CRT Newsletter 007
We saw exponential growth in 2021 as we partnered with dioceses across the UK to plant 22 new churches. It is inspiring to see many of our first-generation churches go onto to plant multiple times again. A third of our network churches are located into areas of high deprivation and are tirelessly serving and loving their communities – bringing hope. CRT remains committed to raising up leaders who will plant into diverse areas through the Peter and Caleb training streams. God is multiplying and revitalising his Church across the nation and we count it an enormous privilege to be playing our small part.
As Love Your Neighbour moves from being a Covid-response campaign to developing a long-term and sustainable strategy, we are seeing lives transformed across our nation. Love Christmas ignited a vibrant movement of generosity in communities across the UK, and we have now reached over 1 million people through our Bags of Kindness and delivered over 20million meals for those suffering with food poverty,
I wanted to thank you and to share all that has been made possible through your ongoing support and prayers.
With my very best wishes,
Rev’d Sarah Jackson
CEO of the Church Revitalisation Trust
We are so excited about all that is happening across our Network! From new churches launching, conferences, and new community initiatives: we are delighted to share some key highlights.
- The Bishop of Chichester licensed Quin and Maleni Delport as lay leaders of St Richard’s, Hollingdean
- St Leonard’s, Hove launched their first Sunday service
- Gas Street, Birmingham and Trinity, Nottingham hosted “The Orchard” – a women’s conference attended by over 900
- St Peter’s Bethnal Green launched a climbing club to engage their community
- St Mark’s in Grimsby, led by Matt Rodgers, launched in November
- SAINT hosted the Renaissance conference in November, encouraging churches to explore creativity in their ministry
- St Wins Totton launched their first Sunday service back in the building
- CRT published its 5th edition of REVITALISE: offering a snapshot of how God has been at work in our church plants, and celebrating all that has happened in their wider communities.
- MP and Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous, highlighted the positive impact of the Peter Stream in parliament this month, click here to watch.
In 2019 the Bishop of Llandaff invited Ryan, Ellie and the team to plant a City Centre Resource Church in the heart of Cardiff in partnership with the Diocese of Llandaff. Bishop June was passionate that this should be a church for people who don’t currently go to church, a church where you can belong, no matter who you are, where you’re from or what you’ve done.
In April 2021, Citizen Church Cardiff launched and now have two Sunday services with over 400 people attending, and 40 small groups running throughout Cardiff.
Citizen Church are already hoping to plant and have started joining with local community groups in two nearby areas and aim to launch services by September 2022. Citizen Church will more than triple in size, from running two services at one site to running seven services at three sites.
“If you’d have asked me originally whether I wanted to plant during this time knowing that Covid was going to happen, I probably would have said “no thanks, I’ll wait a bit”, but we’ve realised in hindsight that that wasn’t God’s plan – it’s been incredible. It gave us the space to engage with the community here and work out how we can best serve this city.
We’re passionate about the displaced, and trying to help them find a home here. When you’re a Citizen, you belong, you’re part of something. It’s so much more than just ‘going’ to something, it’s about belonging.”
– Ryan Forey, Vicar of Citizen Church
Launching during Covid has given Citizen Church the opportunity to get to know local partners. They have now partnered with Oasis – a charity which works with asylum seekers and refugees in the local area. Cardiff is known as a ‘City of Sanctuary’ for those who have been displaced.
One of the ways Citizen Church have started serving local asylum seekers and refugees is through their coffee van: Citizen Coffee. The coffee van offers training for individuals to become baristas, ensuring that when they finish their training they have a recognised qualification enabling them to find employment.
Love Your Neighbour
On top of the practical support that churches offer those who are most vulnerable in their communities, Christmas is an opportunity for Love Your Neighbour to offer a fresh message of hope, during what is a complex and challenging time for many.
In its’ second year, Love Christmas harnessed the power of thousands of volunteers across the nation to give, pack and deliver ‘Bags of Kindness’ to neighbours, familiar and unfamiliar, who would be surprised and encouraged by a small act of love. Since launching in 2020, Love Christmas has reached more than 1 million people through Bags of Kindness.
We have been overwhelmed with the support Love Christmas has received, with a visit from HRH Prince Charles who generously donated some of his own Duchy Original products to be added to our bags of kindness; and extensive coverage in National and local news.
It was wonderful to see so many of our church Network get involved in Love Christmas including St Mark’s Grimsby who, in partnership with St Swithin’s Lincoln, delivered bags of kindness to their local community. Matt Rodgers from St Mark’s is hopeful that this will spread ‘positive gossip’ around the local neighbourhood.
“One recipient posted on Facebook that her daughter had asked for a game of Jenga for Christmas but she couldn’t afford it. Without knowing, we delivered this game in their bag of kindness. She acknowledged the gift publicly and suggested that God must know exactly what they need. I love that they have encountered the love of God in this way… better than writing to Santa!!”
– Love Christmas Recipient, Grimsby
One mum, who last year had attempted to end her life, had opened the door in tears and could not believe that she had been chosen. She was also on our list for this year and was equally overwhelmed as her and her boys had been isolating. They were struggling to get food sorted as it was so close to Christmas and deliveries were hard to come by. What an added blessing!
– Love Christmas Recipient, Falkirk
Coming up in 2022
We are so excited about all that is happening in the Network this year! Church plants are being planned, with over 30% of these in areas of deprivation; Assemble and Focus will both be in person; 8 of our Peter Stream candidates are due to be ordained in June; and Love Your Neighbour are launching a pilot Accelerator Programme – there is so much to look forward to!
Please do continue to pray for our growing Network, for our senior leaders, upcoming launches, and social transformation initiatives across the country – that God would move in our nation and that we would see the evangelisation of the nation, the revitalisation of the church and the transformation of society.
Friends of CRT
None of this would be possible without your continued support, prayers and donations. Thank you so much for your faithful and generous support of CRT.
We would love to invite you to become a Friend of CRT by giving a one-off donation or supporting us monthly.