News & Views

Could you be part of a new, Chelmsford Against Slavery Partnership?

We recently received the following from Diane Cass of STOP THE TRAFFIK Chelmsford, regarding a proposal to set up a Chelmsford Against Slavery Partnership, (CASP).

Might you become involved, there is a proposal for a Workshop, either online or in person on 15th October. Read on…

Modern slavery is an increasing problem in these days. It is estimated there could be in excess of 136,000 victims in the UK; men, women and children who are trapped and subjected to crimes such as sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and forced criminality. In Chelmsford alone there could potentially be almost 400 victims. The number will never be known. But every one matters. 

No one person can do everything, but every one of us can do something. To this end, the Community Safety Partnership at Chelmsford County Council are currently working closely with community members, including ourselves, in order to develop a partnership against slavery in Chelmsford to be known as Chelmsford Against Slavery Partnership (CASP)

We hope to bring together a large number of community stakeholders, from faith and community groups, local law enforcement and government agencies to healthcare providers, NGOs, businesses, banks and the general public towards ending exploitation and human trafficking. Preliminary conversations have been had with SAMS (Southend Against Modern Slavery) as to how they run their very successful partnership, details of which can be found at https://www.samspartnership.org.uk/

CASP will work together to raise the awareness of human trafficking whilst safeguarding the most vulnerable members of our community, and we would like to invite your input as part of the Churches Together in Chelmsford community and potentially a key stakeholder in the prevention of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. The Community Safety Team will be running a workshop on 15 October 2020, either virtual or physical depending on the COVID-19 situation, in order to assess the appetite for a partnership in Chelmsford, and looking to shape how it will work along with the aims and objectives. 

We would appreciate it if you could let us know whether you have any members of your team or congregation who may be interested in attending this event by to the Community Safety Partnership at Chelmsford County Council by email to Chelmsford@stopthetraffik.org or direct to Community.Safety@chelmsford.gov.uk.

Please feel free to disseminate this to anyone else that you think would benefit from attending.  We look forward to hearing from you. 

We can’t do everything but we have to do something. Be a voice! 

With kind regards

Diane Cass
for and on behalf of
STOP THE TRAFFIK Chelmsford

CTE News – September 2020

Churches Together in England: ‘One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God’s mission, empowered by the Spirit’.

Download the latest CTe-News, from Churches Together in England here: www.cte.org.uk/news.

The PDF version can be read and passed on by email. The Word version is available to paste articles in to websites, magazine etc.

Check out the below video introduction to CTe and their website can be found here: www.cte.org.uk

Worship on the Streets – Stories from the Streets August 2020

Worship on the streets

worshiponthestreets.co.uk

Have you come across Worship on the Streets before? What an amazing ministry of taking God’s presence and love – taking the Sound of Heaven – to the streets of a town or City.

Here is a most encouraging extract from their latest newsletter, by leader, Aaron Shah:

With restrictions having lifted slightly last month, I’m really pleased to say that I have been able to go back out on to the streets to worship. We have gone back to North Shields a few times as well as returned to Northumberland where we continue to partner with some of the local churches there. As well as having some powerful times of worship where God’s presence and peace were clearly tangible, we have been so encouraged to see a massive increase in people taking away gospels each time. In fact on two occasions, we ran out of gospels to give away which has never happened before.

Read the entire newsletter by clicking here.

Maybe it’s time for us to take worship to the streets of our City or town?

Meeting Atheists, Sceptics and Evangelists in lockdown and beyond

nigelbolitho.org

Evangelism consultancy Summer update

Whilst locked down, what has Chelmsford man Nigel been up to with atheists, sceptics and the City’s Evangelists?

Here is an extract from his latest newsletter:

Meeting Atheists and Sceptics

In recent times, and certainly during lockdown, I have been concerned about my lack of interaction with people who are not Christians.  Yes, I meet regularly with a group of guys for a curry/quiz night (more quiz than curry online during lockdown).  Yes, Thursday night clapping for the NHS and essential workers meant we got to know our new neighbours much more but it still didn’t feel enough.  So I set up a new twitter account and started following a number of people with names such as Atheist forum, Sceptic City and Judas Carrot (you might need to say that one out loud)…

Continue reading by clicking here.

A Call to the Church to Address Racial Injustice

We reproduce below a press statement from Churches Together in England. This statement is also available online and can be shared via their social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.

Note that CTiC Chair, David Gilbey, has recently joined a newly convened Anti-Racism Focus Group, initiated by The Mayor of Chelmsford. If, as a Christian in our City, you have anything relevant that might be fed into that group, please Contact us.

CTE Presidents call all churches to address racial injustice in church life and wider society

28 July 2020 

Presidents of Churches Together in England, named below, with the support of the Fourth Presidency Group, have issued a statement calling on churches to travel together on the journey of racial justice, addressing injustices both within our church life and in wider society. They write…

We as Presidents of Churches Together in England have responded to the killing of George Floyd in the United States, and the widespread call for real change to combat racial injustice in our world, above all in our own country. We have spent time over the past few weeks listening to voices of people from the black community, especially the younger generation. This has been a deeply moving experience and illustrated powerfully the many profound changes of heart and actions that need to be made. The attitude that regards black people – and indeed other people of ethnic minorities – as inferior is evil and mars our common humanity. We challenge this unreservedly, recognising the constant experiences of racism, including micro aggression, which black people face.

