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Churches counting down to 2014

PRESS RELEASE 25 March 2013
A year of hope-filled community transformation
Global church leaders spent last week talking about Christians being good news for the poor. Now the UK’s local churches are getting resources to put words into action.

Today HOPE, the national mission charity, launches a campaign to see communities transformed as local churches work together at the heart of their communities. HOPE’s resources come with a funding pledge to start the type of community projects Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, talked about in his first sermon in the post. The focus is on equipping churches for 2014 and a year of mission together, bringing fresh hope to communities. Young people are taking a lead with HOPE Revolution Mission Academies running a youth training programme.

HOPE – the Heartbeat of Mission is a 224-page directory for churches that want to make a difference in their neighbourhoods. It brings together more than 150 tried-and-tested mission ideas, resources and funding links for foodbanks, homeless shelters, debt counselling services and more –all community transformation projects highlighted by the Archbishop. Eighteen of theprojects featured are backed with funding of up to £2,000 to start each new church-led initiative.

Roy Crowne, HOPE’s director, says: ‘We have gathered together some of the best and most innovative ideas to enable churches to work together to communicate God’s good newsin both words and actions. There are ideas for everyone from small groups to large multi-church initiatives. We are praying that 2014 would be a catalytic year where churches will work together around the Christian calendar, festivals and new mission initiatives to bring good news to a lost and broken world.’

HOPE has the backing of the major Christian denominations and many Christian agencies. HOPE’s website is a hub for churches to find out more about HOPE’s annual rhythm of mission running through the church calendar.

Denominations are giving HOPE – The Heartbeat of Mission to church leaders to inspire action. Pastor AguIrukwu, Chair of the Executive Council of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)UK and Senior Pastor at Jesus House, London, said: ‘Our faith and mission will only become authentic at the junction where our love for God is expressed in our love to our neighbours, without compromising the commission to proclaim the gospel unashamedly.’

Pre-publication orders of HOPE – The Heartbeat of Mission included 800 copies for the RCCG church leaders; 2,500 for the Methodist Church; 1,300 for United Reformed Church leaders and 550 for Elim churches as well as individual orders from dioceses and groups of local churches. The Diocese of Worcester ordered 1,000 copies of HOPE – The Heartbeat of Mission to give one to every church in the area. Roger Morris, Archdeacon of Worcester said: ‘We want to equip, not just clergy but, all people so they can participate wholeheartedly in HOPE 2014.  This HOPE 2014 initiative comes at just the right time for our diocese.’

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