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CRCW News and Events

Simon Loveiit and ministers small webFINAL

Our very own Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) Simon Loveitt (pictured second from the left) recently celebrated 30 years in CRCW ministry, which is certainly worth shouting about! The unique ministry marked its own 30-year anniversary just last year at General Assembly, where Simon was directly involved with delivering a presentation on the main stage. He says:

"It was great to be part of the 30-year celebration of Church Related Community Work at General Assembly in 2018. It was a recognition of the significant impact the Ministry has had on the Church and its community, and it celebrated the role of the sixty church and community settings, and the 45 different CRCW’s that have been part of developing this Ministry."

Simon has recently written a reflection about his experiences as a CRCW spanning 3 decades and shares what has changed since those early days. For instance, Simon says that there was no such thing as a foodbank in the 1980s and is dismayed by the growing need for foodbanks as: "...the safety nets of our society have been steadily eroded by government policy".

You can read Simon's reflection on the main URC latest news page here.

You can find out more about Simon's CRCW work at The Manor Church and Community Project in Sheffield, here.

Read more: CRCW Celebrates 30 years of Service!

In the first of our July reflections, we hear from newly qualified CRCW; Jo Patterson, who is based at Copleston Church in Capture cropPeckham.

Jo says: "Change is word that scares many and for most it is often difficult to even think about. In my current project at the Copleston Church and Centre, I am surrounded by new opportunities and social justice issues that require change."

But where to start? Jo explores what it takes to make changes, not only within her Church but also within the community.

Jo says: "This group came together motivated by a desire to affect genuine change with creative actions to gain the attention of local politicians, councillors and stakeholders. The ‘pay-off’ is not money or influence, but through listening to the local community, to make significant and long-lasting change for the benefit of all."

You can read Jo's full reflection here.

Read more: Make a Change

Picture4WebCropThis month, we have a number of reflections to share and we start with Katy Ollerenshaw, who is currently in her second year of CRCW training and on placement in Stockport. Katy says:

"In my time on placement one thing which has stood out has been how personal passions drive projects and in particular, volunteers. Being able to share something they personally benefit from makes the giving of time and skills appealing to those who may on occasion feel they are unable, too busy or have nothing to give."

Katy describes how an unintentional project: Mana Potion – 'an event where those seeking community, company and models of positive wellbeing can come and enjoy in their own way and time through play' has been embraced by all those around her:

"These regulars like to describe themselves as unofficial volunteers, that said they wouldn’t mind having a t-shirt to make it official! Their passions for table top games and their benefits have created a small community which supports each other both in and outside of the project."

Read Katy's reflection in full here.
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If you would like to find out more about building community in your local area and the ministry of Church Related Community Work, contact our CRCW office by email or call 0207 916 2020.



For our second reflection this month we hear from Simon Loveitt; Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) based at Manor Church & Foodbank Christmas WebCropCommunity Project, Sheffield.

Simon explains the types of projects he and colleagues are involved in, within the Manor – a sprawling ex Council estate, south east of the City centre of Sheffield. The population of the estate is approximately 15,000 and the Manor and Castle Ward is currently the most deprived ward in Sheffield.

"The challenge to the Church on such an estate is how can you still be relevant and make a difference to the lives of those living there?" Says Simon.

Collaborative working and a passion for change proved to be the key: "It became clear, over 8 years ago, that an ecumenical approach was the best way to achieve our aims."

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The community project has been very active over the years and is directly involved in many community initiatives and local events, in order to make a difference to people's lives within the community. You can read all about the work taking place by reading Simon's reflection here.

Image 1 (right) shows the Foodbank at Christmas and Image 2 (left) shows community carol singing.

If you would like to find out more about the CRCW work in your area or are keen to find out more about you could become a CRCW either drop us a line by email or call the URC switchboard and ask to speak to a member of the CRCW office: 0207 916 2020.

...So an old Chinese proverb goes. This month we hear from Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) Adella Pritchard who is based at Baby basicsthe Bishop Latimer United Church in Birmingham.

Adella shares with us a recent reflection given to her Church entitled: ‘Jesus calls us to use our skills and belongings to help others’. Helping others is integral to community work, it is the essence of everything we do. The message of this bible reading links to the life of the Tea and Chat Group, from when Tea and Chat started in the first year of Adella starting at Bishops in 2010.

Adella says: 'The ethos of Tea & Chat has been for the members to try different things to bring about change. In no particular order – these different activities have included learning a new skill or develop an existing one, walking alongside others though the good times and the not so good times, helping others, having fun, caring for others, creating community, celebration, celebrating with song, painting, dancing, eating together at different occasions and going on visits. All coming under the banner of taking care of one another. Taking care of the sheep …. we are all a bit older than lambs!!'

You can read Adella's full reflection here.

* Photo shows the members of Tea & Chat, with donated baby items for the charity Baby Basics.

Read more: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand

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