Pilgrimpace's Blog


urban mission and evangelism day
September 20, 2017, 7:59 pm
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I’m really looking forward to reflecting and learning with estate and urban colleagues from Southwark Diocese next week.

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carrying within
September 19, 2017, 12:56 pm
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“That’s the thing, von Balthasar argues, that so confuses the world. The world can argue against the institution. It can see the stupidity of the rules and regulations. It can see through the hypocrisy of a church preaching poverty but ruling in wealth. But then the world comes across the saints, and it doesn’t know what to do. Not just the saints of old times, but the saints of today: those people who have learned what it is to share in God’s nature, who have embraced God’s story and gone out into the world to find other fragments of that story to make it even better. Ordinary people who carry within them a sense of who God is, who carry within them the presence of God: you know someone like that, don’t you? That’s discipleship.”

I don’t know where this quote comes from, but it is very good!



cistercian way talk
September 18, 2017, 3:26 pm
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This talk is on Sunday. It would be wonderful to see you there!

Pilgrimpace's Blog

On Being a Broken Pilgrim: Walking the Cistercian Way

wp-image-1798704026jpg.jpegThoughts on a Pilgrimage

Talk by the Revd Andy Delmege

Sunday 24th September 5.30pm

Llanfair Uniting Church

Penrhys, CF43 3RH

All Welcome!

Collection for the work of Llanfair Uniting Church

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September 13, 2017, 7:27 pm
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how flourishing churches on estates are a gospel imperative

I’ve written a blogpost on this for the Church of England which you can read in full here

video here

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or here:

I have spent most of my ministry living and serving on estates. One of the best parts of this for me at the moment is travelling across the country to visit groups of estate church clergy in a city or diocese. It’s a great delight to encounter colleagues who are doing faithful and creative ministry, often in very tough areas. I always come away encouraged and energised.
Estate ministry and estate churches have a distinctive nature. The parishes are largely made up of council or ex-council housing, often on the outskirts of urban areas. People living in them often experience high levels of deprivation, although they often meet this with great resilience. There are often issues with education and with self-esteem. Austerity has led to the social fabric of estate life being squeezed and threatened. Many people in these neighbourhoods are struggling with the basic necessities of life, things like a home, food, clothes, warmth, at a time when a lot of the vital support to negotiate the systems is being stripped away. Many estate churches are working out ways of feeding people – especially children – during the summer holidays; the excellent and essential children’s centres here are facing closure due to the cuts; the number of police around has shrunk.
Most estate churches are deeply involved in the fabric and life of their parishes, often through actions and partnerships that seek to serve the community. Over the past couple of weeks I have seen churches engaged in imaginative children and families work, including a Holiday Kitchen; a School Uniform Swap; Places of Welcome allow people to drop in for a cup of tea and a chat. However, many estate churches face problems of capacity and congregation sizes are often small. There is often a feeling of not being understood by the wider Church.
In much of the country, people who live on estates come from a predominantly white working-class background, although in some areas there is fast demographic change. This can result in a damaging gulf between the culture and assumptions of the Church in its national and diocesan forms and how it exists on estates. This can take the form of assumptions that a middle-class lifestyle equals a Christian lifestyle; assumptions that people have spare money or access to computers; to what can be a deep-rooted feeling that you don’t belong.
Renewal and Reform has put a strong emphasis on estates and evangelism; seeing flourishing churches on estates as a Gospel imperative, as a response to under-investment in the past, and because things that work on estates are likely to work anywhere.
I have become Chair of the National Estate Churches Network, which has more than 20 years of experience in the area of ministry and is presently renewing itself as an independent but close partner to the Church of England’s new energy for estates ministry, representing estate churches, ministers and workers. We have a Kairos moment, a moment for urgent gospel action, where we can help our estate churches to flourish.
A key part of this is in forming groups of estate clergy in local or regional areas. There are many ways in which they can function, but they help us thrive and flourish, giving a corporate space to build and articulate vision, overcome isolation, share good practice, identifying particular training needs, reflecting theologically from our contexts, support those new to estates ministry, and offer mutual support and encouragement.
If you would like help in setting up an Estate Church Group, please get in touch at andydelmege@nationalestatechurches.org
Andy Delmege is Vicar of St Bede’s Church in Brandwood, south Birmingham. He is Urban Estates Mission Enabler in the Diocese, and is Chair of NECN.
This blog was produced as part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme, aimed at helping us become a growing Church for all people and for all places.


14 June 2017
  1. There is an important poem by Fr Alan Everett from St Clement’s, Notting Dale about Grenfell in The Guardian here

and an interview with him here

These are essential reading for those involved in estate ministry or social housing



The Trouble With The World is Me
September 9, 2017, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In his book, Small is Beautiful, Schumacher said, “Although people go on crying out for solutions, they become angry when they are told that the restoration of society must come from within and not from without.” The evil that we read about daily in our newspapers or see on our television screens is but the…

via The Trouble With The World is Me — David Torkington