Church Plant Interview Series starting Thursday 17th Sept

Church of England Logo

The Church of England Strategic Development Funding supports projects which make a significant difference to the mission of its diocese.

They are hosting a series of Zoom interviews with some of the practitioners from Strategic Development Funding projects on Thursday lunchtimes throughout September and October. The first of these is on Thursday 17th September at 12.30pm and will be a conversation with Rob Fowler about his experiences of leading a church plant in Whitleigh, in Plymouth. Whitleigh is an estate parish and Rob’s experiences will include the highlights and challenges of working on an estate.

To register to watch live, where you’ll be able to submit questions, please click here:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/4515996685509/WN_xi_vMkdCT7SDQffZSEQBKQ

The session will be recorded to watch afterwards. Some of the future conversations will also be with estate parish ministers and we can share the information if you are interested.

Online Talking Jesus course free till end of August 2020

Hope Together

During COVID-19 the Talking Jesus course created by Hope Together will be free until the end of August 2020.

This is a practical 6 session course which can now be shared with groups online about how to tell others about Jesus. Simply click here and follow the instructions to register your group to the free course. A short video explains how this course gives people confidence to talk to friends and people they know about Jesus.

More about Hope Together

Hope Together is about showing the unconditional love of Jesus in our local communities, whether this be through setting up a food bank or working with local community organisations. Church members are encouraged to invite others to become a follower of Jesus.

The whole ethos of the organisation is grounded in prayer. You can visit https://www.hopetogether.org.uk/Groups/324633/About.aspx to find out more.

Hope Together’s response to COVID-19

Churches in Birmingham have created ‘We are the Church’posters to display in windows and remind people that the church is still present in neighbourhoods, even though we are scattered. You can download a poster by clicking on this link HOPE-Rainbow-Poster

You can also download this folder to share on social media. We_are_Church_Social_Media

You can click here to read about lots of other practical ideas for sharing love in your local community. This includes a short video on how to offer support to someone who is bereaved. There is also a Discover Bible app available which can be read in virtual groups.

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

Introducing Greg Smith Urban Mission & Community Research Consultant

Greg Smith

This week we introduce Greg Smith, who lived and worked for churches in the London Borough of Newham for 27 years.

Greg has recently retired but has generously listed links to his many works and writings on urban mission and 21st century evangelism.

For anyone who would like to reflect more deeply on where God is at work on the estates or how understanding Christian doctrine can be relevant to the lives of working class people in a multi-cultural society, these writings are an excellent resource. You can explore more by clicking here.

Greg’s works are also very useful for anyone training for any form of church ministry who feels especially called to work on the estates or an inner-city context.

For example, a very readable paper entitled ‘Biblical Bases of Socio-Political Action, explains how Christian involvement in social and political issues are linked to key beliefs about God, Creation, the Fall, God’s justice in the Old Testament, the Kingdom of God, Jesus, Salvation and Christian living. Greg writes from an evangelical perspective and as a practitioner who has lived and worked among Christians from different churches and people from other faiths and with no faith.

” …it is out of the experience of mission,
and the awareness that such evils as poverty, racism, unemployment and bad housing
are barriers to the Gospel…”

Greg Smith

We hope that you enjoy exploring the fruits of Greg’s theological research and reflection among the treasure of God’s Kingdom, the people of the urban estates. Much of what  he has written is still highly relevant to today, particularly in the light of increasing poverty during the pandemic and to bring an end to racism highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Faith Pictures – a fresh way to talk about things that matter

Faith Pictures

If you are looking for a gentle, humorous and light-hearted course to run with a small church group we think you will like Faith Pictures.

This 6 week has been designed by the Church Army. You can find out more about it on https://www.churcharmy.org/Groups/266913/Church_Army/ms/Faith_Pictures/Faith_Pictures.aspx

The idea of the course is to help Christians talk to our friends, neighbours and anyone we know about what we believe. There are a couple of short introductory videos on the website which explain a bit about the course.

