City Hope Church and Salmon Youth Centre are combining together to give a fantastic opportunity for a youth worker to make a lasting impact in the lives of young people in South East London. Candidates must have an ongoing Christian commitment in line with the mission, vision and ethos of both organisations. Download the attached advert for more details.
A report of the Septembers event from Adrian Greenwood, Bermondsey Deanery Lay Chair
Archbishop Justin Welby was given the urban name J.Welbs by rap artist Guvna B as he spoke about his life and faith to a packed audience at the Lighthouse Theatre Camberwell on Monday 5th September.
The event had been organised by the ecumenical group, Southwark for Jesus, and was hosted by James Nickols and the Christian radio presenter, Selene Jordan. The evening also a featured the performance of a powerful poem by Lena Norman and of a range of songs by members of the Lewisham Hospital NHS Choir.
The evening opened with a lively group of rap songs by Guvna B, one of the leading Christian rap artists in the country, during which he had the audience dancing in the aisles. In an interview which followed with him, the Archbishop and Dr Fran Denniss, a children’s doctor at Lewisham Hospital and member of the Choir, Guvna B spoke of his upbringing on a Council estate in Canning Town. Here he had experienced the competing pressures of family life and membership of his local church with gang culture on the estate. Eventually he chose to give his life to Christ and entered the music business, writing his own lyric using the words and medium that relate best to young people from similar backgrounds. It was during this interview that he suggested the rap name for the Archbishop and even presented him with his cap. Archbishop Justin took the suggestion in good humour but said that he would stick with his day job – if he started to sing or dance the NHS choir would be working on emergency cases rather than singing tonight.
Fran also spoke of her faith in Christ and how it helps her in some of her most difficult moments with very sick and dying children. The comradeship that she and all her colleagues had found in the Choir was also a great help to them, and, indeed, all the hospital staff as they coped with their very stressful roles.
Archbishop Justin chose to speak about the passage in the Bible where Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35 – 41). He spoke about the ‘storms of life, which affect every person, whether from the circumstances of life or self inflicted. He mentioned several from his own personal life including the death of his baby daughter in a car accident in France and the bewilderment of mental illness suffered by another family member. He explained that his faith in Jesus, the man who ‘even the winds and waves obeyed’, had brought him to a place of peace; of great calm. The safest place was to be ‘in the boat with Jesus’, even if this was at the heart of the storm, rather than on the shore relying on one’s own strength to escape. He ended by asking people in the audience the same question, which the disciples asked at the time – the most important question that everyone must face – ‘who is this man?’
As Mark’s Gospel explains, the disciples gradually found the answer as they journeyed with Jesus through his life to his execution as a criminal on the cross. An act of total love by God for all humanity and the opportunity for each and every person to make a fresh start from the mistakes of life find peace with God amidst the storms.
All images from @LoveSouthwark Twitter (www.twitter.com/LoveSouthwark)
What do people in this nation know and believe about Jesus? What do they really think of us, his followers? Are we talking about Jesus enough? And when we are, are we drawing people closer towards him, or further away?
http://www.talkingjesus.org brings answers to a comprehensive survey.
The Evangelical Alliance, The Church of England and HOPE commissioned Barna Group to ask these and other questions on our behalf. But this was not just for curiosity’s sake. We are believing, hoping and praying that this study – the first of its kind – will be a major catalyst for effective and focused evangelism in the years to come.
It all began in March 2015 when we gathered more than 40 key leaders of denominations and networks, as well as key influencers from across the spectrum of the English Church, in the Lake District. For 24 hours, we prayed and we talked. We shared our heart for mission; our collective longing to see God move in this nation. We reflected on an initial piece of research of 1,000 people in England we had commissioned Barna to undertake. The results of this first piece of research were shocking.
Futurologist Dr Patrick Dixon, chairman of Global Change, warned the gathering of the danger of institutional blindness. The power of the Holy Spirit was needed alongside the hard work of contextualising the gospel: not an institutional response but a people movement; something simple that enabled Christians to have millions more sensitive, positive, culturally-relevant conversations about Jesus that could be deeply effective in evangelism.
This piece of research had the potential to equip every Christian to have these conversations. But we wanted to make sure. So denominational leaders agreed to fund further, more comprehensive, research – the results of which you will find in this booklet.
