I have been involved with the Estates Evangelism Task Group and Partner’s Conference at High Leigh. Ninety practitioners gathered together to look at the challenges facing us in the future serving our communities. There has been a lot of challenge for The Church to reform its institutional bias and refocus on those who live in poverty. That however is for a later post.Read more
For the last twenty years, I’ve talked a lot about my relationship with the church as a kid who grew up in a mining family. At the Estates Evangelism Task Group (EETG) one of the big questions we wanted to explore was how we can enable more working class people to be in leadership across the Church of England at all levels. Ministry Division commissioned a report looking into how clergy have experienced being working class within the church; “Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters’”: Exploring the wellbeing of working-class clergy in the Church of England: a rally cry for change“. I was also one of the participants in the study.
I’m not going to do any in depth analysis here as I’ve linked to the full report above. The report contains a lot of stories from others that I very much relate to; telling our story as people who live, work and breath in a world that is alien to our own. Or as one colleague said to me on Wednesday – ‘it’s time for us to start masking’.
At the NECN conferences in the last fortnight, a short presentation of the findings has been made and the report has been picked up by the Church Times. One thing I would suggest is that some of the stories make for good soundbites but the statistics highlight a wider institutional problem:
“resist the neoliberal understanding of wellbeing as purely self-care, and so focus here on social structures and institutional cultures and processes beyond the control of the individual”.
On my mammoth to do list is a half written blog post about how this current crisis is disproportionately affecting the poor. Fortunately, this thirty second clip sums it up far more succinctly than I was managing.
As part of the Renewal and Reform agenda, the Archbishops’ Estates Evangelism Task Group have been hard at work for the last two years*. In the coming weeks I will post more about how things are progressing with the “commitment to action“.
Our estates projects are working toward a thriving, growing, loving church on every significant social housing estate in the country – through new patterns of ministry, sharing good practice and encouraging leaders.
I wanted to highlight the recent video that was released. Unfortunately, most of the publicity came out whist I was on holiday so I am a bit late to the party. But as they say, better late than never.
*well you would say that Robb, you’re part of it.