Urban Ministry support from New Wine

New WIne

New Wine is a network of different Christian denominations which empowers and equips Christian leaders to spread the good news of God’s Kingdom.  Learning materials can be adapted to suit local situations.

During the pandemic Christians from the network have kept in touch with each other and have shared inspiring stories of how they have led people to Jesus by phone conversations or through another device. You can read the latest blog here.

Leadership Network and Urban Ministry

Church leaders can join the New Wine Leadership Network for free. Support offered by the network includes

  • Pastoral prayer
  • Regional connections and support
  • Training and coaching
  • Mentoring

Your focus would continue to be on your local community.

New Wine also offers specific support to you if you minister in an inner city or an outer estate through events, resources and local support.

Do get in touch with Andrew Jolley if your heart is with urban ministry on https://www.new-wine.org/network/urban-ministry

‘This estate we’re in’ by Al Barrett

This Estate We're In

From time to time it is good to stimulate  ideas and our own theological reflections on living and working as communities on estates and urban areas. This is especially important at the moment when face-to-face meetings are limited due to COVID-19.

In this section of our blog we hope to signpost you to other excellent blogs by estate churches leaders and practitioners.

Our first estate church leader we’d like to introduce you to is Al Barrett, an Anglican priest and dad who has been living in Hodge Hill on the edge of East Birmingham since 2010.

Al’s blog, ‘This estate we’re in’ is a theological reflection of day-to-day life on an urban outer estate in the West midlands.

It is beautifully crafted and contains  honest thoughts and feelings about our common experience, ideas for praying for the community, even if you are still unable to go out, prayers, poems, artwork from estates and extensive recommended reading where appropriate. Al also helpfully lists other really good blogs he follows which you might find useful for further ideas and future conversations.

Some of the liturgy to pray with have been composed with the aid of Ruth Harley, who is currently training for ordained ministry at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, with a call to living on estates.

As a taster, have a look at Al’s recent post, Living through liminal times

This post is about living through the wilderness experience of the pandemic, the pain involved and a call to explore new possibilities in these uncertain times. We’re giving away no more spoilers on here…you will just have to check out his blog for yourself!

Virus as Portal

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.

Kids Matter – Working with Estate Churches

Kids Matter has a vision to see every child in need raised in a strong family. We engage local churches to use relational, evidence informed programmes to equip parents and carers in the community who are facing disadvantages with confidence, competence and community enabling their children to thrive. Everything we do is focused on the country’s vulnerable children. We train peer facilitators from churches and they provide ongoing support and supervision to run the programme, help churches connect with new families and to support churches to continue to build relationships with families who have been on the programme.
The parenting groups are small with no more than 4 – 8 parents. The atmosphere is informal, it is always sitting around a table together over coffee, tea and pastries, working together with user-friendly and evidence-informed booklets, all led by the trained peer facilitator from the local church. The programme has been adapted so that it can run via group video calls, along with the facilitator training which is also available online. Even though currently we can’t all sit around a table with tea and coffee we still very much encourage our facilitators to create a warm hospitable atmosphere through zoom, one facilitator even delivered biscuits to each of the participants homes beforehand

You can find out all about kids matter here (www.kidsmatter.org) where you will also find free resources that you can use with families.

Here are few comments on the impact of Kids Matter parenting programmes.

‘These weeks have been a real journey for our family, my 4 year old now says ‘I love you mummy’, he never used to do that before.’

‘It’s helped me massively to realise it’s ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Talking to others and realising I am not alone’

‘I realised the importance of eating together as a family we never did that when I was growing up and I felt like my mum didn’t know me.’

‘Kids Matter has proved to be an excellent way to help churches engage with families and caregivers, particularly in areas where family life is a struggle. I would recommend any church looking to ­nd ways to connect with parents in their parish to explore Kids Matter.’ Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin. Bishop of Kensington

The Coronavirus Charity Help Fund Application

For information: deadline 25th March

The Coronavirus Charity Help Fund has been set up by Martin Lewis to help those affected by the coronavirus. Small or local charities are able to apply to receive a grant of £5-20K for specific coronavirus poverty relief projects.

We’re especially interested in projects that directly help people affected by the effects of the virus, such as by giving access to food, toiletries, basic necessities, as well as community projects to help people in isolation.