There are rare moments in Church history where the unity of God’s people is tangible. This is one of those moments. The leaders that initially gathered for those 24 hours at Windermere agreed to work together toward 2050 on some key benchmarks: the number of people that know who Jesus is; the number of non-Christians in England who know a Christian; the number who have had a positive conversation with a Christian; and the percentage of the UK who are practising Christians.
This piece of research should provoke us to prayer as our hearts are heavy with the reality of how little our friends and neighbours understand about who Jesus is. But there are glimmers of hope; we are excited about this unique opportunity to understand the landscape we are in. This is not a quick-fix strategy, but a long-term commitment to changing the story in our nation, so that people might meet Jesus, love him and follow him.
HOUSE OF PRAISE
Office Administration Department
Policies & Procedures Section
OFFICE OF THE CHURCH OFFICE MANAGER, PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO THE PASTOR & ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT TO THE PASTORS
The Office Manager & Personal Assistant to the Senior Pastor will act as the Pastor’s contact point for enquiries with regards to his ministries and internal and external liaison. He will undertake the effective management and co-ordination for a range of supporting duties to the Senior Pastor and his administrators/assistants, including the handling of sensitive and confidential information. He will oversee the day to day management of the office functions, ensuring effective delivery of the charity’s services.
Reporting to the:
• Senior Pastors for all job duties and functions.
• May also report to The Administrators/Pastors’ Assistants in regards to Office manager role and/or other tasks as delegated by Senior Pastors.
• To manage a full diary to enable the Senior Pastor uses his/her time effectively, coordinate all activities, prioritising appointments and re-scheduling where necessary.
Contact for further information: 02072774312 Ask for Stephen.
Esteem Resource Network (a project of ACET) is looking to appoint a Youth Development Worker (Female) Full time, London-based (Southwark), 9 months fixed term contract (with possible extension, funding dependent) Salary: £22,581 – £25,800 pro rata depending on experience and relevant qualifications.Job-advert-Sep-2015.pdf (167 downloads)
See attached flyer for details
A joint statement on the situation in Calais from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church
Dr Jill Barber
Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
The Revd Lynn Green
General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
The Revd David Grosch-Miller
Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church
The Rt Revd Angus Morrison
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The Revd Steve Wild
President of the Methodist Conference
As churches with members directly involved in assisting the people in Calais seeking sanctuary in the UK, we believe it is important that public debate is grounded in values of compassion and that decisions are made on the basis of facts. In recent weeks discussion has increasingly appeared to be based on the principle of self-interest. Our faith instructs us not to fear the stranger, but to love our neighbour. We view the situation with growing alarm and anger.
We are compelled to speak out on this issue. As Christian churches we follow One who was himself a refugee and who demonstrated that all people have an inherent, God-given dignity.
Our Scriptures teach the importance of love and compassion for all who are destitute, including people of other nationalities who come to live in our communities.
We do not speak out as detached, comfortable observers but as leaders of churches who are actively ministering to those involved. In east Kent our churches have publicly offered practical support and help to teenage asylum seekers due to be housed in their town. Through our international links with Baptists in France, we are also supporting work amongst unaccompanied children in Calais. St Andrews Scots Church in Malta, a joint Methodist-Church of Scotland congregation in Valletta, runs the Out of Africa into Malta project to assist migrants. However we cannot play our part effectively without a political backdrop that seeks a sustainable and just solution in the longer term.
And we stand in solidarity with the remarks made recently by the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality and in support of the pioneering work of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe.
We welcome the affirmation by the Home Secretary that Europe will ‘always provide protection for those genuinely fleeing conflict or persecution’.
However, the language in which the Calais situation is being discussed tends too often to demonise, denigrate or dehumanise the individuals seeking refuge in Britain.
To talk of those gathering at Calais as a ‘swarm’, or ‘marauding around the area’ encourages people to see those in desperation as less than human, and so less deserving of sympathy, respect or dignity. To incite fear that by offering the hand of friendship and welcome we may damage our own standard of living implies that British lives and well-being are somehow more valuable than those of others.
We share the concern of all involved to see a peaceful and humane solution to this particular expression of a far broader catastrophe. While we recognise the need for security to be increased at Calais, to better ensure the safety of all involved, we cannot see that more guards, sniffer dogs and fencing will alone bring such a solution.
