CRCW ministry: changing the world one person at a time

Man Image Rosie Reflection webIn Smirnoff’s recent ‘We Are Open’ campaign, a TV advert says, ‘labels are for bottles not people’. This got church related community worker (CRCW) Rosie Buxton – who works for the Swansea region of churches in Wales – thinking about the labels attached to people, intentionally or not …

CRCW ministry is about people, not projects. As Helen Stephenson says in her reflection, ‘Church related community work is not about projects it’s about people’, but unfortunately, we like to put labels on people and situations.

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 them.

At Christ Well in Swansea, we recently had a meal for those who would normally be on their own. It was interesting to see that everybody enjoyed the company and food. Our guests were a marvellous mix of people who I do not want to label with either a condition or a limitation.

That’s the point; our society is made up of a great mix of people. I can hear some people reading this saying that we need descriptions, to help us tailor either church or society to cater for particular needs or circumstances. But what in your opinion comes first – the whole person or their needs or circumstances?

Our projects in Swansea work with people who are looking for something apart from the main issue that brings them to us. People want to be treated with respect and dignity. They want someone or something – an organisation, statutory body or government – who is interested in them as an individual, and will care about them.

Part of CRCW ministry is about changing the way church, community and society see people. Jesus was called many things: Messiah, son of God, Rabbi, son of Mary, friend, saviour, redeemer. But he was not limited by these ‘labels’. He was love, hope, inspiration, councillor – God made flesh.

When someone asks, ‘What do CRCWs do?’ the answer is that, we change the world, one person at a time, one step at a time. Sometimes we walk very slowly, sometimes we run.

The label CRCW is different for each person in the ministry because we are all different, just like everyone else …

This is an extract from Rosie’s reflection entitled: In CRCW ministry – you change the world one person at a time, which can be found in the News and Events section of the URC’s church related community work webpage. Click here to read the rest of Rosie’s story.


Image credit: photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash