Working Class and Mission

When talking of ‘the Working Class’

Largely shaped by definition,

It’s economic, ‘lack of brass’

Along with structural composition.

 

Yet this is only just the frame

That doesn’t change our allocation.

It’s from outside and will constrain

And isn’t of the people’s making.

 

Working class culture, sometimes viewed

As adaption in response

Should never ever be construed

As passing nonchalance.

 

The church’s mission to get past

Other’s frames of social structure

Need ask to see God, unsurpassed,

As witnessed by their culture.

Joe Hasler

Joe Hasler is a priest and former community worker who has lived and worked on estates for many years. He blogs about his experience and has created resources on his website http://www.joehasler.co.uk/

 

Bristol Estate

What Kind of Mission for the 21st Century?

Urban Mission

Calling all urban church leaders and clergy! A wonderful opportunity to hear Bishop John Perumbalath speak on mission will take place at Birmingham Cathedral as part of a day commemorating the Christian socialist, Charles Gore. This will take place on Thursday 16th September from 10.30 am until 3.30 pm.

Register for free enquiries@birminghamcathedral.com.

You may also be interested in the first annual Gore Lecture which will take place the same evening at 7.30 pm. For further details see https://estatechurches.org/category/events/

Help for Families in Mixenden for Half Term

Good News
From the left, Revd Robb Sutherland, Ash Green Community Primary School headteacher Mungo Sheppard and Halifax MP Holly Lynch, delivering vouchers to students’ homes.

As half term approaches we have some good news about how Holy Nativity Church in Mixenden have stepped in to help hungry families.

Ash Green Community Primary School provide breakfast packs and food parcels to the most vulnerable families and families have been able to access the government free school meals vouchers.

To fill the void during the holiday, Holy Nativity has secured funding to provide every child in the school with a £10 shopping voucher. The vouchers are being hand delivered, abiding by social distancing guidelines, by school staff, Reverend Robb Sutherland, vicar of Holy Nativity Church himself and school governors.

Ash Green’s staff members regularly undertake house calls during lockdown to check on children’s welfare, deliver food, hand out prizes for outstanding remote learning work. They support families with any concerns that can’t be dealt with by phone.

Revd Sutherland said, “We hope that a £10 Morrisons voucher for each child at Ash Green will help families across the estate and make being stuck at home in the coldest and darkest part of the year a little bit brighter.”

You can read the full story here.

Have you got good news to share about how your estate church is helping families during the pandemic? We would love to hear all about it. Please get in touch with christinem@cofebirmingham.com and we will put this on the website.

Vacancies: Two Church Planting Catalyst Coaches

Anabaptist Mennonite Logo

 

The Anabaptist Mennonite Network is embarking shortly on a project to plant some new churches with distinctly Anabaptist values and practices.

To develop this project, they want to appoint two people, each on a one-day-a-week basis, as ‘catalyst/coaches’ from the beginning of May. Their role will initially be to recruit a number of pioneers and then to coach and support them.

There’s much more information on the AMN website. If this could be for you visit https://urbanexpression.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72d6bfab658b1c1c9d8d01151&id=2572695af1&e=d3b06a7d78

Hope Community Witham

Estate Comunity Church

Once again churches and communities are having to dig deep into keeping hold of hope as we start the New Year with a third lockdown.

Today we bring you some good news of an estate church in Witham, Essex, the Hope Community. Their mission is ‘Bringing Hope, Being Community’. You can find their page on Facebook here.

Like many churches since March 2020, Hope Community have had to quickly learn how to put services online and go through a steep learning curve. Services are currently being streamed live every week via Facebook where engagement has grown from 70 views per week to over 500 views. A Zoom Alpha Group has also been set up by Revd Will Abbott for people to explore questions brought up in the uncertainty of this season which are advertised through Facebook and this group is growing.

Goody Bags Hope Community

As well as being flexible in how to worship God and pray, Hope Community have been reaching out to families in need through the Love Where You Live scheme. This scheme was originally set up in Wythenshawe by The Message. During Love Where You Live weeks in Wythenshawe, volunteers have been delivering food parcels, cleaning up rubbish and even sprucing up gardens. You can read more about the Wythenshawe project on https://www.message.org.uk/love-where-you-live-2/

In Witham, volunteers gave out  over 400 goody bags and food over Christmas to families who have been really touched by this act of kindness. Donations for the foodbank are coming in regularly and there is a Just Giving ‘Love Where U Live’ fundraising page to raise money towards outreach projects to support and care for the wider community. A recent appeal has been for funds to buy treats for NHS staff to show appreciation of their frontline work. A link to give a donation to this fund can be found here.

Hope Community have plans in the pipeline to launch their own website later this year as a charitable organisation. In the meantime if you would like some more details about Hope Community which works with St. Nicolas Church, Witham, visit https://www.withamparishchurch.org.uk/

 

Apostolic training for an indigenous ministry?

Estates practitioner and priest, Joe Hasler offers some thoughts around training local people for God’s mission in extracts from his poem below. The whole reflection can be downloaded at the end of this post.

Bristol Estate

Apostolic means ‘Go to’

or ‘being sent’.

An Apostle meaning

‘one sent on a mission’.

  •     We have had the decade for evangelism,
  • a pre-occupation with leadership,
  • and now the emphasis on discipleship.

I hope this means

the direction is getting closer

to listening

to the people on the ground.

 

An important message I have heard in all this is,

“Do we want a ‘Come to’ church

or a ‘Go to’ church.”

Is it desirable to move from maintenance to mission?


