CRT Magazine (Revitalise) Edition 003

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REVITALISE Stories from the HTB Network

Urban Estates hope rising in our estate communities

Supporting Refugees finding faith & home in Derby

raising Leaders How new training is changing the face of the church


Church Revitalisation Trust

Edition 3 / january 2020

Network NEWS 4 Network Highlights News and updates from across the Network


ENCOURAGEMENT CRT’s Patron Bishop Karowei on why we have reason to hope


City Centre Resource Churches Where we are

social transformation 14 Hope Rising Three Urban Estate Churches share how God is at work in their communities

18 Welcoming strangers How St Werburgh’s Derby are supporting refugees

training leaders 20 The Accelerator Programme Rebecca Stewart shares six essentials in keeping your dream team


New St Mellitus College centre and The Peter Stream How ordination training is expanding and diversifying

restoring buildings 24 back to life New City Centre Resource Churches: Preston Minster and St Matt’s Exeter undergo a transformation

THE ENGINE ROOM 27 UNDER THE BONNET Q&A with Sarah Jackson, CEO of the Church Revitalisation Trust

cover image: canning town. photo: jonathan bacon


‘We are so excited to be part of a growing network of churches all playing our part...’

Since 1985, HTB has had the privilege of partnering with bishops and dioceses to plant over 85 churches across this country and beyond. In 2017, The Church Revitalisation Trust (CRT) was set up by HTB to be a catalyst for this momentum of church planting and we are delighted to see churches that are empty or closing being brought back to life, introducing people to Jesus and changing lives. We are so excited to be part of a growing network of churches all playing our part in the evangelisation

of the nation, the revitalisation of the Church and the transformation of society. Together, we believe that we can play a part in reversing the tide of church decline and see communities transformed in the name of Jesus. Thank you so much for your support, Love,

Nicky and Pippa Gumbel Vicar of HTB and Chair of CRT

Welcome to the latest edition of Revitalise. We hope you find it as encouraging as we do, to see just some of what God is doing through the growing Network of churches planted from HTB. As we have recently celebrated ten years since planting into St Peter’s Brighton, we love to see the training up and resourcing of the next generation of leaders, in towns, cities and urban estates across the country, and are expectant for all that God will do through you and your churches. We hope you enjoy reading these stories; they are inspiring for us all as we continue to seek the evangelisation of the nation, revitalisation of the Church and transformation of society. We look forward to connecting with you at Focus, or at our other Network gatherings over the course of 2020. With love, Archie and Sam Coates HTB Network and Vicar of St. Peter’s Brighton 3

The Network grows as ne

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Preston minster Over 300 people gathered to celebrate a new season in the life of the historic Preston Minster. After a period of extensive refurbishment, the church was reopened with a newly recruited team, led by Sam and Hannah Haigh. Sam and Hannah moved from Holy Trinity Brompton in the summer of 2019 and previously worked as an Associate Vicar for Tollington Parish. Sam reflected on the service, ‘My highlight was seeing six people respond to the gospel after the talk and the queues of people waiting to get connected into the life of the church. It was wonderful to see this building open and alive with people worshipping Jesus.’ Their hope is that the church becomes home and a safe place of hope for many people in Preston. Preston was granted city status in 2003 and at the same time the church was renamed The Minster Church of St John. At the Bishop’s invitation, Preston Minster has now become one of HTB’s City Centre Resource Churches and a team from across the UK have moved to join in with this mission.

‘It is wonderful to see this building open and alive with people worshipping Jesus’ Sam & hannah Haigh, Leaders OF preston minster

St Werburgh’s Derby to plant new Urban Estate Church Less than three years since their own launch, St Werburgh’s are set to plant into a large estate church on the edge of Derby in the autumn of 2020. St Francis Mackworth – a small faithful Anglo-Catholic church - will be led by Andy and Rachel Bond. Along with their two children, Andy and Rachel want to ‘seek to honour what has gone before, and also bring something new, seek to connect with and bless the estate’.

St Peter’s Vauxhall joins the Network Previously based at Network church Holy Trinity Clapham, Michael and Emma John have planted a new congregation into St Peter’s Vauxhall. Vauxhall is right at the heart of London on the edge of the largest redevelopment in Europe. Michael describes his vision: ‘In a part of London that has seen everything, we need to be faithful to the gospel, radical in our community and relentless in our reconciliation’.


ew Church Plants launch st matt’s exeter

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With a vision to be a home for every person in Exeter, St Matt’s was relaunched in September 2019 as a City Centre Resource Church for Exeter. The Sunday launch service saw over 200 people gather to celebrate with worship, teaching, fresh pastries and good coffee. Ed and Jess Hodges, along with their two daughters, relocated to Exeter from Holy Trinity Brompton in the summer of 2019. They long to build a church for the 97% of people in the city who don’t yet go to church and want to explore how they can be a church where everybody can be ‘at home’. St Matt’s has been at the heart of the East End of Exeter for over 130 years. Over the years, the attendance at the church dwindled, but in recent years, a group from another local church began an evening service and saw the early signs of revitalisation. Encouraged by the growth of St Matthias, the Bishop of Exeter invited Ed and Jess to relaunch St Matt’s Exeter to reach a new generation.

