Christmas Starts with Christ – and a costume…
We took the lead on the Christmas Starts with Christ campaign in Milton Keynes once again. The project team included some new partners from the city – and beyond. This year we raised enough money to spend £2,572.81 on airtime, and were also given a grant from the Jerusalem Trust to write and produce three new adverts – which were used as far away as Shetland! For a brief report, click here.
The radio adverts were linked to a tentative social-media campaign on the theme “Where’s Jesus?” The idea was to create images of Jesus in unlikely places – reminding people that Jesus was born for all – not just the “important” people. Tim was called back from sabbatical to put on the costume. The role required a beard, and a willingness to look very silly!
Our Deanery Mission and Pastoral Committee has been working on a set of goals for the next three years. They’re keen to focus on mission and church growth. The conversations have been making huge progress, but they’re not quite there yet. They hope to have something ready for the next Synod meeting in May…
Celebrating and Blessing Milton Keynes
In the meantime, the Diocese is thinking about how they might “Celebrate and bless our largest, fastest growing city” (which is Milton Keynes, if you’re not sure…) There have been two meetings of the working group so far, and various MK people are on it, including Tim Norwood, David Thom, Paul Oxley, Sharon Grenham-Thompson, David McDougall and John Robertson. It’s early days still, but this conversation is vital as we look to the future. In the meantime, the National Infrastructure Commission has published its report into the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc. This new mini-region is going to be a big feature in our lives over the next few decades, so it’s crucial that we start thinking about how we respond.
MK people are also on other Diocesan working groups, including “Making a bigger difference in the world and serving the poor” (Tim) and “Planting new congregations and churches everywhere we can” (David McDougall). It’s great that Milton Keynes is contributing to the wider agenda!
The good news is that we have now welcomed twelve families into the city through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. This is an amazing achievement, but many of the families are coming to the end of their initial period of support. There’s a need to think about continuing support for language, employment and social engagement. We held a “Do something Big” summit in February which has led to a few significant offers. This is an area we need to keep working on…
New agenda for Citizens MK
Three of our parishes are currently members of Citizens MK and the alliance has set four goals for 2018. These are:
- House the Homeless (new campaign)
- Life Skills for Young People (new campaign)
- Mental Health (continuing)
- Fight Against Hate (continuing).
Members of Christ the Cornerstone have taken a particular lead on “Mental Health” and “Fight Against Hate”. Tim is working with the “House the Homeless” team and is pulling together a campaign to develop a Community Land Trust for Milton Keynes. This is a mechanism for providing permanent genuinely affordable homes and could be a really exciting development. For more about CLTs see the National Community Land Trust Network.
The next big event is the Sleepeazy with the YMCA on March 16th.
And in other news…
- Ian Herbert is now Rector of Woughton
- Tim Norwood spent three months on Sabbatical
- Ross Northing is now on Sabbatical
- We’re starting a series of three open Synod meetings which will use community organising to turn dreams into action…
Tim’s new book, “Organising Prayer” is now available. It can be ordered online from Lulu and will be available for sale at Cornerstone. It costs £2.50 and contains the morning prayer outlines used at Cornerstone at 8.30am from Monday to Thursday.