Pilgrimpace's Blog


national estate churches network

I’m poking my head out of Sabbatical for a moment to publicise a couple of National Estate Churches Network things.

You can read the latest edition of Netlink here

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You will see in it this piece of news from Laurie Green:

Very significant and exciting things are happening for NECN right now because, as you may have noticed, Housing Estate ministry is becoming a strong focus for policy both for the government and also within our churches. The Church of England has recently decided to place this ministry high on its agenda and to that end will set up an Estates Evangelism group as a key element of its Reform and Renewal programme so that the poor can be brought to the centre of its strategies for policy on evangelism and resourcing. This seems to me to be Gospel Good News indeed! Bishop Philip North is to chair that estates group and has become a member of our own NECN Executive group so that we can help and resource them. We’ll offer some of our estate experience and presence to inform their programme.

We have already been working together to determine what that programme should be and you can read the latest draft on page 3 of this edition of NetLink. It makes for exciting reading and brings together under four headings what we on NECN are all about – and is also exactly what the CofE group want to see happen. We, of course, are a significantly ecumenical network but our Executive all agree that our other denominations and groups can all gain from this work, and the CofE is only too aware that to think of going it alone on our estates would be foolhardy. Any comments you want to offer about this four-fold programme would be really welcome.

The second piece of news I want to share is about our Executive group. Many will know that I have been chairing NECN for twenty years now and I really think we need a new chair with fresh ideas and energy for all that lies ahead. I’m glad to say that Andy Delmege has stepped forward and I can think of no one better suited, given all his experience, wisdom and commitment. Jane Winter too has signalled that, after so many years as secretary and co-driver of NECN, she too needs to step back and we’re really grateful to Lynne Cullens for agreeing to work with Andy, just as Jane has worked with me, to form a new partnership to manage the work of the Executive. Jane and I will remain very much involved of course and if any readers wish to join our Exec group do let us know. So it’s all systems ready to go! We have our AGM in December so that will be the time for change-over. I very much look forward to seeing many of you at our November national conferences in Rotherham and London – more details in this edition – and warmly welcome any comments about all this news. I’m sure that we now have a strong team and a welcome agenda for NECN and for the years ahead

I am extremely proud to be taking over as Chair of NECN and look forward to working with Lynne, Philip, Laurie and the rest of the Executive Group to do whatever we can to support estate churches and the people who live on estates.  As Laurie says, please let us have any comments or ideas.

This year’s Conferences are coming up:

PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY:

Transforming lives and communitiies

This year’s conference invites us to sense again our call to estate ministry and life by looking at our Christian spirituallity and its impact upon our distinctive ministry.The day will be led by by Dr. Gillian Ahlgren, a leading speaker on spirituality and social justice, from Cincinnati, and by Andy Delmege, Convener of our Birmingham group.

The conference offers the opportunity to visit again the joy of estate church life and present important challenges to help us refresh our connections with the traditions of Christian spritiuality and consider how they help make a practical difference to our loving our estates and communities.

This is a practical day with the sharing of the wisdom in the room as we seek to unlock, and share, our own, and other stories and experiences to gain fresh insight and discover new ideas.

 As always the conference is for all who belong to estate churches, lay people as well as ministers, from all denominations and groupings.

To keep costs to a minimum (£25 – Lunch and hot drinks included) the same programme is offered in two locations – North and South – to keep travel costs down.

London: St Paul’s, Straford, Maryland Rd. E15 1JLRotherham: Ox Close Avenue, Rotherham. S61 3JL

10.00 Welcome & Coffee 10.30 Conference start
12.30 Lunch (included) 15.30 Conference closes

Please click here to book or for more information.

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