Transform Southwark hosted its last reception on Monday 7th October at 6.30pm exploring the subject of Christians and the Media. With well known faces such as Diane Louise Jordan, Andy Flannagan and others, lots of Q & A and top tips as well as prayer for those engaged in this sphere. It was an enlightening and helpful time for Church leaders and those engaged in Media.
- When: Monday 7th October 2013 (6.30am refreshments) 7.00pm- 9.00pm reception
- Where: PWC, 7 More London, Riverside, London, SE1 2RT
- Register via Eventbrite
Recent TS reception – A call to Prayer & Action
In response to the urgent problem of rising violence in Southwark households church leaders and members recently gathered together to hear the facts, pray about the issues, listen to what the Lord is saying, and share insights. Southwark Police Domestic Violence Unit is one of the busiest in the country and yet research tells us that on average an individual experiences violence in the home 35 times before reporting it to the police, and across the UK a woman is abused every 6 seconds. The impact on children and young people in these homes is also devastating with many going on to be themselves either perpetrators or victims of violence.
We believe there is a rising call upon the church in Southwark to stand together in unity in prayer and action to break this cycle and to stand for peace and healing in the homes of our Borough and city. This has been confirmed by revelatory dreams, our recent churches gathering, and the call of our Borough Police Commander speaking about the cycle of domestic violence as the key ‘driver’ of further violent crimes.
Now is the time to pray and to act… And to take practical action your church can obtain resources from Restored (www.restoredrelationships.org) or get involved in mentoring young people many of whom are caught up in this cycle (www.xlm.org.uk) “
Transform Southwark Sunday: An opportunity for churches to celebrate what God is doing in Southwark and the contribution of your members. More info to follow…
“BEING BIULT TOGETHER” The Final Report Conference . (A Research Project for Southwark)
- When: Thursday 20th June
- Where: Southwark Cathedral (Gary Weston library)
- Time: 6.00pm
In response to the fast changes in demography of the Black Majority Churches in Southwark, a research project has been commissioned by SFJ in partnership with Churches Together in South London. The project has established links with Roehampton University and proposes to engage Dr. Andrew Rogers as the principal investigator for this research project. The purpose of the research is for Southwark churches of all denominations, Southwark community groups, voluntary sector organisations and local authorities to understand more about New Black Majority Congregations (NBMCs) and the communities they serve. This welcome piece of research was successfully launched at Transform Southwark prayer reception on Oct 25th 2011 at Southwark council offices, Tooley St SE1.
At a time when church attendance is thought to be in decline, new research published by the University of Roehampton has revealed that there has been a huge surge in the number of new churches being formed in the London Borough of Southwark. In particular, the area has seen a growth in the number of new Black Majority Churches (nBMCs) – that is Pentecostal churches where the majority of the congregation are from Caribbean or African communities. It is estimated that over 20,000 congregants gather within in Southwark every week to worship in approximately 240 different churches.
The growth in the church numbers has highlighted the problem that exists in the area for new church communities; there is a severe lack of suitable premises for worship within Southwark, which can force churches to establish themselves in inappropriate settings. New churches frequently find it impossible to secure premises which fit the local Authority’s definition of a place suitable for worship. They often set themselves up in industrial buildings, in contravention of the planning, and find themselves at odds with the local planning authority and the neighbours within the communities that they reside.
The Being Built Together project has proposed a number of recommendations to combat the problem of the lack of premises, which will be discussed at a community meeting (Thursday 20 June) in Southwark Cathedral. Among the recommendations is a call that the Greater London Authority addresses the issue of premises and planning for faith groups at a regional level. The Authority’s current guidance has been criticised by the report’s author and Southwark Council as poorly constructed.
The report acknowledges that Southwark Council has tried to be flexible in its approach to its faith premises issue and asks that it continue in this vein, but points out that the Council needs to be mindful of the problems that exist in areas where there are already a significant number of nBMCs which are next to businesses or in residential areas. It also calls upon the nBMCs to build closer ties with their local neighbourhood and show how much good they do in the community. African nBMCs especially, sometimes receive a hostile receptions from the communities in which they establish themselves as they are perceived as “not being from around here” despite the fact that, according to the last Census, the London Borough of Southwark has the largest percentage of Africans in the UK.
The report’s author Dr Andrew Rogers said “This report is the culmination of two years’ work by the Being Built Together team. The new Black-majority churches are a gift to the church and the city of London. They have much to offer the communities in which they operate and provide a safe haven and social function for the members of their congregations. But the pressing issue of finding suitable places in which they can worship can put them at loggerheads with planning committees and the local communities in which they are based. The situation in London is not unique , though it is perhaps at its most intense in Southwark. We hope that by highlighting the problems that they face, the borough of Southwark and on a regional scale, the GLA ; the new Black-majority churches, and the church as a whole will take on board our report’s recommendations to work towards finding innovative and lasting solutions to address these issues. ”
Fran Beckett, CEO of Transform for Southwark, one of the University’s strategic partners in the Being Built Together project, said “There has been a rapid growth in the number of new Black-majority churches in the borough of Southwark over the last couple of decades. With that, the issues of finding suitable places for worship and the attendant problems of securing planning permissions for “change of use” on property has become more acute. We charged the researchers from the University of Roehampton of finding out how widespread the problems were and to identify ways in which the problems could be eased. We’d like to thank Dr Rogers and his team for their work. We will now look at the report’s finding and see how we, as one church body can all work together, alongside our Council partners to alleviate the problems that the new Black-majority churches have experienced.”
Reverend Israel Olofinjana is Team Leader at Catford Community Church and has been a member of the reference panel for the Build Together project. He welcomed the report’s recommendations: “The Being Built Together project has enabled all the various churches to come together and have a meaningful conversation about how we can exist and worship, both together and side by side. We all – new churches and old – need to learn from each other and acknowledge our mutual strengths and weaknesses. The report should help us to develop plans for working together to build God’s church in a lasting and harmonious way.
Hope 08: Hope for the Streets
Hope for our Streets saw over 300 people from over 20 churches gather at Peckham Arch to celebrate, pray for the youth of Southwark and share good news with the local community. With street dancers, Christian rappers, and an excellent band drawn from several local churches this was one of many celebrations that SFJ has led in Southwark.
Street Pastors were on hand to pray for people and a number of local residents made a commitment to Christ.
Click here to see images from Hope 08: Peckham in 2008.