Pilgrimpace's Blog

NECN Conferences 2019

NECN Conferences 2019

will be at Bradford Cathedral on Tuesday 18th June
Birmingham Cathedral on Thursday 20th June.

Please save the date!


I will be updating the NECN Mailing List and sending out a mailing soon.  If you would like to join it to receive emails, please let me know.

It would be great to hear about any estate church activities which are going on over the summer.  Is there anything exciting planned in your church or community?  Let us know here or on the NECN Facebook page.

Lots of prayers for you over the summer


house blessing liturgy
June 18, 2018, 8:41 pm
Filed under: estate church resources, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Debbie Collins from Holy Cross, Billesley has provided us with this resource

House Blessing2

postcards – reflective exercise
June 4, 2018, 5:22 pm
Filed under: estate church resources, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Ruth Atkinson at St Michael’s, Bartley Green has provided us with this excellent resource.  Collect postcards or the pictures from Christmas Cards and use them in the attached reflective exercise either with children or adults.

A reflective exercise of the Nativity Questions you might ask the children

Ruth writes:

I keep several boxes of cards and postcards which I use in a variety of contexts.
With a Bishop’s Certificate group as a warm up exercise i gave them a box of general postcards and religious ones.  They had to choose 2 and then tell the rest of the group why they had chosen them.  At the end of the course in a time of reflection over half went back to mention the cards from the first session with one man saying to me – ‘You have taught us the value of image’.
I also have a box of Sieger Koder images which you can buy online and find the Holy week images particularly useful.
I also look for images on Christmas cards and now have several sets of the Nativity story in cards which I lend to the church school for them to use for a reflective exercise before our final Christmas service.  The attached is a copy of the questions which I supply with the cards to help those staff for who lack confidence in reflective exercises.
Cards are relatively cheap and can be built up over time.  Different paintings and images often show the emotion that the artist maybe considered whilst completing the work.
This and a growing set of estate church resources are on the NECN Toolkit – have a browse, and let me have anything you want to share with other churches

estate baptism liturgy
June 2, 2018, 12:00 pm
Filed under: estate church resources, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,
This is the Baptism liturgy we ‘tweaked’ at St. Peter’s Church, Balkwell.
baptism a5 final cover
We decided that:
  • We would have as little in the ‘booklet’ as possible for the service, just the general flow and the answers the guests would make.
  • We would include prayers on the inside cover to encourage the family to keep up with their promise to pray for their child.
  • We would add services and events of possible interest at the back of the sheet together with contact details etc/
  • We would ‘personalize’ the service sheet (which wasn’t too costly as the inner sheet with the service on was re-usable should people leave their copy behind.  We asked for a photo of the candidate, which always went down well.
  • We got the family, godparents, parents etc. to a meeting shortly before the service in our cafe and began with a game, chat, video etc. At that meeting (I can send a ‘running order’ if anyone is interested) the family chose a Bible verse for their child which we printed onto the service sheet (10 short sentences – I’ve sent the fuller version of each (in the version we used) and we would read and reflect on the one chosen by the family at the service.
Think that’s all!  Hope it’s useful to someone.  Please would you acknowledge the fabulous people at St. Peter’s Church, Balkwell, as it’s something we worked really hard on together to make this sacrament more welcoming and affirming for the families from the estate who came to us.
Frances Wilson

estate church resources
June 2, 2018, 11:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

This section of the blog will be collecting together a number of Estate Church resources so that they are available online and can be clicked onto from the NECN Toolkit

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.

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.