind communities together with bonds of friendship, compassion and mutual support. This teaches us that any way forward must involve building communities, not just houses.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community will consider what else we could and should be doing, as a Church and as a nation. In doing so, I hope it might help reclaim the very purpose of housing – as the basis for community, and a foundation for human flourishing.

The Bishop of Kensington, Graham Tomlin, said: “We hear regularly of the housing crisis in the UK. Many people cannot afford the rent on their homes, live in poor-quality housing or find themselves unable to stay in the communities to which they belong.

“Our hope is that by exploring a Christian vision of housing, home and community we can make a contribution to solving some of these long-standing issues that our society has struggled to resolve over many years.”

Charlie Arbuthnot, chair of the Commission, said: “We hope to bring a distinctive Christian contribution to the work already under way in this area, drawing on the insight the Church of England has through its presence in every community.

“As well as proposing action by the Church of England – at local, regional, and national level – the Commission will explore how, informed by the Christian faith, we can contribute to the national debate.

“We need to build good homes and supportive communities, with the provision of spaces for people to meet, share and celebrate together. We hope to support and inspire all sections of society including public, private and voluntary organisations that share this vision.”

Additional information:

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be visiting the Spencer estate in the west end of Northampton for the launch where he will host a live discussion on housing with the Revd Sue Faulkner, Vicar of St Mary Dallington and St James Northampton and residents.

The Commission will meet regularly to examine key issues related to housing, church and community and listen to people with direct experience of homelessness and insecure housing. The Commission will also receive evidence from churches and dioceses with experience of tackling housing issues.

Members of the Commission:

  • Charlie Arbuthnot, Chair
  • The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington
  • Dr Stephen Backhouse, Westminster Theological Centre
  • Revd Chris Beales, Durham University
  • Revd Lynne Cullens, National Estate Churches Network
  • Cym D’Souza, Arawak Walton Housing Association
  • Sir Robert Devereux, Former Permanent Secretary, DWP
  • Gill Payne, National Housing Federation
  • Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
  • Professor Christine Whitehead, London School of Economics

View video introduction here

newsletter here from our Leeds Group:

Welcome to the Leeds Diocesan Estates Network news letter.  Apologies for the tardiness of some of the information it contains but we want to send out a few really useful updates during the year rather than fill your inbox every week.

In the Growing Churches email from Robin, he says that “here in Leeds Diocese we are now making big moves to re-vitalise and equip our estate churches”.  It is good to see the diocese putting our estates front and centre.

Synod Motion

There has been a lot of movement nationally in support of estates ministry.  The Estates Evangelism Task Group took a motion to General Synod that was supported widely.  There is now a clear mandate for the church to look at growing and supporting estates ministry at a national and local level.  You can check out the motion here.

NECN Conference

This year we are fortunate that our diocese is hosting the National Estates Church Network northern conference.  It takes place at Bradford Cathedral on 18th of June.  As NECN is happening on our doorstep we have decided to plug this as the main event for 2019.  We can then look at having a local event in spring 2020.

‘Always room for one more.’  Children, Young People and Estates; stories of participation and partnering.

The keynote for the event is Emily McDonald who spoke so eloquently at the Synod Debate.

Emily McDonald speaking to General Synod.
Booking is done through Eventbrite here.  Please do support this event.


Forming a network of support is so important.  We had a good gathering in Lupset at the beginning of the year and we intend to keep meeting throughout the year.  If you would like to come along to Holy Nativity Church in Mixenden on the 14th of May, we will begin with a short act of worship at noon.  Please bring lunch with you.

Holy Nativity Church
Sunnybank Road

Social Media

Momentum is building with the estates church movement.  There are lots of ways to join in the conversation.  Our own network in Leeds is on Facebookand Twitter.

Our own Robb Sutherland has been running a social media project to share good news stories at Estates Church on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.  He hopes to record some video logs of good news from estates parishes in the coming months.  If you would like to be involved, send him a message.
NECN have reinvigorated their social media presence and redone their website.

Estates LYCIG

If this isn’t enough for you there is also this year’s estates LYCIG.  Martine and Robb both took church groups to this in 2018 and were very impressed with it.  At a recent meeting Robb said:

“I’ve been to LYCIG twice now and the Estates version is really good.  Sitting with people in similar situations was so much more useful.  No one was suggesting growth strategies that cost thousands of pounds, just simple honest estates practitioners sharing together.  Bringing two people from the church really made it work in our parish!”

Find out more about this year’s conference here.  There are also details for a local meetup of people who went in 2018.

Thanks for persevering with all of this information and getting this far!

There is so much going on in our estates!  We have real momentum to build a church that comprises of people on the margins.

Every blessing as you prepare for Easter!

The Leeds Estates Group