We are looking for projects that can help people now, so will welcome applications for existing projects that could be scaled up with extra money or projects that are in the process of being set up.

Speed is of the essence so we encourage you to highlight your project’s objectives and outcomes concisely – consider using bullet points rather than lengthy answers. Data will only be used for the purpose of giving grants.

Apply here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1R3JX15FRwkrLuDYW8VugIkSNpkqG50aLgEgbkGJyXi4/viewform?edit_requested=true

Proximity Network: a network for every disadvantaged neighbourhood

Network for every estate

The Proximity Network is a network of ministries and missionaries for every disadvantaged neighbourhood in our nation. We have now mapped over 4000 ministries to the poor across the UK but we still have a way to go. We have done this in two phases;

Phase One: Map those ministries and missionaries actively working in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities. These will be categorised in eight different ways based on the governments indices of deprivation statistics released in 2019 – Crime, Education, Housing, Food, Debt, Health, Employment and Community.

Phase Two: Create a web-based platform to seek to achieve three things:

 RESOURCE: Offer those on the frontline the means to sustain and advance their ministry by providing relevant resources including blogs, vlogs, Bible reading plans, audio books, best practice application, neighbourhood exegesis resources, inspirational books, webinars and conferences.

RELATE: Provide members with a mechanism to interrelate, cross pollinate, share best practice and support and work more strategically together in partnership.

RELEASE: Establish a list of disadvantaged areas that appear to be under resourced and work strategically to send and support new ministries willing to fill the gaps.

I’d love you to help me in four ways;

 1. Sign up on the website which is https://proximity.network/

2. Map your individual ministries

3. Like our facebook page and follow us on twitter

4. Share this with anyone you know who is ministering to the poorest in our nation

Your help is so appreciated!

God Bless,

Sam Ward

To find out more about Sam’s heart and vision for this mission check him out on this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k2iip17syU

Estate
A network looking to serve every estate.

We want to help your church change lives

The Cinnamon Network
Cinnamon Network has recently been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to help local churches support their communities.

In Autumn 2020 we’ll be launching an interactive online toolkit and app to help churches develop social action strategies that meet the most pressing needs in their local areas.

In addition, Cinnamon Advisors will be providing personalised support to help a number of churches develop their social action vision and action plan.

If your church wants to do more social action, then we’d love to hear from you.

At Cinnamon, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for local churches to set up sustainable social action projects, find funding and get the right support and training to make a positive impact in their local area.

Whether you’re an established church reviewing its community engagement, or a new church plant stepping out into social action for the first time, then we can help.

We can provide: – one-to-one and group support with Cinnamon Advisors – peer support and shared learning opportunities with other churches – an opportunity to help us develop our interactive toolkit and have first access to this new resource – access to our Cinnamon Leadership Training programme – access to a bespoke training programmes both online and in person to support various aspects of church, community and civic engagement

We’re looking to work with churches in urban, rural and coastal communities.

If your church is interested in receiving support, then please get in touch with the Jonny Gios, the Cinnamon Advisor in your region at Jonnygios@cinnamonnetwork.co.uk

If you would like to download a copy of this information please click on the link below:

The Cinnamon Network

Blessed are the Tea Makers

It all began with the school run. Having dropped my eldest son off at school, the short journey to work would take me past the grounds of another local school. Day after day, I observed weary parents waiting dejectedly on the asphalt as they were battered by the elements. Each time I passed, I was amazed that no one was really talking to one another. That didn’t seem quite right to me.

Over time, I to brew an idea; if anything could bring these parents together, it’s the good old British cuppa. I arranged a meeting with the Headteacher and shared my observations and idea – a team of volunteers from the church and community working with a key worker to give out hot drinks on the playground before or after school, Pop Up Cuppa was born.

The vision for Pop Up Cuppa has always been about relationships – facilitating relationships within the community, building relationships between the church and community and developing great relationships between the schools and the church.

With the simplicity and the efficacy of the initiative, we were armed with little more than a couple of flasks of hot water, a bumper pack of teabags and packets of biscuits, this small team of volunteers are being used powerfully by God to transform their community, simply by engaging and putting relationships first.

