People from across the whole diocese came together for the second Hope for the Estates conference last week.
The diocesan wide initiative is to offer a support, share ideas and create an informal network for ordained or lay people involved in mission on urban estates across our diocese. You can sign up for the mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/cHGKtv
Andy Delmage, the new chair of the National Estates Church Network was the keynote speaker.
Andy is a vicar in Birmingham and also works half time for the diocese supporting estate practitioners across Birmingham diocese.
The vicar of Mixenden and Illingworth, in the Huddersfield Episcopal Area, the Revd Robb Sutherland, pictured, said it was great to come together and share good practice.
In the afternoon there were three presentations by local practitioners with practical examples of how the church can make a big impact in an estate context.
One of these was Fr Paul Cartwright who serves in Barnsley and who talked about the impact of the Acts 435 project in his parish. This has made links between the parish and the children’s centre and together they have distributed over £40,000 in help and resources to people living on the margins.
Said Robb: “Everyone was positive about the work we do in tough places. By the end of the day everyone was competing for “who has the best parish in the Church of England”.
We hope that the diocesan estates network will grow from strength to strength in the coming year and plans in the pipeline include a short one night retreat for estate practitioners at the end of the year.