26 February 2013
Working Together: the Church and civic authorities
Three times a year, the Croydon Churches Forum meets with the top two people at Croydon Council, and asks them how local churches can help.
By working together, the churches and the council have been able to impact the lives of people living in Croydon.
They have organised foodbanks and helped to find homes for the homeless.
And in the wake of the London riots, the council asked the Forum to chair reconciliation meetings between looters and authorities, because they trusted them with the job.
Are you passionate about seeing the Church in your area build as close a relationship as this? Are you interested in the social, spiritual and cultural transformation of your town or city?
Then come to a unique consultation taking place in March.
Working Together will look at how the Church can engage with civic authorities.
A number of unity movements - churches working together in their local areas – are working well with councils, police forces, health authorities and local strategic partnerships on issues important to where they live.
With the current financial crisis and the resulting cuts to services and benefit changes, the local Church is best placed to form partnerships and make a difference.
The consultation, organised by the Gather network, which is enabled by the Evangelical Alliance will look at opportunities available to churches and hear advice from experienced practitioners.
Working Together will also explore some of the possible dangers of civic engagement for Christian groups.
Roger Sutton, who leads Gather, said: "Working Together will be a strategic national consultation at the right time for the right moment.
"With a backdrop of cuts, welfare changes, increasing poverty and the withdrawal of the state, how will the Church respond? What can we do? What should be do? How do we engage?
"This is a working consultation bringing together key practitioners and civic leaders to form best practice for the future."
The consultation takes place on 20-21 March at The Life Centre in Manchester.
For more details, visit the Gather website.