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The next stage of an exciting journey!

The Centre for Theology & Community l

image1On 10th September, the Revd Richard Springer (left) will begin his ministry as Director of our Urban Leadership School, and will licensed by the Bishop of Stepney as Assistant Priest at St George-in-the-East. It’s the next stage of CTC’s pioneering partnership with St George’s – the church in whose crypt we are now based. You are warmly invited to join us as we welcome Richard to the team.

Richard brings a wealth of experience of inner-city ministry, both as a lay person and as Curate of St Peter de Beauvoir in Hackney. In particular, Richard has experience of overseeing a residential Christian community, and more generally of working with young people in inner-city contexts. This provides a strong foundation for both of his new roles: an important part of the renewal of St George-in-the-East has been the establishment of a lay community of young Christians.

Summer Internship Stories: Putting my theology degree into action!

The Centre for Theology & Community l and tagged , , l

969196_10200126123056055_285313070_nIn this final in our series of blogs by our summer interns, Zoe Mathias writes about what she’s learned…

HOW THEN SHALL I LIVE? – By the end of my second year of university studying theology this question weighed heavily on my mind. I had many eloquent ideas about how the world should be and had repeatedly seen the stark contrast. It was this tension and the pressing question of how I should respond to it that drew me towards this internship.

Summer Internship Stories: Zebras and coffee mornings in Hoxton…

Community Organising l and tagged , , l

11110191_10206713931833882_980092849710742238_nMolly Kemp spent a month as part of our summer internship programme. In this latest in the series of reflections on what the interns learned, she blogs about her placement at St Johns, Hoxton…

While studying chemistry at Oxford, I became involved with an organisation called Just Love, which aims to get Christian students involved in seeking social justice. Eventually I ended up on the committee running the Just Living project, which focuses on how we can change our lifestyle, what we eat, where we buy our clothes and what we pray about so that it is more just. So although I had spent a lot of time thinking, reading and praying about social justice, it had been quite focused on the individual decisions, the impact of which was hard to trace. I wanted to explore the way relationships within a community could be used to bring about structural change – exactly what this internship (and community organising) does.

Summer Internship Stories: Finding my place in Peckham

Community Organising l and tagged , , , l

headshotHere is another blog from one of our summer interns. This time, Laura MacFarlane talks about her time in Peckham, helping the church campaign for a better local park…

I was brought up in a village in a rural area of Portsmouth. Community was always very important to us, both as a church and as a family. We were deeply involved in the life of the village and I always enjoyed meeting people from different walks of life, working together with those from different churches and groups.

After finishing school, I went to Exeter University to study theology. I became more and more interested in the way that Jesus worked in communities, and also began to understand more fully the problems that existed beyond the boundaries of my little village. This led me to complete a project addressing the problems with the welfare state, following which my lecturer recommended the CTC summer internship to me.

Summer Internship stories: Crossing the road in Tottenham…

Community Organising, The Centre for Theology & Community l and tagged , l

meEvery summer at CTC we introduce a group of young people to church-based community organising. This year we had a fantastic group. Here, Rachel Cook blogs about her placement at Holy Trinity, Tottenham….

Having been involved in various voluntary projects and charity work, for example cooking meals for homeless people, mentoring school children, the main reason I wanted to do this internship was to better understand how to tackle poverty and injustice on a larger scale.

From New Labour to May: The long view of power from a Council Estate

Community Organising l and tagged , l

profile-Tim-TIn this blog, our Development Director, Tim Thorlby outlines the challenges facing the new Prime Minister, and how things look from outside the Westminster bubble…

“I was the future once”

A rueful comment as another Prime Minister exits the political stage, knowing that his time is up. Such moments of transition are times of reflection. David Cameron’s time in Number 10 is already being analysed, with his initial hopes and dreams now being set against assessments of his actual legacy.

The Church’s War on Wonga… And what happened next

The Centre for Theology & Community l and tagged , , l

profile-DavidDavid Barclay, who’s spent the past four years developing our work on credit, debt and money blogs for us about the successful pilot of the Church Credit Champions Network

The Church hasn’t always followed through on good intentions. But at a recent event in St Paul’s Cathedral, CTC brought together churches and credit unions to celebrate the way that Christians in London have been making good on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s famous ‘War on Wonga’ comments made back in 2013.

The Church Credit Champions Network was set up by CTC in response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s intervention because we believe local churches have resources which, if unlocked, can increase the capacity of credit unions to provide access to savings and responsible credit. The Network has been become one of the major projects to come out of the Archbishop’s initiative, and we marked the end of its two year pilot in London with a special evaluation event.

CTC’s Summer Internship kicks off with young leaders from around the UK and beyond

Community Organising l and tagged , l

photo(10)Our Summer Internship (previously known as Jellicoe) is currently taking place here in east London. After three days of training with Citizens UK and CTC, the 11 interns are taking part in placements with local churches involved in community organising. Selina Stone blogs about what has been happening so far…

Our cohort of interns has arrived from different cities around the UK, with one flying in from the USA on his way home to the Ukraine! Each of them has a project brief explaining where they will be placed, who their supervisors will be and where they will be staying for the duration of the month. None of the interns have been trained in community organising before, and all of them are students or recent graduates, often discerning the way forward in their studies, careers and ministry. Some of them were involved in Citizens UK’s #NoPlaceForHate campaign at London transport hubs – offering stickers and leaflets for what to do in the event of witnessing a racist incident.

Brexit: How can we reflect and respond?

Community Organising l and tagged l

CTC logo markAfter the UK voted to leave the EU on Thursday, we have gathered together some of the responses to help reflection and response…

CTC’s Director Angus Ritchie was part of a panel of theologians asked by ABC Religion to respond to the result. His thoughts were published along with the likes of former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and Professor John Milbank.

Angus says, “The challenge for Christians (however we voted in the referendum) is to listen to their genuine and justified grievances, and to help them organise for justice – making common cause with the migrant communities which the worst of the Leave campaign encouraged them to scapegoat. None of this can be accomplished by pontificating from afar. It requires a patient engagement; listening and building relationships. Such patience was of course the practice of Jesus himself – not lecturing the people of his own day from afar on the need to welcome Samaritans, but living and working in Nazareth for thirty years before living out that costly hospitality.”

Community Organising: London learns lessons from New York

Community Organising, Events l and tagged , , , , , l

photo(10)Selina Stone from CTC and Emmanuel Gotora from Citizens UK were present at a historic event in New York, as East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC) welcomed twenty new institutions into membership. EBC is part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, which developed broad based community organizing and is linked to Citizens UK and CTC. Selina explains what happened and why it was so important for community organising in the UK…

EBC is one alliance made up of 40 civil society institutions from four different neighbourhoods in east Brooklyn – a diverse area, just like east London. On the evening of Thursday 2nd June 2016, 1,500 citizens from EBC packed into Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Bed Stuy. Vans arrived delivering dozens of senior citizens and church groups. Families arrived with young children and many passersby paused to see what was taking place.

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