This section highlights the support available for urban ministry and community engagement.
The work of the Committee for Social Responsibility aims to:
- Support clergy and lay people in urban churches especially parishes with high levels of multiple deprivation. We will work alongside parishes to identify resources and provide opportunities for mutual help and support.
- Co-ordinate action on urban issues through the Urban Mission and Ministry Committee. As a sub committee of the Committee for Social Responsibility, this group is responsible for taking a strategic overview of urban matters in the diocese and allocates funds for example from the Church Urban Fund, to resource church based community projects. Clergy from urban parishes meet twice a year with Bishops in Archdeaconry groups. Ideas, information and matters of concern are fed back through representatives to the Urban Mission and Ministry Committee.
- Work with the Church Urban Fund. Over the years many parishes have benefited from Church Urban Fund grants. Chester diocese has recently become a 'grant making' diocese. This means that we submit an Annual Delivery Plan to the Church Urban Fund detailing how we will spend the funding allocated to us each year. This is a very different model from the past. As a grant making diocese we will be working with the Church Urban Fund in a deliberate and strategic way to target poverty and disadvantage.
Provide advice and resources to any church in the diocese on community engagement for example, community audits, funding, setting up and developing social action projects, evaluation etc.
Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD):
The English Indices of Deprivation are the Government’s official measure of multiple deprivation at small area level.
The new Indices of Multiple Deprivation scores (IMD) have been published on the Neighbourhood Statistics website. These statistics are really useful for analysing poverty issues in your area, and to support funding applications. Type your postcode into the neighbourhood summary box on the right hand side.
How deprived is your parish?
The Church Urban Fund have created an online poverty search tool - for the first time, you can search for poverty data for Anglican parishes and see how they compare with the most and least deprived parishes in the diocese and in England as a whole.
They also had a high volume of media interest in their research, based on the poverty statistics, which looks at the significant north-south poverty divide in England. Read their Poverty in Numbers report to find out where the top and bottom 10 most deprived parishes are in England.
Evangelism and Church Growth in Urban priority parishes
The Urban Mission and Ministry Committee commissioned a short study to explore the challenges and opportunities for evangelism in urban churches. Six churches in UPA/urban parishes in our diocese took part in the study. Bishop Keith (Chair of the UMMC) is “well aware that making new disciples is not easy for any church in our present social climate and parishes in an urban context may face different and additional challenges”.
The outcomes from the research formed the basis of the event and Dr George Lings, Church Army Research Unit in Sheffield, spoke at the event to put discussions within a national context and help us ground these in good practice.
To read more information about the event and outcomes click here.
Research papers from the Church Urban Fund on various topics including. To access the research and reports click here.
- Poverty and Fresh Expressions - Emerging Forms of Church in Deprived Communities (2012)
- Holding on by a shoestring: tracking the impact of the cuts on voluntary groups in England's most deprived areas (2011)
At the Cutting Edge: A Survey of the Impact of the Spending Cuts (2011)
Urban and estate ministry
National Estate Churches
The National Estate Churches Network is a group of people from different Christian denomiations who are devoted to helping those Christians who live and work on the Housing Estates of England. They know from experience how isolating it can sometimes feel of having our feet firmly where many of God's special people live, despite all the wonderful Gospel benefits. Visit the National Estate Churches Network website and read their Newsletter.
www.culf.org - 'Faithful Cities - A call for celebration, vision and justice'
www.urblog.typepad.com/ - an informal site for comment and resources on urban life, faith, theology and action. www.southwark.anglican.org/bcs/publications.htm - 'DIY Toolkit for Estates Ministry and Outreach' available from:
www.cufx.org.uk - A church urban fund site with many useful resources including
- Monthly e-newsletters; Cnews, Poverty Report and Resource Bulletin.
- DVD - A Day in the Life of a Church Urban Fund project (Also available from CSR)
- Community Value Toolkit - helps churches to measure their contribution to the local community.
- Project Development Workshop - a self facilitated workshop that takes groups/churches through steps to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate new work.
- Project Reflection Workshop - a self facilitated workshop that helps projects/churches to reflect upon and evaluate their work.