So how do the trainers

and their institutions

model God’s mission

in the way we do training?

We have been trying to address these issues in the Northern Ark Mission Initiative in North Bristol.

The pilot period has come to the end of its initial three years.

Some things could have been done better

but we ask

‘Why do people from local council built housing estate congregations in Bristol come forward into growing ministry teams?”

38 people from 4 out of 6 parishes have stepped out so far;

with some to become licensed readers (6),

and some to become ordained priests (3).

Making ministry training

in a mission model

must be one of the driving forces.

But for all the things

we might have done better

here are four things we did well.

  1. Take the training to the people.
  2. Go in twos. (THE INTERVENTIONISTS)
  3. Forming learning communities in the culture.
  4. Practise what we want to preach.

The experience is that the trainers model a ‘go to’ approach

and learning is integrated

with activity in mission.


The beginning

and the end

is in becoming a more self-sufficient congregation

that is more dependent on God.

 

Indigenous is not isolationist.

It is making a stronger contribution to a bigger whole.

But local interventions

can bring the confidence

to let this, happen.

 

I think this is mainly

because the trainers,

no matter how good they are,

‘go to’.

The result is of a local congregation that naturally goes to the wider world and church.

This is what has been modelled in their training.


(More information about the initiative can be found at www.joehasler.co.uk   then find  other stuff and click on drop down menu for northern ark publications.)

To download the whole reflection click Apostolic Training for Ministry and New Pathways

New Resources from Jesus Shaped People

Many of you will already be aware of the work of Jesus Shaped People, helping people to become focussed on mission and service. They have a new course called Stay Alert to the Spirit.

There are intergenerational materials for both on and off line, or a mix of both. For more information you can get in touch with Dawn or Brendon at JSP.

Vacancy: Church Leader (Estate Church Plant) Barton Community Church

Christian Vocations

 

Barton Community Church are looking for a woman or man to move into Barton to lead our 10-year-old church plant and help the experienced team make the most of the mission opportunities ahead. Good character and proven leadership skills are essential, being an accredited minister is not.

Salary: £35.5k
Location: Barton estate, Oxford

Find out more about Barton Community Church at https://www.bartoncommunitychurch.org/

For details about what the role involves, who they are looking for and how to apply visit https://globalconnections.org.uk/vocations/uk-jobs/83384

 

 

Vacancy: Ordained Lead Evangelist, North Sutton Centre of Mission and Vicar of St. Helier

Diocese of Southwark Logo

St Helier Estate is in Carshalton and Morden and straddles the London Boroughs of Sutton and Merton.  It is home to about 30000 people of whom about two thirds live in the parish of St Helier. It is a diverse estate with many young families as well as older residents. About half of the residents own their homes and approximately 38% of all households are social rented. The estate is currently recognised as having high levels of deprivation, unemployment, single parents, elderly people and people with long term disabling illness. 31% of all households with children are lone-parent households. Large parts of the parish are amongst the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country

Bishop Andrewes’ and St Peter’s are small but committed congregations.  We believe in the transforming love of God in Jesus, and we seek to share his love with our community, so people may have life in all its fullness. We are aiming to make “Jesus the heart of the community”.

Post Introduction

This role has been created in partnership between the Diocese of Southwark and Church Army to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the St Helier Estate and to transform the community in His name.  Centres of Mission are small teams of evangelists living and working with local people especially those disconnected from church, seeking to unlock God’s potential within them and to grow new worshipping communities amongst them.  The Lead Evangelist will lead the North Sutton Centre of Mission, recruiting a Pioneer Evangelist to work alongside them, and will also be the Vicar of St Helier.  Members of the two congregations are enthusiastic about this appointment and the Centre of Mission and ready to volunteer to support it.

Further information about the post can be found at https://www.cofepathways.org/members/modules/job/detail.php?record=2818

If you feel this is where God may be leading you a Job Description pack can be downloaded on  St Helier – Job Description and profile Final with pics

You can also download the Vision Statement for Southwark Diocese on Diocesan Vision Statement 2017-2025

Stories from Strategic Development Fund projects

Strategic Development Fund

The Strategic Development Unit are hosting a series of interviews on Zoom with practitioners from some of the Strategic Development Funding projects to share some of the stories of those involved. (Agi is also circulating details via Mission Network News.)

The first interview was held last Thursday 17 September. My colleague Tom Conway talked to Rob Fowler and Russel Baylis about their experiences of leading and supporting a church plant in Whitleigh, in Plymouth, as part of the outer estates planting SDF programme in Exeter diocese. If you were unable to join us for this interview, it is now available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GcnT-1X5xk

Later in the series, we will be featuring projects in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham dioceses.

A full list of future interviews, with the links to enable you to register live to watch the webinars (at which there will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions), is below.

Thursday 8 October at 12.30pm  

This webinar will feature Manchester diocese’s project to establish small church plants in areas where there have been very low levels of engagement with the Church.

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/5416003570133/WN_rrquTRwwQM-8d4MiIHHDkA

Thursday 15 October at 12.30pm

Tim Montgomery will talk about Liverpool diocese’s project to turn around mission and financial strength in Wigan.   https://zoom.us/webinar/register/6816003579899/WN_gFDrqFeISHCUEH7HyEWF7Q

Thursday 22 October at 12.30pm

Liz Dumain will talk about building intergenerational worship in Birmingham diocese

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/8216003583738/WN_8RRPRV6mTFGNHHve_dQhSw

All of these interviews will be recorded and available for you to watch at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMwCFR_zx1Lsx1pp5ffRM4A .