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Mapping Mission Opportunities Using Detailed Information to Improve Strategic Mission Thinking Leighton Carr


Mapping Mission Opportunities Using Detailed Information to Improve Strategic Mission Thinking Leighton Carr

THE CLIFTON PUBLISHING COMPANY


First published in 2012 by The Clifton Publishing Company Limited 3Z PO BOX 3000 BRISTOL BS3 9BD

e: thestudio@3zonline.co.uk www.cliftonpublishing.com

Š

Leighton Carr

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise circulated, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner and the publisher. ISBN 978-1-903621-01-1


CONTENTS

Preface

page 2

Introduction

page 3

Parish Reorganisation I: Patchway and Stoke Gifford

page 4

Parish Reorganisation II: New Parish of Bradley Stoke page 5 Parish of Bradley Stoke: Political Administration

page 6

Parish of Bradley Stoke: Land Use

page 7

Parish of Bradley Stoke: Population Numbers

page 8

Parish of Bradley Stoke: Population Age Distribution

page 9

Mission Opportunities: Introduction

page 10

Mission Opportunity 1: Whole Family Ministry

page 11

Mission Opportunity 2: Values & Faith in Education

page 12

Mission Opportunity 3: Young People & Young Adults page 12

THE CLIFTON PUBLISHING COMPANY PO BOX 3000 BRISTOL BS3 9BD 0117 966 4441 Š LEIGHTON CARR 2012 OCTOBER 2012 Revision 008

Mission Opportunity 4: New Business Practices

page 13

Mission Opportunity 5: Willow Brook Centre

page 13

Conclusion

page 14

Sources

page 15

Copyright

page 16


P R E FA C E This short document arose from a conversation in the summer of 2011 about creating a new Parish of Bradley Stoke. The proposal was to adjust the boundaries of two other parishes to create a new parish that follows existing natural boundaries of motorways and trunk roads around Bradley Stoke. The two Anglican churches planted on the estates would be tasked with serving the people of the new parish. The proposal was conceived as a way of focusing ministry in the area and made practical sense, but changing parish boundaries does not make a place easier for ministry or even an easier place to define. The important question is still:

how can the church reach effectively an area of such size and apparent homogeneous character as Bradley Stoke?

The size of Bradley Stoke is as startling as its rapid evolution. The first plans for the area were published in 1982 and only thirty years later, with the building all but complete, the ambitious scale of the development can be appreciated. 8,500 homes on 650 acres of land. Nearly 100 acres of land for businesses and 50 acres for seven new schools. All this plus a town centre, leisure facilities, green space and playing fields. Bradley Stoke now has the reputation of being the largest modern housing estate in Europe. So in this context what does appropriate mission look like? And is there any methodology available that might help define mission opportunities in such an area? The pages that follow outline one possible route to discovering and developing coherent mission opportunities through making a detailed analysis of an area. The document is in two sections. Section one describes the proposed new Parish of Bradley Stoke in broad terms such as land use and demographics, and how its boundaries might be defined. Section two identifies five mission opportunities that seem to emerge as a result of examining the parish in detail. It is mainly a desktop study, although there have been a number of visits and some on-the-ground research. The maps below have been prepared using information drawn from local authorities and central government sources, and some links to further resources have been included at the end. MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

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INTRODUCTION The area designated by as the Bristol North Fringe is a large expanse of land across the north of Bristol which includes Cribbs Causeway, Filton, Stoke Gifford and Harry Stoke, and Patchway, Bradley Stoke and Frenchay. The North Fringe has been an area of intensive change over the past thirty years. It has become one of the largest employment areas in the region with companies such as Orange, HSBC and the RAC located in Aztec West and Almondsbury Business Park. It is estimated that 70,000 people work in the Bristol North Fringe each day. Shopping and leisure are also significant activities in the area. The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is the largest shopping centre in the south west and is the focal point of a much larger development of retail warehouses and leisure facilities.

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New residential development in the area has been focused so far on the eastern side of the North Fringe. in Bradley Stoke. Plans to extend the residential capacity in the area have already begun in Harry stoke and Charlton Hayes. Future plans include 85 hectares of land for residential development in Haw Wood. Other areas have been identified for mixed use or employment development over the longer term. Cribbs Causeway (1 on map) and New Charlton (2) will each see 130 hectares of new mixed use development. The Filton Aerospace Cluster will be expanded by using 55 hectares of former airfield land to create a centre of Aerospace Excellence (3). If the North Fringe is to expand it will have to be to the west because developments in the east are almost complete. This includes Bradley Stoke.

