Building bridges instead of walls between faith communities

The Bishop of Liverpool explains why he’s visiting a mosque this Sunday as part of #visitmymosque, facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain, and why it’s important in the face of the fear and suspicion in the world today to affirm what different faiths have to offer each other.

Why change is needed for Church growth

Following publication of General Synod paper, ‘Setting God’s People Free’, (…ople-free.pdf) Mark Russell, Chief Executive of Church Army and a member of the Archbishop’s Council, speaks about why a change in culture is essential for church renewal.

Liverpool churches providing debt advice

We speak to Kevin Peacock, chief executive of St Andrew’s Community Network, a charity set up at St Andrew’s Church, Clubmoor in Liverpool in 2002. The Network runs a number of programmes, including a budgeting courses and a debt advice service. Last year the charity helped 758 people with debt problems through the debt advice service alone. A ‘satellite’ programme run by the charity has also supported volunteers in seven churches in Merseyside to set up debt advice services, as part of the Community Money Advice Network.

New song from rock star and cathedral choir

Birmingham Cathedral choir have recorded a new song in collaboration with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. The Very Revd Catherine Ogle, (whose last service as Dean of Birmingham was last Sunday, 8/1/17) explains how the collaboration came about and the impact the song has made. Listen to the song here:

First multi-faith homeless shelter

Three Church of England parishes are acting as hosts for One Roof Leicester, the country’s first multi faith winter night shelter which opened this week. The shelter – whose funders include Near Neighbours – uses Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu places of worship with the Sikh and Muslim communities helping provide food for homeless guests. More than 200 multi faith volunteers are working to support the shelter. We talk to Rev Helen Hayes, chair of One Roof Leicester, about how the project is community building in Leicester as well as helping the homeless.

Helping people struggling with food bills

Father Neil Walsh, priest-in-charge of St Margaret with St Columba Church in Leytonstone, east London, talks about the popularity of its weekly community “pop up” shop. More than 150 people have used the shop so far, buying up to two bags of supermarket waste food at £1 a bag – with the money used to invest in more goods for the shop such as toiletries. In his interview, Fr Walsh talks about how the shop, set up with support from BASIC Life Charity, is helping people who struggle to afford food bills.

Community choir sings for child refugees

The Cantignorus Chorus, a community choir made up of people who use a church hall, releases its third single this week, Let’s Bring Them Here for Christmas, on the plight of the Calais unaccompanied child refugees. Niall Weir, Rector of St Paul’s West Hackney, and Tom Daggett, director of the choir, talk about the success of the group, whose members include homeless people, and how it has helped them to realise a dream of singing in a choir.

Helping the homeless across the country

Rev Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, will broadcast the 90th St Martin’s Christmas Appeal this Sunday (December 4) for the work of St Martin’s with homeless people. We speak to Dr Wells about how the church first gained a reputation as a place of refuge and now helps support people at risk of homelessness across the UK.

Ground-breaking church for young people wins award

Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries, a Fresh Expressions Church for the under 30s in the city, has won a national award for its work with young adults. We speak to Deborah Walton and Nicola Turner about the project’s success in advancing the Christian faith amongst young people, many of whom had no previous experience of the church.

How one Church is tackling deprivation in their community

Thousands of people have been helped in Shildon, County Durham, by ‘Shildon Alive’ a project set up by St John’s Church in the town. Revd David Tomlinson, priest-in-charge, talks about its work – from community gardens, to a food bank, a credit union, a ‘mini Santa’ project tackling isolation amongst the elderly and ‘guerrilla gardening’ for children.