We believe that churches have a significant role to play in combating racial injustice. If we are to be effective in doing so, we must look at ourselves.

We are painfully aware of the racism that blights the life of our churches. We are intent upon a process of identifying racial injustice within our churches – current and historic – repenting of it and taking action to effect real change. This includes the potential for discriminatory behaviour in the way that we make church appointments, which we know can happen at the conscious or unconscious level. We want to ensure that these processes are just and demonstrate the so often neglected gospel truth of Colossians 3:11 “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all”. In this verse Paul makes it clear that racial injustice and discrimination is not only profoundly unjust and an affront to God but also the very denial of Christ who reached out to all human beings.

Some Member Churches of Churches Together in England have already embarked upon this journey of tackling racial injustice. The Church of England plans a new action group, and among the Free Churches work by the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, together with Baptists Together is already under way, as is also true for the Catholic Church. The Pentecostal Forum has long held this issue in its view, as have the Orthodox Churches.

We call upon all churches to travel together on this journey of racial justice so that together, as one community of churches in England, we may reach out in love and respect to one another in pursuit of our common witness.

An area of great concern to us as Presidents is the relationship between the black community and the criminal justice system. We will therefore be facilitating conversations between young black women and men and senior members of the police service. We are also seeking to engage both the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice in further considering the day-to-day experience of many young black people in England.

We encourage all churches throughout England to do all they can to build trust and improve accountability between black communities, the police, civic bodies and wider community groups. In particular we call upon groupings of Church Leaders throughout the nation to reach out to their black colleagues in church leadership who are currently absent from their membership, making more inclusive ecumenical leadership. Our desire is that these groups will create spaces for those in authority to listen, as we have, to the powerful testimony of young black women and men as a step towards greater social cohesion.

We see these issues as matters of gospel and faith for all who follow Jesus Christ, the one who calls every nation and people to the justice of the Kingdom of God.

ENDS

Presidents of Churches Together in England:

Archbishop Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, The Free Churches Moderator
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London and CTE President for the Orthodox Churches
Pastor Agu Irukwu, head of Redeemed Christian Church of God UK and CTE Pentecostal President

The Fourth Presidency Group comprises Lutheran, Quaker and The Church of Scotland (English Presbytery) Member Churches.

Notes to editors:

  • Churches Together in England will soon be establishing a churches racial justice working group which will encourage continued action and the sharing of good practice among its 50 Member Churches.
  • Churches Together in England (CTE) is the national ecumenical instrument supporting and encouraging churches from a wide range of traditions to work together in unity.
  • Nationally, CTE brings together 50 Member Churches from many diverse traditions. In fact, we unite the broadest range of churches in the whole of Europe. CTE’s strapline is: One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God’s mission, empowered by the Spirit. Read more about CTE at www.cte.org.uk/WhoWeAre

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Revd Dr Paul Goodliff,
General Secretary of Churches Together in England
paul.goodliff@cte.org.uk 
07741 893141

CTE News – July 2020

Churches Together in England: ‘One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God’s mission, empowered by the Spirit’.

Download the latest CTe-News, from Churches Together in England here: www.cte.org.uk/news.

The PDF version can be read and passed on by email. The Word version is available to paste articles in to websites, magazine etc.

Check out the below video introduction to CTe and their website can be found here: www.cte.org.uk

Communion in the light of Covid – a webinar – 16 July

The Society for Ecumenical Studies, in conjunction with The Tablet and Reform, is hosting a webinar on Communion in the light of COVID-19, to be held on Thursday 16 July from 6–7.30pm.

This is the first in a series of three webinars on themes around the response of the Churches to the situation created by the current pandemic.

The speakers will be:

Revd Dr John Bradbury

Dr Bradbury is a United Reformed Church minister and incoming General Secretary of the URC. From 2007 to 2017 he taught Systematic Theology and Church History at Westminster College, Cambridge where he ultimately served as Vice-Principal. He has been heavily involved in ecumenism and is one of the three presidents of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. He serves as co-chair of the URC-Roman Catholic dialogue, for which he has written a paper on Communion. More recently, he has written on Communion in the lockdown times.

Dr Sara Parvis

Dr Sara Parvis is Senior Lecturer in Early Church History at the University of Edinburgh, where she has taught students from a variety of ecclesiastical backgrounds, clerical and lay. She is a lifelong Catholic, and recently wrote for the Tablet from an experiential perspective on the presence and absence of communion during the lockdown.

Dr. Matthew Cheung Salisbury

Dr Salisbury, a member of the Faculty of Music in the University of Oxford is the national Liturgy and Worship Adviser to the Church of England.

The evening will be chaired by Rev Dr Elizabeth Welch, the Chair of the Society for Ecumenical Studies.

There is a suggested donation of £5  towards the costs of the webinar and bookings should be made via The Tablet at www.thetablet.co.uk/events