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Parish reorganisation I Patchway and Stoke Gifford The parishes of Patchway and Stoke Gifford cover the north east corner of the Bristol North Fringe and each parish has two churches. The Parish of Patchway is divided east-west by the A38. The church of St Chad's is located to the west of the A38 and the church of Holy Trinity is located in the Conventional District of Bradley Stoke to the east of the A38. The church of Christ the King is located in the Parish of Stoke Gifford and serves the southern half of Bradley Stoke as well as Stoke Lodge and Little Stoke. The A4057 forms a natural southern boundary to this area and divides the Parish of Stoke Gifford north-south.

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The two Anglican churches in Bradley Stoke were both church plants established with the specific purpose of serving the growing population on the estates and both church buildings have been constructed within the past thirty years.

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Parish Reorganisation II New Parish of Bradley Stoke The draft proposal is to create one new parish for Bradley Stoke by reconfiguring the boundaries of the existing two parishes. The broad proposal is that any land to the east of the A38 in the Parish of Patchway will be combined with that part of the Parish of Stoke Gifford north of the A4057 to create the new parish. The Parish of Patchway will remain to the west of the A38 served by St Chad’s. This area will grow over the next ten years with the addition of housing estate in Charlton Hayes. The Parish of Stoke Gifford will remain to the south of the A4057 served by St Michael’s. This area will grow over the next few years with the addition of housing estate at Harry Stoke

© LEIGHTON CARR

This parish reorganisation offers an opportunity to tidy up two small anomalies in parish boundaries, the areas identified as A and B on the map. Area A is a residential area in the Parish of Almondsbury sandwiched between the M5 and the north western parish boundary of Patchway. This area is naturally associated with Patchway because of the physical barrier of the M5, and it could be transferred to the Parish of Patchway by adjusting the parish boundary to coincide with the physical boundary of the M5. Area B is the southern tip of the Parish of Patchway that lies south of the A4057 and west of the rail line. This area could be moved from the Parish of Patchway to the neighbouring Parish of Filton. These adjustments would create clear parish boundaries which respond to existing physical boundaries.

MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

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Parish of Bradley Stoke Political Administration The proposed ecclesiastical Parish of Bradley Stoke includes the nine Parish Wards shown in the diagram. The seven wards coloured purple are parish wards within the existing civil Parish of Bradley Stoke which is administered by Bradley Stoke Town Council. Fifteen councillors serve these seven wards. Twelve councillors represent the Conservative party, of whom one is Mayor of Bradley Stoke, and three councillors represent UKIP (two of these were defections from the Conservative party). The parish wards coloured yellow are not in the civil Parish of Bradley Stoke. North Parish Ward is within Stoke Gifford District Ward. Stoke Lodge is within the Bradley Stoke Central and Stoke Lodge District Ward. Stoke Lodge Parish Ward and North Parish Ward are each served by three Conservative councillors.

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The Conservative domination to the east of the A38 is notable because if its contrast to Labour's complete domination of the wards in Patchway to the west, where all twelve councillors represent the Labour Party.

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Parish of Bradley Stoke Land Use A new Parish of Bradley Stoke would be a densely populated mixed use parish including housing, education, retail, commerce and public buildings. The greatest land use in the parish is residential. Its oldest houses date back to the 19th century and are grouped together in the Stoke Lodge area. Apart from this small enclave of older houses from this small enclave of older houses most buildings were built either soon after World War II, typically in the west of the parish, or after 1987 in the north and east. Although most of the land has been used for housing some significant areas have been given over to business uses. Business is located at the three main transport access points to the parish in the north and at the southern corners of the parish. There are also offices and businesses in the middle of the parish at the Willow Brook Centre, the main shopping centre serving not only Bradley Stoke but the wider region around the North Fringe. Two smaller, local shopping centres serve the north and south of Bradley Stoke. Education is well provided in the parish through pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and further education colleges. Four other churches, two Baptist and two independent, share the ministry in Bradley Stoke with the two Anglican churches.

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There are a number of public sports grounds and playing fields in the area, although a significant amount of green spaces are roadside verges. The largest open space is the Three Brooks Lake and nature reserve. The various uses are well served by an efficient road network, and the parish has one railway station at Patchway.

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Parish of Bradley Stoke Population Numbers Details on population numbers and age distribution in the parish have been taken from the 2001 census, updated in 2010. The information in the census is presented in small geographical areas called Lower Super Output Areas (SOA). Each SOA has approximately 1,500 inhabitants and there are eighteen SOAs within the proposed parish boundaries. The total population in the new parish has been estimated by analysing the data for each SOA.

l

52% of the population will be male and 48% will be female

l

By far the largest single age group represented in the parish are adults between 24 years and retirement age. This group makes up 57% of the total population or 15,600 people.

l

Children and young adults up to 24 years old make up a further 34% of the population, about 9,300 people.