I recall one of the parents who have begun to engage with other church activities and gain the confidence to take on leadership roles. The story of one parent who, through the relationship that began over a cuppa, has felt empowered to return to education.

The team began with one local primary school, once a month. 18 months on, we now pop up in three schools once every three weeks or so. The schools have been enthusiastic about the impact of Pop Up Cuppa, with one noting how there has been no fighting between parents on the playground since the project began; fighting among parents had previously been a particular challenge to the school. Another of the schools have even approached us for the church’s help with pastoral support for some of the parents and pupils.

Building Community
Blessed are the Tea Makers

Inarguably, Pop Up Cuppa is having a hugely positive impact on the community and it strikes me that it is a hugely replicable project; We would love to see parishes across Church of England Birmingham pulling out their urns for the sake of the gospel.

If you are interested in having a go in your parish here are a few tips:

  • Always have a key worker from the school with you. It is a joint project and this helps foster buy-in from the school. Make this part of your initial arrangement with the school.
  • Recruit volunteers who are great conversationalists. Remember this is primarily about relationships. It is essential to have team members who won’t shy away from a good chat with parents and pupils (although, being able to make a cracking cuppa helps too).
  • Seek engagement from the wider community. In which ways can people and business locally support the project. We never has to pay for the drinks or biscuits, these are funded by a local funeral directors, whose manager has caught the vision.
  • Be ready for people to engage with other church activities. Don’t sit back and wait for hundreds of families to flood into your Sunday morning service; this is unlikely to be the next logical step for those showing a deeper interest in involvement. What will you be inviting people to next?
  • Get your hands on a gazebo if you can – it will really help when the weather is less desirable. Failing that look for somewhere with a bit of shelter.

Andi Thomas is a pioneer minister at St Andrew’s Church in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham. To find out more click here.

 

parish nursing and estate ministry

When we were drawing up our Mission Action Plan (MAP) for St Luke’s Downham we were eager to follow the example of St Luke and include something about health and healing. So it came as an answer to prayer when, entirely unprompted by us, a retired nurse contacted us to introduce Parish Nursing Ministries.

Right from our first meeting with the team from Parish Nursing Ministries UK (PNMUK) we could see how amazing a project this was and the kingdom impact it could have in our parish. St Luke’s is part of the Catford and Downham Team located on the Downham Estate, an inter-war garden estate which is in the top 10% most deprived parishes in the UK. As with many areas affected by poverty there are all sorts of issues with mental health struggles, understanding medication, and accessing services, etc.

We originally explored establishing the project with a volunteer nurse, but our volunteer nurse had to cease due to health issues, so we decided to explore options for a paid nurse and were successful in obtaining funding to recruit for 8 hours a week.

The project launched in April 2019 and our Parish Nurse, Becky, has already become a key member of our team and is seeing a steady stream of people. She is a regular attender at the Front Room Club, our drop in for people who are isolated and struggling with mental health difficulties, and at the Food Bank. The support, encouragement and training from PNMUK has been brilliant and invaluable.

Becky writes the following about her ministry:

“With a background working on inner city estates as a district nursing sister, I was not surprised by either the stark poverty or the warm hospitality of the services users I’ve encountered since starting parish nursing. However, the most rewarding part of the work is the ongoing relationships that can be developed as there is no limitation to number of consultations or sticking to one health problem or condition. This is incredibly rewarding for me and effective for the service user as it enables a holistic view of their health, mental, physical, social and spiritual.

The food bank provides different challenges, including helping people in temporary accommodation struggling to access a GP, people in mental health crisis precipitated by sudden financial hardship or relationship breakdown who don’t know what help is available, as well as help with hospital letters for those with low literacy levels. Many service users are distrustful of the NHS or struggle to keep appointments due to chaotic lives, so my presence provides approachable health advice and signposting in a non-health service context.”

I would not hesitate to recommend a partnership with Parish Nursing Ministries UK to any estate church looking to reach out to and serve their community through health ministry. Funding to set up the project can be obtained from the Cinnamon Trust Micro Grants scheme, amongst other grant making groups.

Rev. Nick Walsh

Team Vicar, St Luke’s and St Mark’s Downham, Diocese of Southwark