The adventurous spirit of Jesus Shaped People, the mission initiative based in the Diocese of Leeds and which reaches out across England, will be celebrated at the launch of its new charitable status.
JSP began in the parish of Tong and Holme Wood in Bradford in 2005 and it has now been adopted by some 70 churches from Birmingham to Blackpool and primarily helps communities in deprived areas. Large social housing estates are a special priority for JSP, but it has also proved to be effective with churches in more prosperous areas.
Supported by the diocese and the Church Commissioners, it is now a charitable trust in a move which will aid future development.
The launch of the new trust will take place on Saturday, February 18 at 3pm in Bradford Cathedral.
Canon Gordon Dey, who has overseen the development of JSP said: “The event will be an important landmark in JSP’s progress as it expands its horizons and develops new capacity to meet growing interest from the wider church. “It will be wonderful to bring together a host of people from churches that have adopted JSP, and give thanks for all that God is doing.
“We warmly invite all those who are interested in Jesus Shaped People to come along and join us."
The new Board of Trustees is to be chaired by Bishop Paul Slater, Bishop of Richmond.
Bishop Paul has followed the story of JSP’s development over recent years and warmly encouraged its development and said: "The Church of England is committed to staying and working in some of our toughest communities.
“Jesus Shaped People is an ongoing programme which gives churches, particularly in these areas, an exciting way of developing, growing and engaging.
“I look forward to the next phase of its development – we’ve even had interest from as far away as Nova Scotia!"
JSP describes itself as a ’whole church discipleship adventure’.
It offers churches a vision and a method that enables them to see more clearly the ‘Jesus Way’, so that they can adopt his mission priorities.
Churches that are interested to know more about JSP can go to its website: www.jesusshapedpeople.net or contact Gordon Dey on 01274 499781, or at gordondey1 [at] gmail.com