Prison Hope

40 Days of Hope

In the warm-up to Prison Hope, which launches in January, there is an opportunity for prisoners, their families and prison staff to send contributions for inclusion in ‘40 Days of Hope’.

’40 Days of Hope’ will be published by Prison Hope and CWR in autumn 2017, for the period before Easter in 2018. The contributions are being gathered now, the deadline for contributions is 10th February 2017.

There are 4 ways in which people can contribute:

  1. Write your personal testimony of how you have found hope in prison  or after prison – or support someone who wants to tell their story –  600 words maximum.
  2. Tell us which Bible story, Bible verse or Bible character gives you hope  and why – 600 words maximum.
  3. Contribute a drawing or painting on the theme of hope.
  4. Write a prayer of up to 50 words on the theme of hope.

Who can you encourage to write a contribution?

Paul Baker, Deputy Director of Custody, London and Thames Valley writes:

“’40 Days of Hope’ is a good news story about prisons. I hope that many of you will make the most of the chance to have contributions included from prisoners, their families and prison staff where you are. I believe that the fundamental purpose of a prison should be to provide hope for those whose lives are characterised by a sense of isolation from the rest of society and a sense that no one cares. By offering stories of hope, redemption and reflection, I hope we can show even the most disaffected that they have a future. Please take this chance to show that those in your care are able to contribute to establishing this sense of purpose in another human being.”

Leaflet about Prison Hope: Invalid download ID.

Visit the Prison Hope web site

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Preaching Life

Tim is organising a preaching course as part of the COMPASS programme during Spring/Summer 2017.

This course is about the art of preaching, which is so important to the life of the church. It will be a good introduction for those who are starting out, but there will also be something for those who want to hone their skills – or just want to think about how preaching works…

At each session we will be joined by a different “practitioner” who will help us think about an aspect of preaching. There will also be opportunities to have a go yourself…

Venue: Christ Church, Stantonbury
Thursday: 7.45pm

  1. Thought for the Day (TBA) Feb 9th
  2. Preaching Beyond the Walls (Ruth Maxey) Mar 2nd
  3. Using the Bible in Preaching (Peter Ballantine) Mar 16th
  4. Making it Memorable (Paul Oxley) Mar 30th
  5. Gospel to the News (Dawn Saunders) Apr 20th
  6. Preaching the Epistles (David Lewis) May 4th
  7. Sounding the Depths (John Robertson) May 18th
  8. Preaching with your Ears (Tim Norwood) May 25th

For more information about this and other COMPASS courses, and to book a place,  see the Mission Partnership web site or download the leaflet: Invalid download ID.


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Leading for a Change

Leading for a Change
A Programme to Develop Lay Leadership

What is the programme about?

The object of the programme is to equip and empower you as a Christian to bring about positive change. The kinds of change envisaged lie within two broad categories: Change which meets human needs in practical ways, and Change which involves new missional projects within the church.

The course adopts a community organising model developed by Citizens:MK within a Christian framework by which Christian beliefs, values and purposes are expressed and become drivers for change.

It’s supported by a grant of £1,000 from Bishop Alan, and is being organised through the Mission Partnership with help from Citizens MK. John Robertson, Tom Bulman and Tim Norwood have all been involved in the planning and will be leading sessions.

The course has two distinct phases: a teaching phase which takes place at the beginning of the course and an action phase which follows during which participants will take on a Change Project. This latter phase will be supported by regular action learning sets.

Teaching Course

The teaching course covers six sessions at the beginning of the programme. The course starts by establishing a broad Christian framework within which the course elements which follow can be understood. The implications of “God’s story” in terms of identity, values, power, purpose and vocation will be explored. The following  sessions will develop a community organising model within the Christian framework exploring the importance of power, self-interest, active listening, research, negotiation, action, evaluation and development in effecting change. Sessions will be practical and interactive. Throughout the course, you will be invited to explore what your particular vocation may be in effecting change so that you will be ready to take on a Change Project for which you have personal commitment.

Change Projects

Through the teaching course, we hope that you will discover a vocation for change about which you feel passionate enough to act. You will be the author of your Change Project: there are no “off the shelf” ideas from which to choose. Experience within Citizens:MK has led to Change Projects concerned to establish a real living wage, to weave trust across diverse communities, to welcome refugees. This kind of community action may be your vocation.

Equally, you may be called to initiate a missional project of the church: this could range from starting a coffee morning to creating a fresh expression of church and everything in between. There are no pre-conceived ideas, the only limits are your dreams for the kingdom of God in Milton Keynes.

Action Learning Sets

In order to support you in your Change Project, you will work in a group with five others facilitated by one of the team. Each member of the group will have a 30 minute slot to explain and explore the challenges of their Change Project with the support, questioning and inquiry of the other members of the group. These Action Learning Sets (ALS) will meet every other month during the Change Project phase of the programme and are intended to develop focused mutual localised support for your leadership. You will remain in the same ALS throughout the programme.

The Teaching Programme

Sat. January 14th Introduction and Christian Framework
The Importance of Power for Change

Weds. January 25th
Listening for Change 7.30-9.30

Weds. February 1st
Researching for Change 7.30-9.30

Weds. February 8th
Negotiating Power 7.30-9.30

Weds. February 15th
Action, Evaluation and Development

Action Learning Programme
February, March, May, July, September, November
Evening sessions 7.00—9.30
Dates and venues to be arranged

Coming Together

There will be two opportunities for all participants to come together in the middle and at the end of the programme for sharing and celebration . Dates and venues to be arranged.


Teaching Course: John Robertson & Tim Norwood

Action Learning Sets: Tom Bulman, Katharine Crowsley & Phil Wason


Cost £80
Numbers There are 15 places available for the programme.
Action Learning Sets will take place in three groups of five.

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Deanery Chapter Communion

Deanery Chapter is the gathering of ordained clergy in our area. It used to meet monthly but this became difficult, so we moved to having three meetings a year – one with a bishop or archdeacon, one with a speaker, and one as a summer social.

Anglican clergy in Milton Keynes have a range of different working patterns. Some are part of big teams and have weekly, or monthly, staff or team meetings. Others are on their own. Some work in ecumenical partnerships. Some are under alternative episcopal oversight. It’s hard to have Chapter meetings that suit everyone…

In July some members asked if we could try a monthly communion service followed by a sandwich lunch. We’ve looked into this and will try the idea over the first half of 2017.

We’re going to use St Mary’s in Shenley Church End – because it’s reasonably central, has good parking and we can get in easily. We’ll be meeting on (roughly) the second Wednesday of each month at 12 noon. If it works well, we may extend the plan.

Please pray for our ministers in their very different parishes and ministeries.

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J. John is Coming to MK!

Rev Canon John Ioannou, best known as J. John, is an international evangelist, minister, speaker, social activist and writer – and he’s coming to Milton Keynes on Wednesday 18 January 2017!

J. John has a remarkable gift for communicating the truth in an engaging, stimulating and practical way. His passion for story-telling enables him to bring the gospel to life in a fresh and contemporary manner.  If you’ve not heard him speak before, you’re in for a treat.

The event, entitled “Natural Evangelism: How to Pray, Care and Share” will take place at St Mary’s Church, Woburn, starting at 7.30pm.  The event is free (though a donation will be taken), but booking is essential as places are limited.  To book go to (See poster for further details.)

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