‘Our vision is to be a home for every person in Exeter’ Ed & jess hodges, Leaders OF st matt’s, exeter

Hackney Church launch new hub in Leyton In January, Hackney Church launched their newest location in Leyton – also home to the Olympic Park, East Village and Here East. Al and Liv Gordon have a vision to plant churches across the East End which connect with culture in creative ways. Al says: ‘Over 50% of Londoners now live East of Tower Bridge, and yet church attendance is incredibly low here. Leyton is an extraordinary place and packed full of opportunity.’

St Mary’s Andover re-launched with fresh vision In September 2019, at the invitation of the Bishop of Winchester, Chris and Naomi Bradish relaunched St Mary’s Andover as a Resource Church. Over 300 people gathered across the services and more gathered for the launch party. Chris explains: ‘We are expectant and excited to see where God continues to lead us. As we start new ministries, we are grateful to those who have gone before us and to those who are praying us on.’


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C e l e b r at i n g K e y M i l e s t o 10 years: st peter’s brighton It’s been a decade since the Bishop of Chichester invited Archie and Sam Coates to plant a congregation into the derelict but iconic building of St Peter’s Brighton.

the re-evangelisation of their communities, the revitalisation of the church and the transformation of society in Brighton and beyond’.

Since then, the worshipping community has grown to over 800 and St Peter’s has in turn planted five other churches. Alongside their focus on evangelism and building the pastoral life of the church – including overseeing a major premises restoration project, St Peter’s has demonstrated a strong commitment to tackling some of the key social issues facing the local community. Archie and Sam declared their vision for the next decade: ‘To see

St Peter’s at a glance

5 plants 800+ congregation 280 attended Alpha in 2019

5 YEARS: St Swithin’s Lincoln From a congregation of 13 and a church building that had seen better days, Jim Prestwood celebrates what a difference five years has made in Lincoln.

At the start of this new decade, we have so much to be thankful for. Having spent the last two years out of our building, we are now close to completing our new building ‘The Salt House’. We have three Sunday congregations and Alpha running in a college, university, prison, schools and sending teams to train and work with other parishes launching Alpha. There is a vibrant work with our young adults. We’ve seen many come to faith - it’s transformation one life at a time - the result of people encountering Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit at

work. Our ‘Home’ team runs a midweek congregation with a meal, a clothing bank and Prison Alpha where we have seen men give their lives to Christ be filled with the Spirit and are about to start Sunday services in prison. It’s been a learning curve with many struggles and joys but to see St. Swithin’s playing its part in making a difference to the city and beyond is humbling. We’ve seen God do immeasurably more than we can hope or imagine.


nes across the Network

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5 YEARS: Holy Trinity Bukit Bintang Based in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre, Bukit Bintang, HTBB Church celebrated its fifth birthday in October. The church was commissioned at Focus in 2014 and sits in the Diocese of West Malaysia under the leadership of Archbishop Moon Hing.

refugee families weekly from different locations around the city. The church sits within the Alpha Asia Pacific Hub which houses Alpha Malaysia and Alpha Asia Pacific and so regularly trains churches from different countries from around the region. HTBB has just completed its 16th run of Alpha in English and 6th in Mandarin, which has led into over 400 people being baptised over five years.

Since 2014, under the leadership of Miles and Sarah Toulmin, the church has grown to a weekly congregation of around 2,000 people across five different services, including a Mandarin speaking congregation and a service in Burmese for refugees. The church is flourishing as it runs many connect groups, family life courses and Alpha.

The past five years have been extraordinary in terms of growth and outworking of the vision in the region and there is huge anticipation as to what God will do next.

HTBB also launched a foodbank this year in conjunction with the Burmese speaking service, run by volunteers. It feeds over 100

5 YEARS: LoveChurch Bournemouth Tim Matthews - Leader of Lovechurch - reflects on five years of church planting adventure.

Five years ago, we re-opened the doors of St Swithun’s, Bournemouth as a new HTB plant initiated by the Bishop of Winchester. Despite the mistakes we’ve made along the way, it’s felt like we’ve surfed a wave of God’s miraculous power: we’ve seen hundreds of people come to faith through Alpha, who have then gone on as followers of Jesus to lead the church in prayer, worship and discipleship. We’ve been enabled to planted out into a church at the heart of Bournemouth’s poorest neighbourhood. We’ve partnered with our two church schools to improve education and


impact the lives of hundreds of local families. We’ve been inspired by the kids, youth and student teams who have driven the church forwards in evangelism. We’ve seen God transform the lives of many who used to be homeless, addicted to drugs, or trapped in unmanageable debt. Now as Lovechurch Bournemouth we’re praying for progress beyond these small beginnings to the area-wide awakening that we’re praying for. Thank you for praying for us over the last five years.

