10th Nov - ‘Jubliee+ Churches that Change Communities’ Annual Conference: the key note speakers were Martin Charlesworth calling the Church to think and act strategically to bring about community transformation and the Bishop of Burnley who urged the church not to neglect the poor and get out into the urban estates. There was also an array of seminars on tackling addictions, homelessness, and loneliness in the older generation and much more. All the talks can be found at www.jubilee-plus.org/media
12th-14th Nov - Christian Police Association Leaders’ Conference: as always this was an inspiring and encouraging time. Paul Blakey from ‘Christian Night Life Initiative’ spoke to us about the work of ‘Street Angels’, ‘Festival Angels’, and the significant crime reduction impact they have had. Check out www.cninetwork.org
15th and 16th Nov - I spent two days at ‘Betel UK’ in Birmingham who offer a residential recovery community to those affected by homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and long-term unemployment. They can support more than 375 men and women across the country at any one time and will often take someone within 1-5 days of the initial interview. It was another inspirational and encouraging time, hearing the stories of how the residents' lives had been transformed, how they now feel valued and that their lives have meaning, they are no longer committing crime and taking drugs. Visit www.betel.uk for more information.
21st Nov - I attended the Northampton ‘ROC Conversation’ which was the largest ever with 400 people attendance from all different areas of the community wanting to be involved in helping Northampton be a better and safer place to live. A ‘ROC Conversation’ is a great way to pull the local community together, find out what is already happening and celebrate that, then look at the issues within the community and come up with solutions to help solve those problems. Visit www.roc.uk.com/roc-conversation for more information
22nd Nov – I attended the launch of the College of Policing’s new ‘National Diversity Equality and Inclusion Strategy’ at their National Diversity Conference, where I was privileged to represent the Christian Police Association alongside colleagues from the Muslim Police Association, Black Police Association, LGBT+ Police Network and Autism Police UK on a staff support networks Q&A panel.
23rd Nov - I spent the day discussing the Churches’ response to addiction and how Jubilee+ could assist the church increase its capacity to help tackle the problem of addiction. This was a great day and lots of positive and useful ideas were generated. I will keep you updated with further information as things move forward. Check out www.jubilee-plus.org for further info about what they do and see their recent research report; ‘Supporting People With Addiction’. This is a preliminary report on UK church-based work to help those suffering with addictions. I am sure some great resources will be produced or advertised over the coming months.
Many of these ideas can be transferred to other faith communities.