Resources are free to download though you will need to sign up to access the next 5 sessions.

Whilst it is not possible to meet as groups in church at the moment or in each others’ homes, it would be possible to share this course on the internet if you can access Zoom or a similar on-line platform for sharing.

Residential Conferences return for Leading your Church into Growth

Leading Your Church Into Growth

Government guidelines and restrictions remain firmly in place whilst COVID-19 is with us for our safety.

As restrictions ease the organisers of Leading your Church onto Growth look forward to being able to offer residential conferences again in October and November. Conferences will be hosted by the Christian Conference Trust (CCT) who will ensure that the conferences will adhere to the current safety guidelines.

If you are interested in finding more please visit https://www.leadingyourchurchintogrowth.org.uk/

More about Leading your Church into Growth

The purpose of LYCiG is encourage and equip local churches to grow spiritually and in numbers. People on the team come from all kinds of churches from urban to rural, high, low, evangelical, Catholic all with a desire to lead more people to Jesus.

Robin Gamble leads the team and gives a very practical, friendly and warm welcome to conferences. You can find out more about the organisation here

Follow LYCiG on Facebook to access free up-to-date resources and to meet members of the team.

‘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

Chelmsford Diocese Estate Churches Network Email Conference 2020

News from the estates
St Luke’s Church and School

The Chelmsford Diocese NECN Group had planned a physical conference for 25th March 2020. However, when COVID-19 struck this wasn’t possible. Instead they decided to have an email conference. Written presentations were circulated by email around 40 lay workers and clergy in estate parishes in the Chelmsford Diocese. The overall theme was “Growing the Estate Church”. Questions and answers were also circulated by email.

People responded very well to the email conference with lots of rich sharing and stories of growth on the estates.  Prayer, local partnerships and collaboration and reaching out to the community with fun days are some of the ways in which churches have grown sustainably to meet local needs.

Stories have been shared from St Luke’s Church in Canning Town, St Stephen’s in Tye Green and The Pioneer Hub in Colchester. We can also report good news from Through Faith Missions. The Archdeacon of Southend, Ven. Mike Lodge reported on the Estates Evangelism Task Group Conference he attended in January 2020.

Through Faith Mission Fun Day
Through Faith Mission Fun Day

If you would like to read the full report to download the PDF please click:

Chelmsford Email Conference 2020

How to create a phone number which plays podcasts and sermons

Coronavirus: Create A Phone Number Which Plays Podcasts or Sermon Recordings Over the Phone

If a lot of your parishioners can’t access the internet this handy link above gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set up your own own phone-line. Its free for people to ring.

Vicar wanted! St John’s Bransholme, Hull

 

Are you up for a challenge? Do you believe God can transform even the toughest of situations? If not, read no further!

Bransholme is a large outer estate parish of over 13,000 people in East Hull, with all the opportunities and difficulties that such places offer. We have a small but committed congregation who believe that God has great plans for us. We have major problems with our building and are looking to re-shape and renew it over the next 5 years.

Our community needs someone who will love them and be committed to them; our church needs this too plus a leader who can help us to realise all of the God-given opportunities around us. We are quite informal in the way we do church and are looking for a Vicar who can cope with a bit of chaos and uncertainty.

We are seeking a new Vicar who will :

  •  Be full of courage, love and faith
  •  Be outward looking, leading us in mission and evangelism
  • Care for our congregation and community
  • Bring direction to our building project

We believe that God is calling someone to join us who will make a real difference to our parish. We can’t promise it will all be easy but we’ll pray for you, support you when its tough and rejoice at what we see God do through you. We can’t wait to meet you!

Informal enquiries are welcome. Please contact:

The Ven Andy Broom, Archdeacon of the East Riding T: 01482 881659

The Parish Profile and further details can be found at:

https://dioceseofyork.org.uk/job-vacancies