Below are some of the ways in which leaders on the estates have been reaching out to their congregations during the COVID-19 lockdown.
I’m putting a service online as a Youtube playlist, with my videos interspersed with songs and hymns that are already on there, avoiding copyright issues or anyone having to listen to my singing. I’m finding that the music and the sermon are the two things that people are appreciating. If anyone can’t video, then putting together a Youtube playlist of music may be very much appreciated by congregations.
Much of ministry has now gone online – with Zoom being flavour of the month for most of us. Here in Harlow that means that we are working with other churches a bit more closely – with talk of sharing worship resources through recorded songs and the like.
Pastoral care involves telephone calls, emails or text messages – whatever works for most effectively keeping in touch. And we are drowning in advice, support and resources about effectively going online.
As a plus – perhaps at the end of this some of us may choose not to give up on our online presence. If we have built up a following, perhaps we will continue to live-stream, only this time involving a congregation as well as the solitary service leader in a room.
Virtual meetings, on a more practical note – may be a good way forward for NECN. We could gather people from different parts of the country without the need for any of us to leave our communities. For busy Estate Ministers there is a time for gathering, and being encouraged, but there is also a time for staying put – but maybe still having an hour to fellowship with other Estate Ministers. What about a Zoom fellowship for folk from different parts of the country but similar contexts?
from Darren McIndoe in Harlow
If you have any more ideas of what is working with your church communities please do get in touch, We would love to hear from you.
Check out the You Tube video of people sharing highlights from this year’s Reaching the Unreachable Conference in London.
Here are some of the things people have said:
Ministry can be hard at times on the estates so it is great to be with people with similar struggles. The focus always needs to be on the Lord Jesus. Asking, “Is it worth it?” is the wrong question. Instead we need to asking, “Is he worth it?”
We need to keep looking to Jesus because he understands.
The size of the church doesn’t matter. God is still there doing God’s work. We are a light in the community.
“I came to faith when I heard the Bible being explained in council estate language.”
This is an exciting opportunity for a pioneering Lead Evangelist in this industrial area in Oldbury, on the west Birmingham border. This includes areas of significant deprivation, made up principally of urban estates.
You are excited by living and working amongst people deeply disconnected from church, and by helping them to discover the joy and freedom of faith in Jesus Christ. You want to build new relevant Christian communities amongst and with them.
You will communicate the good news by word, action and lifestyle, as one of two evangelists working within a new Centre of Mission established by Church of England Birmingham and Church Army. One particular, but not exclusive, focus will be younger generations: parents, children, young people, and young adults.
The successful candidate will be an innovator who gets new evangelistic projects going, and enjoys gathering and encouraging small teams. If you’re passionate about unlocking God’s potential in people’s lives, please apply.
“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.
At St Francis Church we long to see South Strood transformed by the good news of God’s Kingdom and to help with that we are looking for an Evangelism Enabler to join our team.
The parish of St Francis in Strood Kent is home to some 15,000 people and is set to grow. The area the church is based in is one of relatively high deprivation and issues of loneliness, mental health, and disability, alongside children and older people living in poverty are all high.
We are seeking an Evangelism Enabler to lead and enable delivery of outreach and evangelistic activities and events in the estates immediately surrounding St Francis in order to grow the church.
• Establish a pattern of regular and one-off opportunities and events that enable the Good News to be shared
• Reach the areas and people who are as yet unknown to the worshipping community
• Develop good relationships with community stakeholders as well as the residents of the parish
• Work alongside the vicar and ministry team to shape and deliver the vision at St Francis, particularly that relate to the nature, needs and opportunities of the local estates
• Be part of the leadership of the church
• Build, lead and equip individuals and teams to engage in evangelism opportunities; including the development of a Messy Church in a local school, and small groups for unchurched and dechurched local people
Candidates will have a sense of calling with giftings as an evangelist, with a demonstrable track record of helping people find faith, and be skilled in encouraging others to mature and realise their God given gifts.
Successful candidates should have:
• An assured theological grasp of ministry in an urban area
• The ability to draw upon creative ideas to enable engaging and interesting events and opportunities for people to be part of
• An active and infectious prayer life
• And be a confident self-starter.
The post holder will, at times, be the public face of the church in Strood, it is considered that there is a Occupational Requirement (OR) for the postholder to be a communicant member of the Church of England, or of a Church in communion therewith or of a member Church of the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland or of Churches Together in England, or of a member Church of the Evangelical Alliance.
Ordained and Lay applicants are welcome. If you are ordained, please contact us to discuss the terms of the contract in advance of applying.
The appointment is subject to a satisfactory Enhanced DBS disclosure.