We have a strong track record in providing bespoke consultancy services to a wide range of organisations, including universities, NGOs and a range of churches and dioceses.
The Centre has significant expertise and experience of researching social issues, community organising, church development and community relations. We are also actively involved in developing new projects.
We have an interdisciplinary team of researchers, with much of our work led by our Director, Canon Dr Angus Ritchie, providing theological expertise, and our Development Director, Tim Thorlby, drawing on many years working in national socio-economic research and consultancy.
If you would like support in undertaking research, feasibility studies, project development or evaluation, please get in touch with Centre’s Director or Development Director.
Recent projects include:
Research and Development
– London Missional Housing Bond – We have worked closely with Mission Housing, Diocese of London and the Eden Network to develop this pioneering new venture. We undertook the original feasibility study for the Bond, and project managed its development until it launched in February 2013. The Pilot Bond has successfully raised nearly £400k to buy its first Missional House, and we continue to project manage the Bond. The second Bond is launching in the Autumn 2014. For more information, click here.
– Social enterprise business plan – We are delighted to be working with our partners St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe in the City of London on the development of a new social enterprise. We are helping them to develop a full Business Plan and get it ‘investment ready’. We are developing an ethical cleaning company which will recruit people who find it hard to get decent work, will pay the London Living Wage and which will help its employees to ‘thrive not just survive’. Cleaning is important work, and its time to recognise the value of the people who do it.
– Community Ministry Function Review – We were asked by the Diocese of London to undertake an independent review of their long running Community Ministry function in 2013. This involved desk research, interviews and preparation of a report making recommendations on options to take the ministry forward.
– Henry Fawcett Fund support – We have supported this church-based charity to review its Charitable Objects, put in place a revised strategy and review its endowment.
– Redundant church redevelopment – We are working with a Catholic parish in east London to review the options for redeveloping the site of a redundant church in their parish.
We regularly publish theological reflections and articles. These have included:
– theological consultancy to Christian Aid, co-authoring a report on Theology and Taxation.
New Insights: Religious and Secular Philosophy
Christian action in the public square is grounded in the conviction that the Gospel is a public truth – and that this requires Christians to give ‘a reason for the hope they believe in’. Centre Director Angus Ritchie has recently published a major book on apologetics – From Morality to Metaphysics: The Theistic Implications of our Ethical Commitments – and is working as a consultant to the University of Oxford’s New Insights programme. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the project seeks to bring together insights in secular and religious philosophy – and to engage in dissemination of research on issues relating to philosophy and religion
Campaigning and advocacy
– Centre Director Angus Ritchie has been employed as a consultant by Harvard University’s Global Equity Initiative – looking at how political and moral ideas spread and take root. This work formed the basis for a paper (with Sabina Alkire) for Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative entitled ‘Winning Ideas’.
– Staff members David Barclay and Andy Walton are now working with the New Economics Foundation as part of the New Economy Organisers Network.
Teaching and training
Centre Staff and Fellows regularly provide training and mentoring on the practice of community organising. We also offer teaching on the theology of justice and mercy ministries. We have recently worked for:
– the Diocese of Worcester
– the University of Notre Dame Law School