“Urban Mission, another tilt” will be a joint day with the Nazarene Theological College looking at aspects of urban mission and ministry, such as calling, context and training. In its 24 years Urban Presence has seen many encouraging new initiatives and ministries with the “high’hanging fruit” of our inner-urban and outer estate areas of deprivation.
But, there remains a basic inequality of where God’s people are located in relation to where most of the people of our cities live.
Are we missing something or doing something wrong?
This day is for church leaders, activists, trainers and educators to look again at the specifics of this context, the nature of calling to these areas and appropriate practical training for those who seek to serve there.
Free, but advance booking only. Lunch and refreshments included.
After years of working with churches in disadvantaged communities (on housing estates, with Church Urban Fund and currently with St Martin in the Fields) I’m doing research into the response of C-of-E churches to need. C-of-E churches are busy doing all kinds of work in a context of social change, cuts to public services and increased need. I want to understand this important activity more.
My research focuses on four C-of-E churches in varied contexts, that each use different approaches to respond to need. I will spend between 5 to 10 weeks with each, help out with activity as a participant and then interviewing some of those involved, generating a case study of each.
Can you help? I need to find four C-of-E churches to participate in this research. To help find the four, I’ve adapted a social work model that summarises four essential ‘types’ of response to need. It’s not perfect – however, it’s a useful start for talking about responses to need. I’m looking for a C-of-E church for each of those four types.
It might be you think your church is responding as one ‘type’ and could be involved – please do be in touch.
Andy Turner –
Centre for Community Engagement Research | Faiths and Civil Society Unit
Department for Social Therapeutic and Community Studies,
Goldsmiths, University of London | New Cross, London, SE14 6NW | UK
Or maybe there’s a church you know of, that you think could be worth approaching? Please contact us if you can help and we will put you in touch with Andy Turner.
Are you looking for resources for and insights into estate ministry? Joe Hasler is a parish priest with 25 years’ of experience of living and working on estates. He has also worked for 17 years as a community development worker.
Some of his work can be downloaded from the list below:
Urban Life is a Christian organisation that has developed learning programmes to help groups reflect more deeply on their mission. The programmes are designed for people who work in urban areas and on the estates.
Groups meet to learn and reflect theologically on their practice and the encounters they have had. A Masters Degree programme is also available.
Urban life currently have spaces available on Experiments in Mission in the East Midlands with a taster session on the 13th February 2020 and a full start in March. Please click here for more details.
The Pilots are quite different and there will be a deep evaluation of them carried out by Church Army. We hope that this will be of value to the wider Church, and that all denominations will find ways of enabling people on estates to express all their gifts.
We know that local leadership is one of the key themes for estate churches. Our National Conferences next year will explore this. Details of dates and venues coming soon.
Please pray for all those involved in the Learning Pilots.
Unlock has a pedigree something like NECN’s. Around for a while, small, working to support and resource Christians who live and work on estates. In our case, we’re for people who know they are speaking a different language from people who live ‘on estates’. Although actually that’s an issue in all sorts of situations. You could say its about middle class v working class language.
The Unlock method is essentially very simple: get people talking about (and listening to!!!) people’s stories of their own lives BEFORE you start telling people what the bible has to say to or about them.
Unlock’s website has lots of resources that many people have developed on these lines. You might start with: have any of you ever been mugged or attacked in a public place? Things get hairy sometimes, but people are remarkably open if you’ve created the right environment. And then you trust God that people will make their own connections to bible stories. Or you might nudge that. And you can work out the obvious bible story that quite a few people know, even if they aren’t into church at all.