23 November 2011
Churches Together back HOPE
This week HOPE took a giant leap towards its goal of mobilising the whole Church to spend an entire year bringing hope - in words and actions - to people in the UK's cities, towns and villages.
The Presidents of Churches Together in England met at Jesus House in north London on 21 November to sign a declaration endorsing HOPE. This provides the backing of all the major denominations to the mission initiative.
Roy Crowne, HOPE's Executive Director, says, "HOPE doesn't tell people what to do. Churches know what's best for their communities. But HOPE gives national impact to local mission.
"Momentum is already building towards a whole year of mission in 2014 when thousands of projects will be running to bless local communities as churches put their faith into action, living out God's love, proclaiming the gospel in word and action and doing it all in unity with other Christians."
HOPE provides churches of all shapes and sizes throughout the UK with a shared platform to work in mission together. There are already events planned for 2012, including a Big Lunch on Sunday 3 June for local neighbourhoods to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Describing HOPE as "a gift to the churches", the declaration is a launch-pad for united action. It was signed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols; the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Dr Rowan Williams; the Free Churches Moderator, Rev Michael Heaney and Bishop Jana Jeruma Grinberga, the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain who also represents the 'fourth constituency' of Churches Together in England, including the Orthodox, Black Majority Churches, the Quakers and others.
The declaration reads: "We were pleased to affirm the work of 'Hope08' through our individual Churches and as Presidents of Churches Together in England, committed to sharing in the mission of Jesus Christ, we are delighted to commend the on-going work of 'HOPE' as a gift to the churches in this nation."