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First HTB church in Wales to plant on ‘Hope Street’

At the invitation of Bishop Gregory, Andy and Rachel Kitchen have been asked to lead a new resource church in Wrexham town centre for a September 2020 launch. An iconic ex-department store, with the address ‘1 Hope Street’ has been purchased and a full refurbishment programme is already underway to turn the abandoned three-storey Burton’s store into ‘Hope Street’, a thriving place of worship, a hub for social transformation and place

where people can encounter Jesus. Wrexham is the largest urban area in North Wales with about 20,000 sixth form and HE students pouring into the town each week. The area has a proud history of the armed forces and heavy industries like coal-mining, tanning and brewing, and more recently manufacturing firms like Airbus and Kelloggs. In 2017, the UK’s largest new prison, HMP Berwyn opened, which is about to start running Prison Alpha.

There are areas of the town where the child poverty rate is 47.9%, one of the highest in Wales, and 25% of adults in Wrexham leave school with no qualifications. Issues of homelessness, drug addiction, violence and food poverty are among the challenges for the local community. Andy and Rachel will be relocating to Wrexham with their family in the summer to prepare for a 2020 launch of Hope Street Wrexham.

‘We are so excited about Hope Street and the potential for lives to be transformed by the love of Jesus, particularly amongst the young people of the area. Just outside Wrexham was one of the birthplaces of the Welsh revival at the start of the last century, and we are longing to see a move of God across North Wales as we join with other churches in mission.’ Andy and Rachel Kitchen, Leaders of Hope Street



Bishop Karowei is a Nigerian-born Church of England bishop and has been the Bishop of Woolwich since March 2017. As a Patron of CRT, he reflects on why we have reason to be hopeful.

encouragement from Bishop Karowei I have been very encouraged to hear of what God is doing across the country through the HTB Network of churches. The Church is marching on and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Talks and media articles of Church decline continue to fill the headlines, but it appears to me as if there is a different story being told of the work of the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ said in John 3, ‘the wind bloweth where it listeth’. This work is the story of the work of the Spirit through CRT amongst others. I am encouraged to see that the old wasted places are being restored and there is celebration and praises to God being done in these

renewed places of worship. We are grateful for the 85 network churches involved in this move of the Spirit. More and more are getting involved with church planting through the Accelerator Programme, new ordinands are getting on the Peter Stream at St Mellitus Theological College. How incredible! To God be all the Glory. We remain grounded and mindful of the fact that we are disciples of Jesus Christ, called to be in the world but not of the world, citizens of heaven passing through the earth, who belong to Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20). And, as Charles Spurgeon puts it, ‘as people who belong to the Lord Jesus, let us obey him, love him, trust him and follow him’.

Our work is to be a blessing to our cities, nation and world in the name of Christ, as God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus. And, I am reminded of the words of Prophet Isaiah; ‘For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation.’ (Isaiah 51:3-4a KJV) May the Lord continue to bless the work of CRT and may the thanksgivings and voices of melody continue to ring across our nation, as the Church marches on.

‘The old wasted places are being restored and there is celebration in these renewed places of worship’ 9

network news highlights Hundreds of Network young people met for a Focus Alive Gathering

Peter Stream candidates speak at Lambeth Palace

CRT host a roundtable discussion to encourage women in ordination

Building work on Pattern Church Swindon prepares to complete

Lovechurch run SoundWays, a youth project encouraging creativity in young people

Renewal Church Nairobi celebrate their 1st Anniversary

First ever Light Party held at St Mark’s Coventry

Thousands attend Carols on the streets in Bethnal Green

Archbishop Justin and the Bishop of London address Network supporters at Focus

Saint Mary’s launched new Football outreach programme ‘Bridge the Gap’

network highlights

The new Marriage Course film launched in January 2020

St Nicholas Bristol celebrate their 1st Anniversary and adult baptism service

The Accelerator Programme visit Hackney Brewery

Saint Mary’s Southampton launched English language café, ‘Speakeasy’

Trevor Golding installed as vicar at Network church St Mark’s Tollington

Clergy couples enjoy a Marriage Course retreat at Wiston House

Nearly 250 young people attended HTB’s youth weekend away

‘Awaken Voices’, a youth worship group at St George’s perform in Gateshead Carols

Loretta Minghella visits the Peter Stream and female clergy at HTB

HTH’s Safehaven Women win 2019’s Premier Love Britain & Ireland Award

St Thomas’ Norwich sports ministry receives recognition & funding from CofE

37 students graduate from SPTC Malaysia

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St Peter’s Brighton hosted 280 Alpha guests in 2019

where we are around the UK

where we are

There are 85 churches in the HTB Network, 21 of them are City Centre Resource Churches (CCRCs). CCRCs are thriving churches and resourcing hubs for Alpha and social transformation. They have a vision to plant further churches, particularly targeting areas of social deprivation.

1 London

2 brighton

17 swindon

18 andover

3 norwich

4 bournemouth

19 exeter

20 preston

5 hastings

6 lincoln

7 birmingham

8 gateshead

21 wrexham


20 9 plymouth

10 nottingham





3 7 11 portsmouth

12 coventry


15 13 crawley

9 16 southampton







14 derby


15 bristol





where we are around the world At the invitation of the local bishop and diocese, CRT is planting, partnering and helping to revitalise the global Church.

where we are

The first plant outside the UK in 2014, Holy Trinity Bukit Bintang (HTBB), now has a worshipping congregation of 2,000 with 5 Sunday services.

kuala lumpur 1

It is a regional resourcing hub for Alpha, theological training and has a vision to plant a further 5 churches into key cities across SE Asia.

