Partnership is a support network, to encourage and strengthen local churches. It does this particularly through networking and training leaders in local areas, providing practical support and advice to leaders, staff workers and churches, and producing publications.
Perspectives is a 72-page magazine, appearing 3 times a year. Each issue is on a theme relevant to local church leadership and activity, and a resource for church leaders and training.
We give practical support to local churches, e.g., helping them find staff through PLUS, providing consultancy on church strategy and issues, and advice on church governance and trust matters.
Local networking activities are key to the way we work. They aim to network and support local churches, their leaders, and others active in them.
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Partners in Partnership
Two churches in the North-East London cluster have joined together in an initiative for sharing the gospel with young families – they have jointly appointed a Church Family Worker.
Four years ago, a ‘health Check’ at Latchett Evangelical Church was conducted by the Church Strengthening Initiative (CSI), and the final report made a number of recommendations for improvement and suggested that the Church could consider a Church Worker with partial financial support from CSI. Three years later, and after the retirement of their ‘Mums & Tots’ group leader, and the subsequent demise of that group, the leadership considered the possibility of seeking funding from CSI for a Worker to develop a new ministry. The outreach of the church was strong in terms of senior citizens, but there was no feed into the church at the lower age range.
About this time another local fellowship, Canfield Road Chapel, was quite independently considering something similar. As the Partnership cluster was beginning to get established in the area the suggestion was made that Canfield (just a mile away) could work in partnership with Latchett and the two churches could share a Worker.
The process of seeking a grant, agreeing terms between the churches, drawing up a Job Description, advertising, short listing and interviewing took about 15 months. Finally, and with the full support of CSI, in mid-June the new Church Family Worker was formally appointed and a Reception and Commissioning event was held. A steering group comprising leaders of each church will be directing the worker and someone not involved directly in that role will act as the Worker’s pastoral support.
Furthermore the two churches, who each serve in well-defined areas of Woodford (and with historical links, having shared the same ‘founding fathers’ in the 1930s) have decided that they will seek out further ways in which they can co-operate and share resources.
Both churches have challenging times ahead, but with the new Worker on board, and with the support of John Jenkins of Partnership, they are looking forward to this fresh approach and seeing Christ build His Church.
By Tim Smith
"It was a joy to welcome new Pastor, Tim Goodall, who started his ministry on May 1. This follows a period of nearly four years since our last Pastor moved on – a period in which we have learnt a great deal.
One of our main concerns has been to find ways of building closer relationships with the many warm contacts we have in the local community. These grow from a pre-school, mid-week clubs and the work of Youth and Community Pastor, James Bell. For some months we had been thinking and praying about the possibility of Messy Church. On April 9 we launched, following on from a holiday club which attracted over 50 children. We had little idea what to expect. In the event 80 people who would not normally be present at church activities came for two hours of varied craft, songs, a short talk and food. The response was enthusiastic, with all wanting more. It’s demanding with a lot of work required but rewarding, creating a space for people who would not attend a ‘normal’ service. We now aim to make it a regular feature of church life."