The Centre’s research programme responds to the pressing need for the Church to be equipped, theologically and strategically, for its mission and ministry in urban contexts.

Our conversations with partner churches and other practitioners indicates an appetite for (1) a more holistic account of the mission of the urban Church – and how it responds faithfully to the call to care for its neighbours, work with them for social justice and share the faith, and (2) a more strategic deployment of the resources of the Church for mission in urban contexts – so that its investments and property, and above all the time of its congregations and their ministers is used most fruitfully.

In response to this need, the Centre is producing three series of pamphlets:

Theology for the Local Church

This is a series helping local churches reflect on their mission, and linking such reflection to practical action

Research for the Local Church

This is a series which presents research findings about the areas within which the church operates and also about how the church is responding to those. Our aim is to inform churches’ reflection on their mission – what it is and how it should be done

Community Organising and the Local Church

This series offers practical guidance on how churches can engage in community organising in ways that are both faithful and effective.

Contending Modernities:

Christian, Muslim, Secular

Since 2008, the Centre has been working with the University of Notre Dame to explore the ways in which Christian participation in broad-based community organising helps churches to witness faithfully in a multi-religious society. The first phase of our research, Just Communities: Christian witness in a pluralist society, included a series of seminars with Rowan Williams, Tariq Ramadan and Luke Bretherton – bringing their work into dialogue with local practitioners, and generating resources for local practitioners.

In the second phase of the programme, we are looking at how and why Christians, Muslims and non-religious people work together in community organising – with a particular focus on the way recent migrants and more settled communities discern and negotiate a common good. The outputs of the programme include reports and papers available online and a book on ‘Inclusive Populism’ 


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