Renewal Church Nairobi was planted in 2018 by Chris and Abi Arnold with a team of 30 volunteers. They launched their first Alpha Course with 65 guests and have since launched a family service and ‘Africa Justice and Restoration Project’, a legal aid project to see innocent people released from prison.


Vintage Church LA is the newest church to join the HTB Network. Led by Pastor Ger Jones, Vintage Church is based in 4 locations: Santa Monica, West LA, Malibu and Pasadena.

3 california

Their vision is to ‘Join God in the renewal of all things’ and to see his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. 13

hope rising social transformation

revitalising urban estates

Each of our City Centre Resource Churches have a vision to plant into urban estates where there is no Anglican presence and play a part alongside other local churches in areas of social deprivation. Three urban estate plant leaders share their own encouragements and how hope is bubbling in unexpected places.

500 *Estate Parishes include at least 500 social housing units

More than 1/5 of the C of E’s 12,500 parishes are estimated to be estates parishes* and some of the toughest contexts for Christian ministry. Poverty, addiction and loneliness remain some of the predominant challenges for these communities, often on the fringes of towns and cities across the country.


‘If we are an outward facing church, we need to position people where they’re most needed. 83% of people live in urban areas, but 83% of church finance doesn’t go there. It should.’ Bishop Ric Thorpe, Bishop of Islington

St Clement’s, Boscombe ‘J esus is writing a new story for this community – one of hope, one of life, one of love’

St Clement’s, Boscombe sits at the heart of one of the poorest communities in the South West. Simon Nicholls – leader of St Clements – describes it as a tough place to grow up, a tough place to live but a place where God is on the move. We recently started a new evening service - we sit round tables, eat a meal together, worship, share stories, hear from God’s word and always pray. It’s beautifully simple and perfect for the locality. Recently, Steve* joined us. He hadn’t set foot in a church for years – convinced that he was too dirty for God, too broken for the community and not good enough for the people. Yet, something drew him in. He came in, head down, sat down on his own and got his phone out. The classic. But we refuse to let people get away with that! We want to ensure that every person who walks through the door knows that they are welcome, whatever their story; they are

loved, exactly as they are; and that they belong as part of our community. So, one of the welcome team went and sat with him and they had a great conversation. Another team member chatted to him over soup and rolls, and someone else during the coffee break. Steve was welcomed and made to feel safe. During the ministry time, we prayed for healing and to everyone’s surprise Steve stood up. It turned out that he was a painter but wasn’t able to work because of RSI pain in his left arm. So, we prayed a simple prayer and God healed him. All the pain in his left arm went in that instant. When Steve got home, he fell asleep and God spoke to him in a dream. He hadn’t told us that his right arm was also agony. In the dream, Steve saw himself praying for healing for his arm – so when he woke up, that’s exactly what he did. And, incredibly, God healed his right arm too. Steve is now a committed follower of Jesus, currently doing Alpha, serving at the 6pm and learning what it means for him to be part of this messy family. He is slowly and surely coming alive in the love of God. This is one of many stories of what God is up to in Boscombe. It’s a place which is often overlooked, spoken of disparagingly, a place where no one really wants to go. Yet Jesus is there, writing a new story for this community – one of hope, one of life, one of love. *Not his real name


social transformation

• Planted by Lovechurch, Bournemouth in 2016 ighest proportion of alcoholics & drug • Haddicts on benefits in the UK ranks in the top 3% of areas • Bofoscombe deprivation • Crime levels rank in the top 8% in England

Simon & Chloe Nicholls Leaders of St Clements Boscombe

St Matthias, Canning Town

social transformation

Reviving wastelands into community gardens

• P lanted by All Hallows Bow in 2016 in the top 4% deprived parishes • Rinanks the UK • 3 6% are single parent households 4% of those over 60 experience • 4income deprivation Now in its third year, the leaders at St Matthias, Canning Town want to play their part in ‘bringing heaven on earth across Canning Town’ and make space for the community to come close to Jesus. Ben Atkins describes one practical way in which they are blessing the community. We’ve turned the wasteland at the front of the parish building into a community garden where we garden with our neighbours

Ben & Sarah Atkins Leaders of St Matthias Canning Town

and let passers-by pick the fruit and vegetables we grow together. It’s significant because historically our neighbourhood has rich soil and hard-working people but also high levels of mental illness, malnutrition and food poverty. We are living out our Jeremiah 29 call, to ‘build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Increase in number there; do not decrease… Seek the peace and prosperity of the city… because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’ It’s led to meaningful conversations, new friendships, and broke down cultural barriers. We’ve also had chances to pray with people. Since doing this we’ve been invited by the council to help them run and develop the local park. Be faithful in the small things!

‘Our greatest challenge is resourcing the practical needs to support a growing church in an area of huge debt and economic deprivation. We are so grateful to CRT for helping us financially to continue to be a blessing to those around us.’ Christa Brodie-Levinsohn Curate, St MatThias, Canning Town

Connecting with Estate Communities Christa Brodie-Levinsohn, Curate at St Matthias Canning Town has a passion to see people and their communities fulfil their God-given potential. She shares four key principles in how to best connect with communities in areas of social deprivation.