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Only 9% of the population, about 2,400 people, are over retirement age.

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The census information indicates a total parish population across all ages of around 27,400 people with the following headline details:

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Parish of Bradley Stoke Population Age Distribution Closer examination of the census data shows that particular age groups are not evenly distributed across the proposed Parish. The diagrams opposite simplify age groups into three brackets: under 24 years old; 24 years old to retirement age; and over retirement age. The headline points are: Stoke Lodge has the fewest young people at 22.2% of the total population compared to the highest figure of 41.5% in the Meadow Bank Parish Ward, which is the ward occupied by Christ the King.

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Stoke Lodge and North Ward in the west have exceptionally high numbers of retired people at 35.6% and 34.2% respectively. This is compared to the lowest areas in the east, for example Manor Farm, Lakeside and Baileys Court, where between 3%-4% of the population is over retirement age.

l

Stoke Lodge also has the lowest percentage of adults between 24 and retirement age at 42%. This is compared to the highest figure of 65% in Primrose Bridge, the immediate vicinity of Holy Trinity, and 60.8% in the area immediately adjacent to Christ the King.

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MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

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MISSION OPPORTUNITIES The few pages above show the type analysis that could be used to inform the work of the church. For the purposes of this document the information is obviously limited and there are other areas that could be examined, such as levels of deprivation, average salaries, or educational attainment. Can this information have a value in informing possible directions in mission for the churches in the area? The principle argument underlying this document is that yes, such detail can offer informed direction for mission and evangelism. For example, from this early analysis it seems that five specific areas offer themselves as possible strong mission opportunities. The five are listed below in a suggested order of importance: 1

Family ministry focused on the wellbeing of the whole family

2

Encouraging stronger values and promoting faith in Education

3

Ministry to young people and young adults

4

Ministry in the workplace beyond chaplaincy

5

Increasing church visibility

The following description of these mission opportunities show how the information available starts to encourage coherent mission.

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Mission Opportunity 1 Whole Family Ministry The first mission opportunity is among families in the large resident population. Figures on the parish show a relatively young parish. About 30% of the population are under 24 and about 90% are under retirement age. Looking at the composition of households the area divides very approximately into three nearly equal groups. Just over one third of households are couples or single parents with children at home. Another third are couples without children, and about one third are single people. If they are at all similar to families across Britain then two thirds of people living in families Bradley Stoke are facing ever growing pressures on their wellbeing. Many families and couples have serious financial concerns. Parents increasingly struggle to find appropriate ways of managing the moral development and behaviour of their children. Rapid changes in technology have made explicitly sexual or violent material easily accessible to young people. Marriages are under pressure. The church has so much to offer. The wisdom gained through our practices and faith and the power of the gospel to release and heal can touch families at all life stages and across contemporary issues. According to South Gloucestershire Council "the rapid development which this area has experienced in recent years, is now resulting in some significant issues‌ including ... the North Fringe of Bristol lacks a clear identity and sense of place, and the character and distinction of many existing communities is under threat". Š LEIGHTON CARR

In this context he church is able to draw on a rich history of creating communities of service and meaning and is able to offer communities that bring meaning and purpose to people at every stages of their lives, for families, for the elderly, for single people and couples. MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

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Mission Opportunity 2 Values and Faith in Education The proposed new Parish of Bradley Stoke offers huge opportunities for developing a coherent ministry in education. The new parish will have ten primary schools and eight pre-schools within its boundaries. There is one secondary school, the Bradley Stoke Community School, as well as a City of Bristol campus with a focus on apprenticeships in driving and engineering. With schools in such numbers the simple traditional church offering of occasional assembly visits will not be enough to meet the opportunities. New ways of serving these schools could be developed that offer coherent and strategic assistance to staff in areas such as PSE or religious studies.

Mission Opportunity 3 Young people & young adults The population analysis shows that children and young adults up to 24 years old make up about 34% of the population, or 9,300 people in all. Of this group about 3,300 are between the ages of 16 and 24. Bradley Stoke is already served by a small number of youth groups, including ones supported by the churches. The large numbers of young people suggest that a strategic approach to youth work could be taken that creates a coherent ministry worked in conjunction with ministry in schools to reach and help young people.

