Chris Drury, Pastor of Lancaster FM church, writes:
I recently met with the City Council, police etc. to discuss their programme of “Street Prides” across the Lancaster/Morecambe/Heysham district. As a result of this discussion, the following six street pride events have been agreed over the next 12-months, and I wanted to let you have these areas and dates at the earliest opportunity so you can be aware of the opportunities coming up in your community to engage alongside other agencies as salt & light.
w/c 5th September 2011: Morecambe: Edward St, New St, Union St & Chapel St
w/c 17th October 2011: Lancaster Scotforth: York Road, Wellington Road, Newsham Road & Bridge Road
w/c 5th December 2011: Carnforth: Highfield Road
w/c 20th February 2012: Morecambe: Langridge areas
w/c 16th April 2012: Lancaster Skerton: Lune St, Earl St & Derby St
w/c 4th June 2012: Morecambe: Park St, Grange St, Beech St & Newmarket St
We have found Street Prides to be an amazing opportunity to build some important kingdom relationships and by working together as churches in our communities, the doors that are opening for us as churches to have influence in our city are very encouraging; it would be great for us together to be able to put these dates in our diaries and commit to putting together a team from across the “church” in this area to volunteer and blow the socks of our community’s experience of Christians, and demonstrate that we care about them.
The council have set aside a budget to support this, and will provide all insurances and equipment for whatever work we undertake; we are also looking to identify some high profile projects in each area (for example, via Morecambe Town FC to redevelop some community focal points). Recently in Dorrington Road we provided practical care for elderly, vulnerable, single parents in the form of gardening and basic DIY, but our heart as part of churches working together in partnership is that by building community connections like this, we can then offer off of the back of these weeks on-going support and input to our communities through existing ministries such as CAP, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Recovery, The Marriage Course, Parenting Courses, homelessness projects etc. In other words, making what we are already doing available to our communities as a “portfolio” of activities that can create stepping stones towards the church, the cross and Jesus Christ
For more information on what Street Prides are, please see http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/community-and-living/street-pride/ . The council’s stated objectives for these are to:
· Build community spirit and enable communities to set up groups and look after their own community.
· Give a general clean up and provide some maintenance.
· Involve the community and voluntary sector.
· Improve links between the community and agencies
I think these objectives are ones that we should welcome as churches, and I would love to work alongside you so that together we can be a blessing to our communities and bring real life changing hope to hurting lives – would you be willing to consider this in your church mission plans for the next 12-months?
For more information, or to arrange to meet up for a brew to discuss this further, please feel free to give me a call!
For more information about Hope Together, see www.hope08.churchinsight.com/