1. Live there God is a missional God; he left the glory of heaven to be with us – in the same way, we need to live alongside those we are seeking to share the love of Jesus with. Walk the streets and pay attention. Ask God to show you what he sees and how he feels. Be humble, be curious. He’s been at work on that patch of land for years. Ask him to show you what he’s been doing and what he wants to do in future.

Woven St John’s, Bilborough ‘4 00 young people were packed inside our estate church’


A year ago, Woven St John’s had no youth group and no connection with local schools in the parish, explains Peter Shaw. Now, as the result of a school’s mission week, the estate church is fast becoming a youth hub where teenagers are finding life and hope. In the autumn, we ran a school’s mission, ‘Believe Week’. Across 4 high schools, we ran 38 lessons, 20 assemblies, 15 lunch

clubs, 5 sports sessions, and several knife-crime workshops. On the Friday night we had over 400 young people packed inside the estate church, stretching our fire regulation capacity to the max! Prior to that event the church had no youth group and no previous relationship with the two high schools in the parish. Over the week 3,500 young people heard about Jesus, and 211 young people responded to the gospel. Following the lead of Woven St Margaret’s, we have started weekly hot chocolate drop-ins, and despite being a ten-minute walk from the school, we are seeing 120 young people each week. We have started an Alpha Course at another secondary school for years 7’s and 20 students have been taking part.

‘We believe St John’s can be the best place to be in Bilborough, not only on a Sunday, but every day of the week, as we invite people into the adventure of following Jesus.’ Peter shaw, leader of woven st john’s

2. make friends

3. think future

4. Organise organically

Listen. Appreciate the strengths of the culture and the community. Learn the history and stories of the community. See what you have to learn from its strengths, values and history. Join in where you’re invited and get ready to make friendships that will bless you as much as you can bless them.

As you become a student of the neighbourhood and a friend of the neighbours, pray into its future. Who are the people, the homes, parks and shops which could play a key part in church with this community? It’s likely that the best people to lead churches - and the best places to host church - are already here. A neighbourhood alive with the glory of God will never fit in our church buildings so let’s think about how we ‘get church out’ rather than how to ‘get people in’.

Don’t organise church events until you’ve naturally connected with people in the neighbourhood. Loving our neighbour is hard if we’re too busy with church events to spend time with them. If you have an idea for an event, organise it with people you’ve already met there. Even better, join in with things they’re already organising. Most estates have layouts that are hard-wired for community and this approach means we co-create better events, grow friendships, and meet more people through existing networks.

social transformation

lanted by Woven St Margaret’s, • PNottingham in 2019 • 4 5% over 16 have no qualifications • 4 3% have no access to a car verage all-age church attendance in • A2016 was 0.4% of the parish population

Peter & Steph Shaw Leaders of Woven St John’s Bilborough

‘It was like seeing family again’

social transformation

Bezhan, Gateshead.

welcoming strangers Bezhan’s photo has not been used to protect his identity

After discovering a faith at university in the Middle East, Bezhan embarked on a long and distressing journey to the UK and found himself seeking asylum in Derby. Here, he shares the story of how he was welcomed into St Werburgh’s and found support and a new family within the HTB Network.

months would be like for me. I heard about a Welcome Group that ran at St Werburgh’s and after finding it, I attended every church event I could during the five weeks I was in Derby. I spent time with one of the vicars who told me that whatever part of the country I got sent to, they could and would connect me with another church who would welcome me. This was a great relief to me. I was moved to Gateshead and my friends at St Werburgh’s had arranged someone to meet me at the door when I arrived at St George’s Gateshead.

My family and I are Kurdish and I grew up in the Middle East. It was as a university student that I first met some Christians who became my friends. They gave me a copy of the gospels which I read and we spent hours discussing Christianity. It all made sense to me and, over time, I came to believe that Jesus was real, the Bible was true and I joined a Catholic church in my university city. After I finished studying, challenging circumstances meant that I needed to leave my home country and I travelled to England. It was very painful leaving my home and the journey was terrible, full of suffering and difficulty. It’s hard to speak about but throughout, I knew that Jesus was with me.

Over the past few months, I’ve done Alpha and was even able to come to Focus where I bumped into Phil Mann from St Werburghs - it was like seeing family again. I feel so part of St George’s now and it has become a home for me. Despite having lost everything - including my own family - I’ve gained a new home, a new church family and so much more in my relationship with Jesus.

FINDING HOME I arrived in England as an asylum seeker and was sent to Derby to the Initial Accommodation Centre. It was hard and confusing not knowing what the next few


supporting refugees

The Welcome Group is held in the church for one evening every week for refugees and alysum seekers who have just arrived in Derby. For years we have been told to go into all the world, but now here in our city the nations are coming to us. All we need to do is unlock the door and let people in. What an honour it is to welcome people from so many nations,

many of whom are from a Muslim background and have never been in a church building before. The Welcome Group provides drinks, games and English practice, but it is so much more than that. We stand with them in their journey, demonstrate solidarity and seek to provide a place of safety to traumatised people. We have prayed for people and the family members

they have left behind. What an impact we can have – even if it is for only a few weeks. All too soon, when we are getting to know each other, our new arrivals are dispersed to other cities across the UK. Sometimes people are eager to stay in touch and we try and link them with welcoming churches. It’s a privilege to be involved with this group.