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We have already commented on how young people are facing very difficult issues growing up in today's technologically connected world. Once again the church has wisdom to offer, as well as the powerful practices such as hospitality or friendship it can offer to help young people to flourish. MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

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Mission Opportunity 4 New business practices In Bradley Stoke employment is focused in three main areas. Almondsbury Business Park is in the north of the parish has companies such as AXA and the RAC. Rolls Royce in the south west of the parish employs more than 3,500 staff at its site. The south east is home to the global packaging company Amcor and the Vantage Office Park. Part of the vision of the South Gloucester Unitary Authority for the North Fringe area is that "Up to 2026 and beyond, new neighbourhoods will provide opportunities for people to live near to where they work and be well integrated with existing communities. All residents and workers will have better access to local amenities …" The churches in Bradley Stoke are not just a local amenity, but their close proximity to significant employment areas opens up a mission opportunity to minister to working people. The wider church already has a chaplaincy role in the parish, but the church has more to offer in areas of leadership and management by values in the workplace.

Mission Opportunity 5 Willow Brook Centre The Willow Brook Centre is a mixed use development based around a major Tescos store. The centre has other shops and food outlets, offices and a gym, and acres of car parking. What gives the Willow Brook Centre a mission focus is its shear size as an attraction across a wide catchment area. The total number of shopping visits per year to the centre is over 4.5 million.4 © LEIGHTON CARR

The churches in the parish are well located to serve its north and south areas, but they have little visible presence. Some thought could be given to ways of bringing the church’s front door closer to the people travelling to Willow Brook every day. MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

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CONCLUSION This document is about how churches can use information about their parish to help focus their efforts in mission more effectively. It is also about encouraging creative thinking about the mission of the church. There is a common misconception that creativity comes from inspired individuals staring at a blank sheet of paper, sharpened pencil in hand, two coffees into the day, waiting for the light bulb to switch on so they can map out a crazy new idea. It sometimes works like that. The truth is usually the opposite. More often than not creative ideas come from painstakingly gathering information, sifting it by becoming more discerning, and editing it to bring the most important facts to the surface for observation. After a period of talking, thinking, reflecting, proposing, trying and failing, creative solutions start to emerge from the confusion of raw data and chaotic options. Then at some point most creative solutions have to leave the nurturing hothouse and hit the cold air of the outside world. Whether it’s printed on paper or fabricated in factories, creativity has to stop being just a good idea and turn into action to find its deeper meaning. It is no different in church life. There is a common misconception that creative mission is reliant on the inspiration of one or two high-flying, dynamic individuals on their knees awaiting some inspiration to solve the problem of no growth. It sometimes works like that. The truth is usually the opposite. More often than not creative mission requires the same processes found in any field where creativity is a prerequisite for growth. Tasks need to be done by teams of people, collecting, collaborating, communicating, weighing up options, pooling experience, and eventually discerning direction and moving forward. And if mission is to lead to growth then creative solutions need to hit the world outside the church to have meaning and purpose.

MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

So this document offers an insight into one way of thinking about mission. It is not meant to offer a strategy. That will come from a group of people committed to thinking creatively over time about mission and evangelism and then working it out in the world where they live. 14


SOURCES This study has used many web resources, some of which are: For information on national statistics: www.statistics.gov.uk www.ons.gov.uk www.defra.gov.uk For information on political and social administration and general information:

South Gloucestershire: www.southglos.gov.uk

Bradley Stoke: www.bradleystoke.gov.uk/town-council www.bradleystokejournal.co.uk

Patchway: www.patchwaytowncouncil.gov.uk www.patchwayjournal.co.uk

Stoke Gifford: www.stokegifford.org.uk OTHER ORGANISATIONS

Bradley Stoke Community School: www.bradleystokecs.org.uk

City of Bristol College: www.cityofbristol.ac.uk/college-life/centres/Pages/Orpen-Park

ISR: www.ccisr.org.uk

Willow Brook Centre MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

www.willowbrookcentre.co.uk

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THE CLIFTON PUBLISHING COMPANY PO BOX 3000 BRISTOL BS3 9BD 0117 966 4441

MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES Using Detailed Information to Improve Strategic Mission Thinking

© LEIGHTON CARR 2012

MAPPING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES IN BRADLEY STOKE l LEIGHTON CARR

Profile for Leighton Carr

Mapping Mission Opportunities in Bradley Stoke  

Using strategic thinking and research to help focus the church on practical service and mission in the local community

Mapping Mission Opportunities in Bradley Stoke  

Using strategic thinking and research to help focus the church on practical service and mission in the local community

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