Subversive Orthodoxy: remembering the inspirational Ken Leech…

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Our Director Angus Ritchie writes in tribute of an inspiring figure who taught us a great deal…

At Fr Ken Leech’s requiem (held today), we were invited to reflect on these words of his:

“The Eucharistic life, in which all are treated on absolute equality and in which they share, and become, the Body of Christ, is totally at variance with the way society treats people.

“Protest is a byproduct of vision. If the church recovers its contemplative vision, becomes more rooted in God, it will become a disturbing force for society.”

Love, grace and hope – Archbishop tells trainees they’re a credit to the Church

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ABC profOn September 29th, Archbishop Justin Welby commissioned 45 new Credit Champions from churches across the UK, at St George-in-the-East. Our Church Credit Champions Network is part of the Archbishop’s initiative on responsible borrowing and saving.

Here is some of what he had to say…

“Here we are for the commissioning of the Credit Champions. It’s humbling to see that because it is a movement of God’s Spirit among us.

To those of you who are shortly going to be commissioned as Church Credit Champions, you have heard God’s call, as the whole church has in recent years, to be a church of the poor for the poor; to seek justice and the common good for all in our society. You have set up credit union access points in your churches, brought new people onto the boards of local credit unions, supported people struggling with debt through signposting them to debt advice resources. You have seen the need, and you have met it with love, grace and hope.

Church Credit Champions Network: a way for fairer financing

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Tom Newbold photo cropTom Newbold has recently joined CTC as the co-ordinator for the Church Credit Champions Network (CCCN) in the Diocese of London. Here he reflects on the Church’s role in engaging with fundamental issues of money and debt…

When the Archbishop of Canterbury announced his ‘War on Wonga,’ it really excited me. Not only was it a sign that the Church was engaging with important issues, but also had real potential to make effective, positive change. It said to my non-Christian friend that the Church was doing something relevant and meaningful.

I’m passionate about seeing the Church thrive. Meaningful engagement with issues of exploitative lending and finance, to me, is evidence of life in the Church. It is a missional, energised Church that challenges injustice and stands up for those in society for whom the financial system isn’t fair. It’s evidence of a Church that is standing up for the oppressed and being good news to its many local communities.

Housing and Social Justice: building up people, not just bricks

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Sarah HuttSarah Hutt is a new addition to the CTC team, working on an exciting new housing initiative. Here, she reflects on why housing is a fundamental issue in our quest for social justice…

From the moment I began working on housing, I was completely convinced that it was… not that interesting.

I’ll be honest, I was 24. I cared about poverty, injustice and other emotive issues that tug at your heartstrings. Housing brought to mind dull conversations about settling down (why would you when you could travel the world?), men in brown suits talking about construction and a distinct lack of anything to do with people. Still, my previous job had been in pensions. It was a step up.

“Another world is possible” Reflections on the year-long Buxton Internship

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isaac mug 1Isaac Stanley recently finished the year-long Buxton Leadership Programme. Here he reflects on his time in Parliament, and in a number of Hackney churches, and what it means to work towards a better world…

“Another world is possible.” In this refusal to accept the world as it is, what would it take to get to this other world? What would it look like?

The last year as a Buxton intern, where half my time was spent in Westminster as a Parliamentary assistant and researcher with Frank Field MP, and the other half in Hackney as a church-based community organiser, has given me a rich opportunity to engage with an important tension in how to reach this other, better, world….

How you and your church can help ease the refugee crisis

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CTC’s Caitlin Burbridge blogs about how churches can play a decisive role in easing the refugee crisis…

This past few weeks we’ve seen an extraordinary change of mood in the British psyche. Church leaders, along with those of other faiths and none, are calling for us to capitalise on this and become a far more hospitable country for those fleeing conflict and persecution.

For the last year, churches in Citizens UK have been working on a campaign to resettle refugees in this country. Citizens UK and the campaign group Avaaz have together been gathering specific and concrete commitments from congregations, individuals, local councils and landlords to house and welcome refugees.

Turbulent times: learning lessons for the future of the Church

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Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.07.49CTC’s latest exciting publication, Deep Calls To Deep is about monasticism in east London and what we can learn from Religious Orders today. Dr Damian Howard, a Jesuit priest, academic and friend of CTC blogs for us about this new resource…

There can surely be no doubt that we are living through a time of transition from one historical period to another; it is as turbulent and traumatic as it is challenging. Such epochal shifts have always been marked by a re-imagining of the Christian life as radical discipleship, by a seeking-out of new ways to position oneself as a disciple in relation to the social mainstream, and by the quest for a more thorough integration of the ‘outward’ life of work and community with the ‘interior’ journey into the mystery of God. The sharp decline of the forms of church-going and Christian identity which have served us so well for over a century tells us that we in our turn will need to find something new, to experiment and to take risks, if we are to fashion forms of life which are truly adequate to the emerging context and which will bear lasting evangelical fruit.

Monasticism for the city: CTC’s new publication

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Our Director Angus Ritchie blogs on an exciting new publication and event taking place next week…

On Tuesday 1st September, you are warmly invited to join us, as we launch a pioneering new community, and a new report on what the wider church can learn from monasticism in east London. The two launches are deeply intertwined, as the shape of the new community has been influenced by the findings of our research.

The report is called ‘Deep calls to deep: monasticism for the city.’ One of its central messages is that monasticism is far more than a set of ideas. It is always embodied in living communities. For this reason, it is a complete misunderstanding to see monasticism as “other worldly.” Religious Orders teach the wider Church and society how to live – here and now – in the light of eternity. Those of us who are not called to the monastic life can learn most from it by face-to-face engagement with members of Religious Orders, and by considering how their wisdom and values can be embodied in the rhythms of our daily life.

CTC Interns: Changing people to change the world

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profile-AndyCTC’s Communications Officer Andy Walton gives us some examples of an increasingly diverse group of young Christians being trained up to change the world…

“Internship” has become a bit of a dirty word in some circles. It implies a culture of free or cheap labour provided to big companies or even charities. They get away without paying young people properly, which in turn means they draw only from a pool of middle class, privileged young people who can afford to work for free.

Here at CTC, we think internships are a great thing – if done properly. We began offering month-long internships around 10 years ago and since then, well over 100 young people have passed through, spending a month learning the practices of community organising and building relationships in a local church.

2014-15 – So much to celebrate in our annual review!

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profile-AngusCTC’s Director, Angus Ritchie, blogs about some of the exciting projects contained in our annual review for 2014-15, Changing Places

One side of the CTC annual review tells the story of our activities in 2014-15. The other displays a great poster which partner churches can show off, containing the entire text of our “Just Church” report, and a striking quote about the Living Wage campaign. You can download the poster here!

When we chose this design, we had no idea the Chancellor was going to rebrand the minimum wage as a “national living wage” – a sign of the impact of more than a decade of community organising in inner-city churches, and one that we have been responding to in the press.


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