In September 2017 – at the invitation of the Bishop of Derby – Phil and Anna Mann planted into St Werburgh’s Derby, a large building in the heart of Derby which was previously being used as a Chinese Restaurant. They now have nearly 300 people attending on a Sunday, and over 200 attended Alpha.

In 2018, more than 20,000 people were granted asylum in the UK

social transformation

St Werburgh’s is positioned in the heart of Derby - close to an Initial Accommodation Centre, which provides short-term housing for over 200 asylum seekers. Many of the new arrivals are confused, traumatised and isolated. They spend their days with little to occupy them and just £5 a day to live on. In partnership with a local charity, Upbeat Communities, a team at St Werburgh’s help to welcome and care for refugees arriving in the region. Elliot Cooper tells us more.

training leaders

The Accelerator Programme

Leaders are central to the flourishing of healthy churches which is why the CRT Accelerator Programme – a one-year intensive training course – plays a key role in preparing our future church planters.

The CRT Accelerator Programme is designed to provide and prepare our future leaders to plant a church. CRT’s vision is to provide exceptional training to equip them so they can hit the ground running and therefore the course is designed to be pastoral, operational and visionary, and draws on a variety of exceptional leaders who are experts in their field. Over the Autumn and Spring Term, the 24 sessions aim to combine leadership development with a ministry and operational toolkit; topics

covered range from finance and working well with the Diocese, to writing job descriptions, reaching the unchurched and planning the first 100 days after the launch of the church plant. Each term there is a site visit to a Network Church. So far, the 11 planting curates have been to see Hackney Church and are looking forward to seeing St. Peter’s, Brighton and St. Cuthman’s on the Whitehawk estate.


‘I have found THE Accelerator Programme immensely helpful; informative, practical and equipping. The opportunity to hear from leaders of established church plants and learn from their experience is invaluable. it has been great to make this journey with other people on the church-planting adventure.’ Janie Cronin, Church Plant Leader

Keeping Your Dream Team training leaders

Rebecca Stewart is the founder of Goldstar Partners, a headhunting firm for the non-profit sector. Previously, she was Group Chief Executive for the HTB Group. As a regular contributor to the Accelerator Programme, she shares her top tips on how to care for your team and help them fulfil their potential. Building and retaining a team is one of the most important aspects of being a leader. Whatever area of life you’re investing in you’ll have worked out already that you can’t do it alone. You need to find other brilliant people with whom you can do life and ministry. Finding capable, inspiring, motivated people is hard, but hanging onto them is harder still.

So, you’ve built your team, but what now...



Equip them

Thank and thank and thank and thank again. Even if things didn’t go so well, they still did it.


Give feedback

We all love giving positive feedback and hate giving negative feedback. The temptation is to ignore it but that’s no good for anyone – it’s dishonest and it doesn’t enable the person to grow. It creates a culture of ‘you’re amazing, you’re amazing, you’re fired!’ The easiest way to give negative or constructive feedback is to do it straight away. Do it as you go, keep short accounts and encourage your team to do the same.




This may seem obvious but in a church planting context you’ve got to do this more than ever. People have often changed the direction of their life to be with you and so this isn’t a job – we all know that. Scoop everyone up, do life together, eat together, pray together, cry together and find the rhythm within your week to show your love and care for your team.





ns • 6 ke y sons • 6


Thank them. Thanking just needs to be part of the DNA and it’s infectious. If people are used to being thanked, they will thank their teams and everyone feels appreciated.



key l es • 6

It’s simple, but your team need to be equipped. Whether they’re staff or volunteers, make sure they’ve had all the practical training they need and allocate budget for this. For example, if they’re in charge of safeguarding, make sure they’ve done the safeguarding training. Your team need to be equipped and able to do the job that you’ve asked them to do.


Say ‘Thank you’


pray together

This is one of those things that can get forgotten even within our context. We can be so busy planning for Sundays and responding to other demands – but do take time to pray for each other, with each other and get it into the pattern of the week. Gather to pray and keep in the habit of doing so. 21


This is easy at the beginning when you’re bursting with vision but suddenly it gets tough and vision can leak. You’ve got to keep filling it up again and again. Remind people why they’re there and tell the stories of the difference it’s making. Everyone knows the vision statements but the real reason they’re there is because Jonny came back to Alpha last night, Jill came along with her kids to the toddlers group and you had an amazing conversation with her. It’s the stories which bring life and when you’re thinking ‘why on earth have I done this?’, remind them why you’re all doing it. Someone’s found Jesus. So just keep going with that bit.

training leaders

New St Mellitus College centre launched at Trinity Church, Nottingham

The East Midlands teaching centre, based in a City Centre Resource Church, welcomed 23 students in September 2019. At the invitation of Bishop Paul (Southwell and Nottingham) and Bishop Martyn (Leicester), the centre will serve the mission and ministry of the church in the region by offering full-time context-based ordination training and wider full- and part-time

theological education opportunities. The new centre has been established as on ongoing partnership between St Mellitus and the two sponsoring Dioceses, with a view to developing an expression of ministerial training which is unique to the context of the East Midlands, but also to helping resource mission and ministry across the region and support local diocesan vision.

