• Wessex Synod's journey

    2018APR GNS12018APR GNS22018APR GNS3Wessex Synod have been on a journey for a few years now moving towards their synod meetings being fully inclusive. Bringing together people of all ages and abilities from the local churches to listen, talk and engage together in the ‘business’ of synod meetings.

    11 years ago saw the first Youth meeting alongside synod exploring similar themes to the adult meeting. From this came the Synod Youth Executive who now are regulars in synod ensuring the voice of Young People is present. This left the synod with the opportunity to run a children’s day alongside synod exploring similar themes to the adult meeting and often feeding into the meeting directly on key themes. This became known as the Children’s Forum (Children Speaking Aloud). The times spent together with the adult meeting were often extremely well received and productive occasions and both the adults and children were asking for more similar opportunities to be together, learning from each other and sharing. This reflected the commitment of the synod staff to see an inclusive synod. 

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  • St John's Tenby

    St John’s Tenby is a small church with big ambitions. They are starting a creative music project with the children of the local community, where they hope to compose, produce and preform their own music and drama performances.

    They are starting with the theme of the four seasons and with the help of local artists and musicians, they will achieve some amazing unique piece of work. We will keep you posted about how this exciting project goes when it starts in October.

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  • In CRCW ministry - you change the world one person at a time

    According to a recent Smirnoff Vodka campaign: "Labels are for bottles not people". This got our very own CRCW; Rosie Buxton thinking... Man Image Rosie Reflection web

    The second reflection we offer you this month is all about the labels we put on people, intentionally or not. As Rosie says in her reflection:
    "It does not matter which way you find information; labels are the first way people are defined. Vulnerable, disadvantaged, troubled, challenging, disabled, celebrity, addict, Christian, Muslim, lonely, financially inactive, refugee, asylum seeker… to name but a few. We get so caught up in labels, we forget the human being behind that label."

    Rosie is currently the church related community worker at the Swansea Region project in Wales. Rosie's reflection this month, provides a great insight into the life of a CRCW and shows us that we really should try to see the person before the 'label'.
    To read the article in full click here.

    If you would like to know more about CRCW ministry, please contact the CRCW office via our main switchboard: 020 7916 2020 or email us at crcw.admin@urc.org.uk

    Image credit: photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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  • Holiday on a submarine...

    Simon reflection photo web crop"I got out of bed, to discover I was paddling. To our alarm, the boat was full of water and sinking! We quickly got everyone up and abandoned ship, then phoned the marina for help."    

    In the first reflection of 2018, we are treated to a collection of short stories by CRCW Simon Loveitt. If you would like to find out what  on earth happened in: 'Holiday on a submarine…'and read more amusing tales from Simon's time in ministry, you'll find them in a PDF here: It was one of those days...

    Simon Loveitt is currently Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) at The Manor Church and Community Project in Sheffield and has been a CRCW for nearly 3 decades! Simon is also the Chair of the CRCW Programme Sub-committee and has written a document called: 25 Years of Creating Change in Communities which provides a really useful insight into the ministry.

    If you would like to find out how your church could get more involved with its community or you yourself are keen to find out about what is involved in becoming a CRCW, please email me or call the URC switchboard on 0207 916 2020 and ask for the CRCW office.

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  • The run up to Christmas for a Church Related Community Worker

    We are lucky enough to have 2 reflections at once this week! This second reflection has been written by CRCW Alison Dalton, who is based at the Building Bridges projectat Tonge Moor, Bolton. This time of year can be busy for anyone, as there is so much more to squeezeAlison Dalton Dec Reflection into the days leading up to Christmas and being a Church Related Community Worker is no different!

    One example was to help organise Christmas gatherings, as Alison explains: "On the Friday of this week I had great fun with our partnership lunch club (Age UK, Church at the Centre and Tonge Children’s Centre) before I find myself acting as entertainment officer for a local community group: FUSION. This evening they held their Christmas dinner, 4 courses, for 30 local residents. Luckily another CRCW kindly shared some quiz questions with me, thanks Mal!" (Mal Breeze CRCW of the North East Blackburn Group).

    If you would like to take a look back with Alison, over the last couple of weeks, to see just how busy herself and those at the Building Bridges Projecthave been, take a look at this: The run up to Christmas for a Church Related Community Worker.

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  • Church Related Community Work is not about projects it’s about people

    This month's reflection comes from CRCW Helen Stephenson and it is a very important one because it will be the last we will hear from Helen for a while (perhaps ever!) whilst she explores a new career pathSunderland and Boldon Picture2Amend and undertakes new training. We will miss her enormously, as I am sure many of the people she works with will but we wish her the very best in the future and who knows, we may be lucky enough to see her return to the ministry of Church Related Community Work one day.

    If you are in any doubt about what CRCW ministry is all about, this would be a good reflection to read. Helen really sums up what it means to be a Church Related Community Worker and what riches can be brought to a community when everyone pulls together. Helen writes:

    "The joys of the ministry for me have been all the things that lead to project work as a result of journeying with people. Meeting people, hearing their stories, sharing in their celebrations and struggles, bringing people together, making safe spaces, making creative spaces and seeing ideas grow, people grow, challenges faced, struggles overcome and lives transformed."

    This really is a heartfelt piece by Helen, where she explores 4 themes within her CRCW career and you can read her full reflection here: Church Related Community Work is not about projects it’s about people

    To read a brief overview of the CRCW project in Sunderland and Boldon, click here.

    If you would like to know more about becoming a CRCW or about setting up a Church Related Community Work project, please email us at crcw.admin@urc.org.uk or call 0207 916 2020 for more information.


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  • So, the question is: What am I doing here?

    "When asked to reflect on my work as a Church Related Community Worker, I wasn’t sure quite what I would reflect on? Having completed my training this year (2017); not inducted nor LisaW Photocommissioned into an accredited CRCW Project, I felt I would struggle. I have thought long and hard about what and where reflecting might take me, it took me back to first hearing the call to Church Related Community Work and to what I have achieved since then."

    A very personal and honest piece by CRCW Lisa Wigfield this month, reflecting on how tragic personal circumstances have shaped her journey through CRCW ministry and led her to a very familiar setting.

    Read the full article here.

    If you have been inspired by Lisa's story and would like to know more about CRCW ministry, do contact the CRCW office at crcw.admin@urc.org.uk or call 0207 916 2020.

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  • Befrienders - In the heart of Manchester city centre.

    "In this modern society, it is hard to find a place to be welcomed and to meet a person who may embrace you as you are, especially in a big city."BefriendersPhoto web 002

    In this new reflection by CRCW student Maria Lee, we hear about the impact 'Befrienders' is having on a community in the heart of Manchester. Maria is in her final year of training and this placement, at Befrienders, is so very different to work she has been involved with before, now working alongside vulnerable communities.

    Maria writes: "The Methodist Central Hall chapel is open alongside Befrienders and is the place to reflect with quiet music on, perhaps to light a candle and people can write down their struggles or prayer requests on the board. This kind of ministry of presence is vital, as an oasis in the midst of a noisy city life."

    To read Maria's reflection and find out about other agencies who work with Befrienders in Manchester, click here.

    If you are interested to find out more about Church Related Community Work (CRCW) and are perhaps inspired to find out more about training opportunities, please contact us and we will respond with all the information you require.

    We also have a CRCW facebook page and twitter account: Enabling Change where you can follow news and updates.

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