Newly qualified CRCW hopes to make a change

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Jo Patterson news bannerJo Patterson, a newly qualified United Reformed Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) based at Copleston Church and Community Centre in Peckham, explores what it takes to make changes, not only within her local church but also within the wider community.

Jo’s parish is in an area that has become an attractive location for both professional and highly skilled people. Yet Peckham is listed as one of the worst-affected areas in the country for personal debt and, within areas of local authority housing, there continues to be a high number of people suffering deprivation.

Within this context, the church seeks to find ways of establishing meaningful connections and engagement across all sections of the area. Jo explains:

“Recently in worship, we looked at the well-known passage, Acts 16:25-34, about the jailer in Philippi. It speaks of his conversion by Paul and Silas and the subsequent baptism of his family. As it concludes, all concerned gather for some food and to share hospitality at the jailer’s home. A wonderfully evocative tale of someone finding faith in Jesus.

“But this account is about more than a simple story of conversion, it is about fundamental and profound change. Change is a 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.

“For example, the congregations in our local church are satisfied with their fellowship but would like to experiment with their style of worship and share it more widely.

“And recently, I attended a Peckham and Camberwell Citizens Assembly along with representatives from schools, colleges, Christian churches of all denominations and other organisations from across Peckham and Camberwell. Together we agreed three areas on which to focus our campaign for change: welcome, housing and safety.

“The jailer’s conversion helps us consider not only how difficult it can be to change, but also how challenging each other and ourselves can lead to transformative outcomes.”

This is an excerpt from Jo’s reflection which can be read in full here.

If you would like to know more about CRCW ministry and discover how you can make a real difference to the quality of lives of people living in your community telephone the CRCW Administrator on 020 7916 8653 or email us for more information.


Published: 18 July 2019

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