The Centre Director, Revd Dr David Emerton described what he most wanted to share with his students: ‘A passion that theology and church should always be married together, with each shaping and serving the other; a passion to follow-after Jesus whenever and to whatever he calls us; a passion to develop both lay and ordained people as disciples of Christ.’

‘We’re delighted to be hosting the newest St. Mellitus hub in the East Midlands, We’re completely convinced that one of the great needs of the church is to build a generation of leaders who are deep in worship, thought and prayer, and who are ready to play their part in seeing a church set on fire, and cities coming alive.’ Jonny and Amy Hughes, leaders of Trinity Church Nottingham

St Mellitus College has grown to become one of the largest theological colleges in the Anglican Communion, with more than 320 ordinands in training, and over 700 students studying its various accredited and nonaccredited programmes. It is widely recognised to be one of the most innovative and exciting places to study theology and ministry in the world.

39% of students are under 35 TRAINS 1 in 4 C of E ordinaNDS

5 Centres in London, Chelmsford, the North West, the South West and the East Midlands

Dynamic, diverse & destined to change the face of the church

The Peter Stream, now in its second year, is intent on raising gifted young leaders who are from under-represented backgrounds, particularly in relation to educational, social or minority ethnic categories. Claud Jackson – currently a candidate in this year’s cohort – shares his story. I was still in primary school when I discounted myself from academic studies. Nobody took the time to explain things to me in a way in which I understood. I grew frustrated and by the time I was a teen my attendance had dropped dramatically. The only thing that I left school with was resentment. I had no qualifications and felt a failure, which only added to the anger and bitterness that I was already harbouring from a difficult childhood. Having left school without any qualifications meant that college wasn’t an option and the thought of ever going to university was

unimaginable. At sixteen I began selling cannabis, by nineteen I had sold cocaine and by twenty-five there wasn’t a drug that I didn’t have access to. In my world it was easier to get a gun than it was a degree. One day I heard a Christian sharing his testimony. He spoke of how Jesus had changed his life and I enrolled on an Alpha Course. The course started the following evening and two weeks later I invited Jesus into my life. By the end of the Alpha course I had completely stopped drug dealing. A couple of months later I got baptised, and then got a job working as a barista. Years later I began

The Peter Stream is a partnership between the London Diocese, CRT and St Mellitus College, which seeks to see the Church benefit from a range of women and men who have sensed a call to ordained church leadership, but considered themselves excluded. The scheme is a year-long programme that runs in conjunction with the Diocesan discernment processes.

working at Holy Trinity Brompton where I felt convicted to pursue God in all areas of my life, including academically but wasn’t qualified to study let alone consider becoming a vicar. The decision to withdraw from academic studies as a child had completely shaped my life so when the opportunity arose for me to apply for the Peter Stream I jumped at the chance. The Peter Stream has given me hope, the opportunity to deepen my relationship with Jesus and explore my future calling. I went from being excluded to included and it feels amazing!

training leaders

‘In my world it was easier to get a gun than it was a degree’

back to life restoring buildings

CRT works in partnership with the diocese to identify a centrally located, ‘iconic’ building which can be adapted to fit the needs of 21st century worship and mission. Here are two of the most recent buildings that have been brought back to life.

preston minster Having been lovingly maintained by a small but dedicated group of parishioners, the building fabric at St John’s Minster, Preston was in remarkably good order. Nevertheless, a substantial programme of works was required in order to make the building suitable for 21st century worship and mission. These works included making the entrance more welcoming, providing a servery for

since 2017 we’ve seen

drinks on arrival, extending and installing a kitchen, creating creche and other children’s spaces and carpeting the nave. We also undertook a major re-wiring exercise including the installation of a high-quality audiovisual system. Almost exactly two years from CRT first seeing the building, the church was relaunched for the next phase of its life serving the people of Preston.





16 projects supported financially by CRT

5 new buildings being restored for a September 2020 launch

750 coffees consumed on site by Andrew Parsons, CRT’s Buildings Project Manager



St Matthew’s, Exeter In April 2019 Ed and Jess Hodges and their young family moved to Exeter to continue and grow the work already started at St Matthew’s. CRT was already developing plans for a major re-ordering, with work on the first phase starting during the summer break.

restoring buildings

We have replaced a rather forbidding dark-wood draft lobby at the entrance with a beautiful, light glass structure. Internally the lighting has been upgraded, sound system installed, and a servery built in to the South Transept. New chairs were purchased and along with carpet and the careful relocation of some listed items the church was made ready for relaunch at the end of September. There are further phases of work planned, including additional toilets and works to the church hall to benefit the children’s work.


6000 Sqm

60,000 AV cable


3,600 chairs installed

6,000 Sqm of carpet laid

60,000m of AV cable used

plus innumerable kitkats eaten



become a friend

play your part Join us as we imagine hundreds of churches growing, multiplying, transforming lives, in every community. Let’s do something great together.

become a friend of crt today follow us: @churchrevtrust 26


What is CRT? If the HTB Network is like a car, a family set on a journey towards the destination of the re-evangelisation of the nation, revitalisation of the Church and transformation of society - we see CRT as the engine – hidden but providing essential mechanics and support to enable the car to move forwards with confidence and momentum.

