Pilgrimpace's Blog

mission apprentices


We are really pleased that Natalie Collins will be joining St Bede’s as a Mission Apprentice in September.

This is a Diocesan Scheme.  Natalie will be helping us to grow and to deepen our work with the local community.

You can find out more about Mission Apprentices here.

There will be a Commissioning Service with Bishop Anne at St. Luke’s, Great Colmore Street at 3pm on Sunday 9th September 2018.

Please keep Natalie (and St Bede’s) in your prayers


June 25, 2018, 1:52 pm
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Not a bad way to arrive at a Conference

#EstatesLYCIG #estatechurches


The cost of discerning a call is too high for some

There is an extremely good article by Emma Ash in The Church Times this week reminding us that the financial cost of discerning a vocation to the priesthood in the Church of England can cost £1000 (read the article here).  This can be an insurmountable obstacle for people who do not have a high income.

There has been a very helpful discussion about this in the last few days on Twitter.

If anyone has any stories about how financial or other middle class obstacles have affected them in discerning lay and priestly vocations, could you let myself or Lynne Cullens have them (obviously in complete confidence).

NECN sits on various groups looking at nurturing greater diversity in Church of England leadership, and there is considerable will to effect change. We can feed comments and anonymised stories into the process to try to make change.

May 20, 2018, 7:33 pm
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This has been a week.  In amongst all the good, “ordinary” local things in Brandwood and in Birmingham, some wonderful travelling.

A trip to south London to work with the folk at the Church Plant at Ackroydon Hall on the estate in Southfields.  A great time exploring the possibilities of Jesus Shaped People together, and for me some deep learning about other communities, other estates, other churches.  And beer.  And food.

Some time off in Rochdale with Mark and Wendy.  A couple of walks in the South Pennines


and time reflecting together on ministry, faith and life.

And then this morning to London again.


a visit first to Haringey to the Bernie Grant Arts Centre for the Churches Together Pentecost Service


and then to the very special Church on the Farm on Broadwater Farm to preach, to learn about this Church and its work and presence on this estate, to experience such vibrancy and love, and followed by the best goat and rice and chicken I have had the pleasure to eat.

Time now to catch up with myself and to reflect and pray properly on all this.

selection procedures favour middle class

I am very grateful to Madeleine Davies and The Church Times for picking up on the issues of class and indigenous leadership and estate churches from the recent NECN Conferences in this excellent article.

Laurie Green – bibliography

(As part of the NECN Estate Church Toolkit I am putting a number of resources on this blog that the Toolkit will link to)

Bishop Laurie Green has asked us to share the Bibliography from his excellent book Blessed are the Poor? Urban Poverty and the Church, SCM 2015 (if you have not read this, do – it is extremely good).


The Bibliography is here as a document:


or here:

Aldridge, Hannah, Kenway, Peter, MacInnes, Tom and Parekh, Anushree, 2012, Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Anderson, Gary A., 2013, Charity: The Place of the Poor in the Biblical Tradition, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Applebee, Elaine, 2003, ‘Shaping a Changing Society’, in Vincent, J. J. (ed.), 2003, Faithfulness in the City, Hawarden: Monad Press, p. 164.

Bamfield, Louise and Horton, Tim, 2009, Understanding Attitudes to Tackling Economic Inequality, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Barrett, Al, 2013, Asset-Based Community Development: A Theological Reflection, London, CUF.

Barrett, Al and Delmege, Andy, 2011, Strengthening Estate Ministry – Thriving in Mission, Birmingham: Birmingham Diocese.

Baptist Union of Great Britain, Estates Group, 2000, Estate Gospel Agents.

Baptist Union of Great Britain, with Methodist Church, Church of Scotland and United Reformed Church, 2013, The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Ending Comfortable Myths about Poverty, a report.

BBC, 2012, ‘The growing demand for food banks in breadline Britain’, BBC Newsnight Blog, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19468697.

Big Issue, 16 July 2012, p. 19

Bochenski, Michael, 2000, Sent into All the World: Good News for the Housing Estates of Britain – a Journal, Published by the author.

Boerma, Conrad, 1979, Rich Man, Poor Man – and the Bible, London: SCM Press Ltd.

Bonino, José Míguez, 1983, Toward a Christian Political Ethics, London: SCM.

Brown, Wallace and Mary, The Hidden Poor, undated Report to the Diocese of Birmingham.

Browne, James and Hood, Andrew, 2012, A Survey of the UK Benefit System, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Charlesworth, Martin and Williams, Natalie, 2014, The Myth of the Undeserving Poor: a Christian Response to Poverty in Britain Today, 2014, Guildford: Jubilee Plus Ltd & Guildford: Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd..

Church Urban Fund, 2011, ‘Area-Based Poverty’, Church Urban Fund Research Papers.

Church Urban Fund, 2012, ‘Bias to the Poor?’, Church Urban Fund Research Papers.

Church Urban Fund, 2012a, ‘Growing Church Through Social Action: a national survey of church-based action to tackle poverty’.

Coles, Bob, with England, Jude, with Ruff, Julie, 1998, Working with Young People on Estates: The Role of Housing Professionals in Multi-agency Work, York and Coventry: Joseph Rowntree Foundation & The Chartered Institute of Housing.

Dey, Gordon, 2014, Jesus Shaped People, www.jesusshapedpeople.net.

Field, Frank, and Thompson, Timothy, eds, 2014, Feeding Britain, a strategy for zero hunger in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. London: Children’s Society

Franks, Christopher, 2009, He Became Poor: The Poverty of Christ and Aquinas’ Economic Teachings, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Fitzpatrick, Suzanne and Stephens, Mark (eds), 2009, The Future of Social Housing, London: Shelter.

Green, Laurie, 1987, Power to the Powerless: Theology Brought to Life, Basingstoke: Marshall Pickering.

Green, Laurie, 1990, Let’s Do Theology: A Pastoral Cycle Resource Book, London: Mowbray.

Green, Laurie, 1995, ‘The Body: Physicality in the UPA’, in Peter Sedgwick (ed.), God in the City: Essays and Reflections from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Urban Theology Group, London: Mowbray, pp. 105ff.

Green, Laurie,1997, Jesus and the Jubilee – the Kingdom of God and Our New Millennium, London & Sheffield: Jubilee 2000 & UTU Press, New City Special No 11.

Green, Laurie, 2000, The Challenge of the Estates: Strategies and Theology for Housing Estate Ministry, London: Urban Bishops’ Panel & NECN Press.

Green, Laurie, 2003, Urban Ministry and the Kingdom of God, London: SPCK.

Green, Laurie, 2009, Let’s Do Theology: Resources for Contextual Theology, London: Mowbray.

Green, Laurie, 2013, ‘Liberation Theology and Urban Theology’, in Rowland, Chris and Vincent, John (eds), Liberation Theology for Church and Nation, Sheffield: UTU.

Green, Laurie and Baker, Chris (eds), 2008, Building Utopia? Seeking the Authentic Church for New Communities, London: SPCK.

Grindrod, John, 2013, Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain, Brecon, Old Street Publishing.

Hanley, Lynsey, 2007, The Estates: An Intimate History, London: Granta Books.

Hasler, Joe, 2006, Crying Out for a Polycentric Church: Christ Centred and Culturally Focused Congregations, Maidstone: Church in Society.

Hayes, John, 2007, Sub-merge: Living Deep in a Shallow World, Delight, AR: Gospel Light Publications.

Hazlehurst, Benny & Chapman, Chris, 2002, Do It Yourself Estate Kit, London: Southwark Anglican Diocese for NECN.

Hills, John, 2007, Ends and Means: The Future Roles of Social Housing in England, CASEreport 34, London: ESRC Research Centre for Analysis and Social Exclusion (CASE), London School of Economics.

Government, 2013, Social Security Benefits and Expenditure, January 2013, House of Commons Library paper SN/SG/2656.

Jones, Colin and Murie, Alan, 2006, The Right to Buy: Analysis and Evaluation of Housing Policy, Oxford: Blackwell.

Kilpin, Juliet and Murray, Stuart, 2007, Church Planting in the Inner City, Cambridge: Grove Booklets.

Keeble, Paul, 2004, ‘Gang Violence’, in Eastman, Michael and Latham, Steve (eds), 2004, Urban Church: A Practitioner’s Resource Book, London: SPCK.

Lockwood, Trevor, 1993, The Church on the Housing Estate: Mission and Ministry on the Urban Estate, London: Methodist Church Home Mission.

Lupton, Ruth, et al., 2009, Growing up in Social Housing in Britain: A Profile of Four Generations from 1946 to the Present Day, London: Tenant Services Authority and Hoseph Rowntree Foundation: York.

Mealand, David, 1980, Poverty and Expectation in the Gospels, London: SPCK.

Murray, Stuart, 2004, Post-Christendom: Church and Mission in a Strange New World, Carlyle: Paternoster Press.

Murray, Stuart, 2016, A Vast Minority, Carlyle: Paternoster Press.

Myers, Bryant, 2011, Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development, Maryknoll: Orbis.

NECN, 2003, Worship for Housing Estate Ministry: Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land?, from National Estate Churches Network.

Oxfam, The Perfect Storm: Economic Stagnation, the Rising Cost of Living, Public Spending Cuts, and the Impact on UK Poverty, London: Oxfam.

Power, Anne, 1999, Estates on the Edge: The Social Consequences of Mass Housing in Northern Europe, London: Macmillan Press Ltd..

Purnell, Derek, 2003, ‘Urban Presence. Newton Heath, Manchester’, in John Vincent (ed.), Faithfulness in the City, Sheffield: Urban Theology Collective, Monad Press.

Sentamu, John, ed., 2015, On Rock or Sand: Firm Foundations for Britain’s Future, London, SPCK.

Somerville, P. and Steele, A., 2002, ‘Race’, Housing & Social Exclusion, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Thompson, Anna, 2012, ‘Holy Sofas: Transformational Encounters between Evangelical Christians and Post-Christendom Urban Communities’, Practical Theology 5:1, pp. 47-70

Tunstall, Rebecca & Coulter, Alice, 2006, Twenty-five years on Twenty Estates – Turning the tide?, LSE and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Cambridge: The Polity Press.

van Kempen, Ronald, et al. (eds), 2005, Restructuring Large Housing Estates in Europe, Bristol: The Policy Press.

Winter, Jane, 2014, ‘Why does the church appear to ignore the potential for indigenous ministry in areas of social housing?’, unpublished paper.

Wood, Martin, 2008, Strategic Planning or Piecemeal Development? A Study of the Establishment of Church of England Parishes and Their Churches in the New Town of Basildon between 1949 and 1964, MA Thesis, University of Wales, Lampeter.


necn – follow up from the conferences

Dear Friends,

it was really good to see you last week at our excellent Conferences.  There was such a lot of great energy in the room, fantastic numbers, and a lot for us to get on with now.

If you were at the Conferences, can I ask you to spend a few moments completing this questionnaire about the Conference – it will help us take the work forward and to run next year’s as well as we can.  The link for the questionnaire is here:


To keep in touch with each other, we have the NECN Page on Facebook, and – as requested at the Conference – have just set up a Closed Facebook Group at


Let us know if we can support you in any way.


With love and prayers,


Andy and the Team