Tim Thorlby is CTC’s Development Director, and the Managing Director of Clean for Good – an ethical cleaning company with deep roots in the Church and in community organising. He blogs here on its new report on “Outsourcing and Ethical Sourcing”
2020 was the future once.
It has not turned out so well. The UK has been rocked by a global pandemic and almost every aspect of our national life has been put under real strain.
Miriam Brittenden and Angus Ritchie blog on our new ecumenical course on faith and housing…
Housing is a spiritual matter. It is about what Pope Francis calls our “human ecology” – the way our physical environment – whether urban, suburban, or rural – reflects and shapes our relationships with each other, and ultimately with God.
In our fifth Just Church podcast, Shermara Fletcher, Charnelle Barclay and Angus Ritchie discuss the potential – and the reality – of community organising in Pentecostal churches, and the role of organising in the struggle for racial justice. Also, Josh Harris interviews Graham and Sara Hunter about how organising has strengthened St John’s Hoxton.
Even if we would love our church to engage in community organising, it may feel like yet one more thing in an already over-full plate! In our fourth Just Church podcast, Vanessa Conant, Graham Hunter and Angus Ritchie discuss how patient, prayerful organising can add to – rather than deplete – a congregation’s capacity. Also, Angus interviews Shermara Fletcher on patient organising work with and for homeless people.
Our third Just Church podcast is now online. This week, we speak to Vanessa Conant and Graham Hunter about how their churches are responding to the gradual move out of lockdown – and to Richard Springer about the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic citizens, and the relevance of community organising to addressing these inequalities.
Our second Just Church podcast is now online! This week, Josh Harris speaks to community organisers Paul Amuzie, Froi Legaspi and CTC Director Angus Ritchie about acting for justice as well as mercy.
We’re excited to release the first in a new series of Just Church podcasts – the fruit of a new collaboration between CTC, the Church of England and Citizens UK. You can listen here or find it wherever you get your podcasts from.
Frankie Webster co-ordinates CTC’s Olive Wagstaff Course, training lay Christians in community organising. In this blog, she reflects on how we can share the peace of Christ in a time of social distancing.
“I believe that God can and will bring good out of evil, even the greatest evil. For that purpose He needs men and women who make the best use of everything. I believe that God gives us all the strength we need to help us resist in all times of distress. But he never gives it in advance, lest we should rely on ourselves and not on Him alone. A faith such as this should allay all our fears for the future. I believe that even in our mistakes and shortcomings are turned to good account, and that it is no harder for God to deal with them than with our supposedly good deeds. I believe that God is no timeless fate, but that He waits for and answers sincere prayers and responsible actions.”
CTC’s Congregational Development Learning Communities include Roman Catholic, Anglican, Salvation Army, Baptist and Pentecostal churches. Out of their reflection, prayer and action, some themes are emerging that may be relevant to other churches.
Community organising has had to adapt very quickly to the lockdown. Conversations with lay leaders and clergy in our churches indicate its continuing importance – in particular, the importance of
> Rooting action in attentive listening to the very different situations people are in
> Ensuring the inclusion of people who are not online – or who have less access to, and confidence with, the internet
> Reaching beyond the confines of those already in our congregations, to engage with their practical, social and spiritual needs and gifts
> Rooting everything churches do in prayer and in their wider mission
Tim Thorlby has been part of the CTC team since 2012 and is currently Managing Director of Clean for Good – a business which emerged from CTC’s community organising in the City of London.
In this personal blog, he reflects on his experiences of the last few weeks and what happens next.
Just a few weeks ago, we were all making our usual plans and getting on with our lives…. and then, suddenly, we are blown sideways. The coronavirus storm arrived at great speed. A wholly unprecedented way of life has suddenly been thrust upon us, and now we find ourselves in lockdown, queuing outside supermarkets and studying bar charts of coronavirus cases every day. The speed and scale of change has been astonishing – a huge storm from nowhere.