Bishop Karowei is a Nigerian-born Church is CRT serving the Network? ofHowEngland bishop and CRT exists to strengthen the amazing network of churches the country has been the across Bishop of by developing a centre of expertise in Woolwich church planting.since We seek toMarch provide excellence in training leaders, first class 2017. Asanda thePatron offunding, resources generation of both at the early stage of church CRT, heandreflects on key planting throughout ongoing stages of growth and church health. why we have reason We passionately believe that the through the power of the Spirit, toChurch, be hopeful. is the agent of hope and change for our nation, so we want every network church to know we are here to help and resource their needs as they inevitably face ongoing challenges.

What is exciting about planting churches in this new decade? Over the past 35 years, we have developed models of church planting that if accelerated, have the potential to play our part in reversing the decline in the Church of England in our lifetime. I am excited to see a new generation of dynamic and committed church leaders in training with a passion to be sent into unchurched areas. We currently have six planters going through our Accelerator Programme and I continue to be amazed by their commitment to serve God wherever he may call them and to relocate to cities and communities unknown to them.

How do you stay hopeful in the midst of challenges? Despite the sobering national church growth statistics published for 2018, I see a different narrative being written. I see churches growing, I see young people encountering the love of Jesus for the first time, I see hope rising in communities that suffer significant deprivation levels. I have the privilege

the engine room

Sarah Jackson, CEO of the Church Revitalisation Trust, gives us an insight into the work of CRT and why we’re in a pivotal time in the history of the church in our nation. of hearing stories of transformed lives through Alpha and through remarkable social transformation projects. God is on the move and it is an immense privilege to try and support these communities to the best of our ability.

What’s next for CRT and what can we do to help? Every person has a key part to play, if we are to see our nation transformed. Firstly, we need a significant movement of committed prayer to arise; that we would see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would reach those on the margins of our society with the hope and healing of Jesus. Secondly, we are desperate for resources, both in expertise and funding to support key team roles, upgrade tired premises and enable more social transformation work to be launched. I sense this is a pivotal time in the history of the Church in our nation, and there is an urgency to reach the unchurched next generation with the hope of Jesus if we are to leave a legacy of a healthy growing Church. Please join this adventure with us!

‘There is an urgency to reach the unchurched next generation with the hope of Jesus if we are to leave a legacy of a healthy growing church’

St Luke’s Gas Street Birmingham, St Nicholas Bristol, St Peter’s Brighton, St Matthias Fiveways, Brighton, St Cuthman’s Brighton, St Johns Crawley, Holy Trinity Hastings, St. Mark’s Coventry, St Werburgh’s Derby, St Georges Gateshead, St Matthias Plymouth, St. Swithin’s Lincoln, St. Thomas’s Norwich, Harbour Church Portsmouth, Trinity Nottingham, Woven St Margaret’s Nottingham, Holy Trinity Brompton, St Swithun’s Bournemouth Love Church, St Clement’s Boscombe, Saint Mary’s Southampton, Preston Minster, Hackney Church, St Matthew’s Exeter, Holy Trinity Bukit Bintang, St Stephen’s Twickenham, Holy Trinity Clapham, Holy Trinity Hounslow, The Lighthouse, St Barnabas Kensington, St. John’s Hampton Wick, St Luke’s Kentish Town, St Mark’s Battersea Rise, St. Mary’s Andover, St Paul’s Hammersmith, St Paul’s Shadwell, Pattern Church Swindon, All Hallows, Bow, Ascension Balham, Bishopston & Saint Andrew’s Bristol, Buckingham Parish Church, Christ Church Feltham, Christ Church Spitalfields, Holy Trinity Barnes, Holy Trinity Richmond, Holy Trinity Sydenham, St Mary Magdalene Church Holloway Road, Latimer Minster, Mariners Church Gloucester, Oak Church Stevenage, St. Alban’s Fulham, St Dionis Parsons Green, St George’s Newcastle, St George’s Holborn, St. James in the City, St Jax Montreal, St John’s Hoxton, St Luke’s Millwall, St Margaret’s Lothbury, St Mark’s Kensal Rise, St Mark’s Tollington Park, St Mary’s East Molesey, St Matthias Canning Town, St Paul’s Hounslow West, St Peter’s Battersea Rise, St Peter’s Bethnal Green, St Peter’s Brockley, St Peter’s Harrow, St Peter’s Notting Hill, St Peter’s Walsall, St. Saviours Wendell Park, Holy Sepulchre’s Holborn, St Simon’s Shepherd’s Bush, Woven St John’s Bilborough, St Matt’s Tipton, Renewal Church Nairobi, Christ Church Three Mills, St Mary’s Battle, Emmanuel Tollington, St Peter’s Vauxhall, Hope Church Islington, St Peter’s West Molesey



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Contact the editor - Creative / Design / Cover photo Church Revitalisation Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales (no. 1174882) and a private company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales (no. 10754427). The registered office is at HTB Brompton Road, London, SW7 1JA ©2019 Church Revitalisation trust

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