We therefore call on the Government to promote a more informed and higher level of debate on the issue – one which acknowledges, for example, that:
- many of the migrants congregating at Calais are people genuinely fleeing repression who have real stories of suffering and hardship to tell – and that some are unaccompanied children;
- the numbers involved do not warrant talk of an ‘invasion’ or ‘flood’ of migrants;
- the people at Calais represent a tiny fraction of the overall number of migrants who have entered the EU in the past year
- in 2014 Germany took three times more asylum seekers than the UK’s 14,000, and Sweden twice as many; France, Italy and even Switzerland also granted asylum to more people than the UK;
- the disruption caused to travellers is also a consequence of issues unconnected with the situation in Calais, including industrial action by ferry workers;
- historically the UK has welcomed people fleeing persecution, including Jews escaping from Germany during the Second World War;
- the UK has been militarily involved in some of the situations that have given rise to the persecutions from which people are fleeing;
- contributions to this debate should always adopt language which better reflects the British values of compassion, hospitality and respect for human dignity.
We also call on the Government, in its response to this emergency, to:
- recognise that most migrants cannot be returned to their country of origin: in many cases it is not even possible to be certain of an individual’s country of origin due to a lack of documentation;
- promote the establishment of proper, EU-run processing centres at key entry points in Europe (such as southern Italy and Greece);
- accept the need for the UK to take its share of migrants as other European countries are already doing.
And we ask all our congregations and members to respond to an urgent call to prayer, to remember in our churches the importance and equal value God places on every human life, and to seek wisdom that we can challenge injustice and work for peace for the whole world. Let us seek direction and discernment for ourselves and for our leaders for solutions to this ongoing crisis, for the sake of all peoples.
Download copy of this statement Joint-statement-on-Calais.pdf (156 downloads)
Forest Hill Community Church are seeking a new youth pastor to lead and invest in our young people and volunteer youth team, and to be a part of the staff team of our church. For more details and and application pack click the link below
We will all have members and friends who were affected by the senseless attack in the north of the borough, and I encourage all of us to pray for one another as we seek to care for, love and lead our communities. If there are specific issues, events, or even stories of light in the darkness that may be brought to the attention of the church community across the borough, please let me know and I will do a report on the website.
- There will be a Vigil led by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan at The Potters Field Park, near City Hall in Southwark at 6.00pm today (Monday 5th) As well as Londoners and visitors, the Mayor will be joined by senior representatives of the Metropolitan Police, the British Transport Police, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade as well as civic, faith and community leaders. Those who cannot make it to Potters Fields Park tomorrow evening are invited to observe a minute’s silence at 6.20pm in solidarity.
- This week, probably until the end of Sunday, a team of Billy Graham Rapid Response Chaplains will be around the London Bridge area offering a ministry of presence to people. This is listening and where appropriate offering prayer. If they want to discuss further we do so in the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15 and signpost them to local churches for follow up. The lead coordinator this week is Nigel Fawcett-Jones (07809 863759 email on copy) for any local contact needs. For more info on BGRRC see www.samaritans-purse.org.uk
Hustings are being hosted by churches around the borough as we lead up to the election. Steve Calder, minister of Brandon Baptist in Camberwell, sent his report of the recent hustings gathering held there;
“On a warm spring evening, people from across Peckham and Camberwell came to Brandon Baptist Church for a hustings: to listen to the vision and plans of various candidates to be the MP for the constituency.
Candidates from the Greens, Labour, the Conservatives, UKIP and the National Health Action Party were all present. A retired LibDem councillor represented his party as their candidate had a commitment elsewhere.
The hustings was respectfully but firmly chaired by Tim Watkins-Idle and questions were submitted beforehand and grouped together around the major issues: health, education, housing, the economy etc. Some more specific questions were also thrown in, such as the current law regarding indefinite adult detention for immigration purposes.
At the end of the two-hour event, someone noted how polite this hustings had been in comparison with others they had attended. Judging by the number of people staying around to chat afterwards, it would appear that it also engaged people in talking about the issues surrounding the forthcoming General Election.”
Watch this space and be sure to look our for opportunities to engage your church in prayer for and discussion with those who would aspire to lead in political office, in particular on key issues that will impact our borough.
Sessional Workers are currently being recruited by Esteem Network to support the delivery of sessions on self-esteem, relationships and sexual health in schools and other youth environments such as youth clubs. Closing date for applications: mid-day Fri 27th Feb 2015. Find out more or to get an application pack contact Sarah Smith: email@example.com