Become a Church Related Community Worker
Church Related Community Work (CRCW) in the URC is a vital part of the ministry of the whole people of God and is based on a vision of the Church as an agent of social change. It is a distinctive ministry with equal status to the ministry of Word and Sacraments.
Church Related Community Work
- recognises where the Gospel is lived out by people and communities, even if they do not use the name of God
- involves commitment to justice and peace and is not afraid of costly involvement with people
- often happens among people who are disadvantaged, for example by poverty, poor health, limited education and job opportunities and broken social networks
- involves working with individuals and community groups, residents’ and housing associations, schools, voluntary and statutory organisations
- happens when CRCWs are commissioned to a church, Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) or group of churches that has been accredited as a CRCW project
- challenges the church to engage with, and to reflect theologically, on local community work so that community development goals are brought into its own life – its order, outreach, worship, mission and ministry.
‘Community Work is about bringing people together, helping them to identify their own problems and opportunities, mobilising people and resources for change [and] implementing a programme of action’
– The URC Handbook for CRCW and Local Pastorates
Who can become a Church Related Community Worker?
- Anyone who has been a URC member for at least two years and who believes that God is calling them to this ministry.
- Those with experience of community development work – prior professional training is not essential.
- Those willing to work in partnership with individuals, congregations, Elders and Ministers of Word and Sacraments, to help the church become more involved with its neighbourhood.
- Experienced individuals from other denominations can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to become a CRCW.
- Prospective candidates should discuss their interest with their local church and minister, and then contact the Development Worker (CRCW & SCM) at United Reformed Church House (details below ).
- CRCW students study at Northern College, Manchester, which is part of the ecumenical Partnership for Theological Education. Although Northern College is the training centre, CRCWs in training do not have to move to Manchester to study.
- Students spend a minimum of eight-twelve hours per week on a placement – within reasonable reach of their home where possible.
- Modules are delivered largely in blocks over extended weekends. Modules combine community development learning with contextual theology.
- Graduates of the four-year course receive a foundation degree (FdA) or BTh, accredited by the University of Durham, Common Awards.
- The United Reformed Church normally pays student fees and may provide a maintenance grant.
- The course is endorsed by the England Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning.
The ‘terms of settlement’ are the equivalent to those for ordained ministers of Word and Sacraments. Qualified stipendiary CRCWs receive a stipend and pension; housing is provided in a manse or a housing allowance is paid. Non-stipendiary CRCWs may receive a salary ‘from other sources’ or work on a voluntary basis.
For further information
Please contact your synod office or the Development Worker (CRCW & SCM).
The United Reformed Church
86 Tavistock Place
London WC1H 9RT
020 7916 8653
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