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CRCW News and Events

In the first of our October reflections, we have an article written by Simon Loveitt, CRCW for almost 30 years and Convenor for the CRCW kat yukawa 754726 unsplash Small 002Programme Sub-Committee (PSC). Simon is also the treasurer for the S2 Food Poverty Network.

The S2 food Poverty Network was set up in late 2013 as a response to a growing need for access to food: Simon says: "Whilst collectively we wished to address the immediate and very real need, we were also very uncomfortable with developing a food bank in the 21st Century, in a country that was essentially wealthy."

From the beginning, the goal was to end the foodbank by 2020 and move into a more sustainable environment by creating access to good quality and affordable food. "We wanted to look beyond the immediate crisis and address the underlying causes of poverty, which led to people not having enough food to live on."

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So, how does this new system work and is it possible to eradicate the need for foodbanks completely? Simon and the team at The Manor Church and Community Project in Sheffield believe it should be: "As the Foodbank is for emergency food provision only, we want to put in place initiatives that encourage clients to move from a dependency model, to one where, with support, they are becoming once again, financially independent."

Read Simon's full reflection here: The Challenge of Breaking the Dependency on Foodbanks.

Read more: The Challenge of Breaking the Dependency on Foodbanks

It has been a little while since our last post but that does not mean things within Church Related Community Work ministry have been quiet. Quilt image JPGQuite the opposite in fact! There is plenty going on and I now have the time to tell you a bit more about all the things that have been happening over the summer and what CRCW's are reflecting on in the next few months. Our first post of the autumn comes from CRCW Ann Honey.

Ann is coming towards the end of her second term at Robert Stewart Memorial Church (RSM) Project in Newcastle upon Tyne. The congregation aim to show the love of God in their caring for the community around the church – enabling community groups to find their voice by providing space and encouragement as well as becoming involved in the many projects now running in the area.

In her most recent article, Ann reflects on making a quilt and what similarities this has on enabling a community:

"I have been working in Fenham for almost 10 years now, and it seems to me that building community is a bit like sewing a quilt. This quilt started out at some tiny triangles of fabric – little bits of material that, while they were quite pretty, probably needed some intervention. I took the little triangles and I sewed them into groups of triangles, I was quite pleased with the little groups, they looked even prettier, and because the triangles were joined together, they were stronger."

To read Ann's full article, read here.

Read more: I made a Quilt

For the second CRCW reflection this month, we are delighted to hear from CRCW Adella Pritchard, who works at Bishop Latimer United TomatoesWebCropChurch in Winson Green, Birmingham.

In her reflection, Adella talks about a new initiative, in collaboration with partnering churches and local charities, addressing the food poverty in their community - specifically focusing on a school holiday lunch club.

Adella says: "In the school holidays last month, an Easter Family Holiday Lunch Club took place for three days. The aim, was to gain evidence of need, to be able to fundraise for a bigger lunch club to take place in the summer school holidays."

But how successful was thier first venture? To find out and to learn more about this initiative, you can read the full article here:
Everyone can come to the Feast.

If you would like to find out more about CRCW ministry, please contact the CRCW office by email or call 0207 916 2020.

Tomatoes Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

In the first of our June reflections, we hear from CRCW student Jo Patterson who has been on a placement in Brixton, working with two church communities for the last couple of years.

After four years in training, Jo says: "I find myself reflecting on those experiences I have been blessed to witness and generously been invited to share. Theological reflection is asking, “Where is God in this?” So, I want to talk about where God is ‘unexpectedly’."

We hear about Jo's relationship with God and how and where she witnesses God within her work and ministry: "God is in the people, not the building. It is in what we do as well as what we believe. And in those relationships between the people we see and minister to."

To read Jo's full reflection, click here.

If you would like to know more about Church Related Community Work minstry, please email the CRCW office or call the main URC switchboard on 0207 916 2020.

For the first of our May reflections, we are delighted to share all that is good in the town of Luton. Karen Campbell is the Church Related Karen reflection photo WebCropCommunity Worker (CRCW) for a Luton charity called Grassroots.* In this reflection, Karen describes what it is like to live and work, in what some have hailed: 'the crappiest town in Britain'.

The town has certainly had some very bad press over the years but Karen is keen to show that the work going on, often behind the scenes, to 'build community' is having some incredibly positive effects.

Karen acknowledges that Luton's reputation has faced many challenges in recent years' and the town has been "...labelled by sections of the media as a hotbed of terrorism" but despite this, Karen wants to highlight just how much there is to celebrate and value in Luton and show just how strong the diverse faith and cultural community partnerships can be: 

Read more: Luton... What a Place! Grassroots... What a Team!

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