karen campbell croppedIn the first of our April reflections, we hear from Karen Campbell – CRCW at the BPBHCC (Bury Park Beech Hill Council of Churches) in Luton. Karen reflects on nearly 10 years in post and celebrates all that has been achieved by the community that she has so passionately worked alongside.

Karen says that since the beginning, it has been about: "bringing together members of the town's diverse faith and cultural communities, many of whom have little reason to encounter each other on a day-to-day basis. Often, there has been no need to 'reinvent the wheel' – opportunities are out there, and the role of the Project has been to get people plugged in and taking part in what is happening around them."

We see lots of people working together and enjoying sharing food, laughter and experiences. Special events have taken place, such as: 'Precious Pearls' – Annual Celebration of International Women's Day and 'One World Week' Celebration as well as many new initiatives such as Cohen's Yard Community Project – working together to reclaim a local park for community use. (See picture below):
PLAY PARK WebCrop
To read the article in full, please click here. If you would like to find out more about the project you can view a brief overview here or go the Grassroots website.

If you would like to find out how to become a Church Related Community Worker, please get in touch.

Best Gift cropped Web smallThe theme for this year's URC at Greenbelt is 'Walking the Way with Wit & Wisdom'. In previous years, we have loved how enthusiastic and supportive you have been in providing wonderful creations for our takeaway tent.

This year, we are hoping to get even more of you on board and create our best looking tent yet! Read all about how you can take part here with our PDF flyer. The festival takes place from 23 to 26 August on the estate of Boughton House. We want everyone to feel involved in the URC partnership with Greenbelt, even if you can't be at the festival in person.

So, here's what we are looking for: postcard-sized crafts containing inspirational words you'd like to share. This could be anything from your grandparent's words of wisdom to a favourite joke. They can be embroidered, crossed-stitched or drawn for example - the option is yours. All that we ask is that you make sure it is relative to the size of a postcard and that you do not use any plastic or glitter (if you can use recycled material, all the better!) Being weather durable would also be helpful.

Read more: URC at Greenbelt needs your creative input!

The first of this month's reflections is 'Walking the Way- Holy Habits with Our Community' at North Avenue Miscaleb gregory 1337148 unsplash WEBCROPsion Project, Chelmsford by Maria JY Lee. Maria started this, her first CRCW project, since graduating in July 2018 and had a couple of major setbacks, through no fault of her own, right from the outset.

After serving the community for over 90 years, North Avenue United Reformed Church closed its doors on 30 September 2018. After, what was a stressful and uncertain period came some exciting plans to set up a Mission project, based at the church premises and launched on 1 October 2018.

Maria says: "Our Mission Project statement is: ‘Working together in the love of Christ and reaching out as church in community'. The Chelmsford Project is willing to build partnerships for the wellbeing of the local people and to serve the community with a rich mix of biblical material and inspiring social resources."

To read more about Maria's journey and The North Avenue Mission Project, read here.

Read more: Walking the Way - Holy Habits with Our Community

For the second of our Church Related Community Work reflections' this month, we hear from newly qualified CRCW; Jojason briscoe 330458 unsplash WebCropped Patterson. In her reflection 'Joining the Dots', we can get a sense of what it is like to work with a new CRCW project (Jo is just two month's into her calling to serve Copleston Church and Centre) and all the complexities and joys that can bring.

However, Jo does have a history with the Church, training there on placement for two years so is well versed on what is required and what is yet to do. Jo says: "As the world is a mass of diversity of faith, of motivations, needs and evolving cultures so the ordinary workings of a community church and Centre reflects that. And when we are trying to work out what is best, how do we avoid conflict and still acknowledge those differences? There are two very different situations that highlight this for me."

It is these two situations with very positive outcomes, that would not be possible without joining the dots.

You can read Jo's full reflection: Joinng the Dot's here.

Read more: Joining the Dots

We are delighted that Jo Patterson, who only graduated in 2018 accepted a call to a new CRCW project: 'Growing together – Copleston Jo Patterson commissioning Web smallChurch & Centre'' in Peckham. Jo was commissioned and inducted at a service at the Church in January, where close family and friends joined in celebration.

Derek Estill; CRCW Programme Sub-Committee Member and General Assembly Moderator Elect attended the service on behalf of the committee and signed the Covenant. The photo includes (left to right): Jo’s Husband, Noel (CRCW tutor), Derek, Edward; Church of England Vicar in the LEP, Jo, Nicola and Jo’s Son and Daughter.