24 June 2014
Who Cares? is a county-wide mission, which started at the beginning of this month in Norfolk and North Suffolk with nine weeks of listening to local communities. 10,000 Christians from more than 60 churches in the region will be working together to find out what people say hurts them most and responding by offering compassion and hope.
A recent Red Cross survey revealed that as many as a third of British adults feel they have no-one to turn to in a crisis. However, historically the Church has offered and continues to offer care for people experiencing suffering.
Rob Tervet, leader of the project and elder at Christ Community Church in Attleborough, Norfolk, said: "Who Cares? is a really simple idea. It's about churches taking the time to listen so that we're really responding to the issues that are going on in people's lives. Even people who look like they've got it all together still have things they need help with".
Who Cares? began in the summer of 2011, when Christians listened to local people, asking simply: 'What hurts the most?'. They received hundreds of responses in a short space of time. Now churches across Norfolk and beyond are asking the same question, seeking to respond with love and hope.
The churches which have joined with Who Cares? will also be partnering with HOPE, Norwich Youth For Christ and Newday,
"Every year thousands of young people flock to Norfolk for Newday, one of the largest Christian youth festivals in the country," said Rob. "2014 may well be the last year these young people are with us, so Who Cares? wants to make the most of this and work alongside churches in taking the gospel to Norfolk.
"The need in our county for the gospel of Jesus Christ is urgent; Norfolk remains one of the most secular places in the UK - and yet the power of the gospel remains undiminished."
Who Cares? will be featuring special guests at the Newday festival, including Roy Crowne, executive director of HOPE, the organisation which works with denominations and ministries to encourage mission in word and action.
HOPE is thrilled that Who Cares? will provide churches with tools to enable them to impact their community. Coming out of caring and loving relationships, this provides a great opportunity to communicate the gospel.
"We don't claim to have all the answers," said Rob, "but we represent a community which cares and wants to listen and respond to the issues people are facing. For 2,000 years the church has been there for crucial moments in people's lives: births, marriages, deaths, serving the poor, sharing hope and making a difference. We haven't always got it right but we're still here. Not only do we care but we want to introduce people to Jesus, who cares passionately for them. "