United Reformed Church

What is Church Related Community Work?

Find out about Church Related Community Work (CRCW), what it involves and what it can mean for your church and local area.

What is community work?

  • It brings groups of people together to identify and work on their own issues and opportunities.
  • It’s about helping people take control of their own lives, building positive local relationships, developing community resources, healing and transforming lives and working towards equal opportunities, justice and peace.
  • It seeks to enable the transfer of power from the powerful to the powerless and aims to tackle the causes of poverty, prejudice and discrimination.
  • Its context is normally with people within local neighbourhoods who are disadvantaged, disaffected or disappointed, – whether within inner cities, suburban estates, seaside  towns or rural areas – community work can happen wherever is a desire for change.

Church Related Community Work…

  • Is recognised by the United Reformed Church as a distinctive, exciting and challenging ministry and vocation.
  • Shares in God’s vision of the Church as an agent of social change.
  • Recognises where the Gospel is being lived out by people and communities, even if they do not use the name of God.
  • Is not intended as a means of increasing church membership or imposing values
  • Involves commitment to justice and peace and is not afraid of costly involvement with people.
  • Is a challenge to both an insular Church and an uncaring society – it is not for those who want an easy life!

Who are Church Related Community Workers?

  • Church Related Community Workers are community developers who enable the church to work within its local neighbourhood. CRCWs are not employed by the church to only work on its behalf or with church  members, they are there for everyone!
  • CRCWs are called by God, assessed, professionally trained and paid, qualified and commissioned to an  accredited church-in-community. They work as equal colleagues with Ministers of Word and Sacraments.

What do CRCWs do?

  • Work in partnership with local congregations, church members, elders and Ministers of Word and Sacraments to
    help the church become more involved with its neighbourhood.
  • Enable local churches to work with individuals and community groups, residents’ and housing associations, schools, voluntary and statutory organisations.

How might calling a CRCW change my church?

Your church will become:

  • more concerned with mission than with maintenance.
  • more outward looking.
  • a building used by many different groups.
  • a resource for community activities.
  • prepared to see God involved in society, not just with the Church.
  • equipped for community action.
  • trusted and respected by the local community.
  • vibrant, buzzing and a place where all are welcome.

Change will not happen overnight – but it will happen! A CRCW works in partnership with the church, not as an  individual working on behalf of the church.

How are Church Related Community Workers funded?

CRCWs are paid a stipend from the URC Maintenance of Ministry fund and ongoing training is funded via the  Education for Ministry programme. However, local costs, including housing, travel and administration, are met locally.

United Reformed Church