People - Vicky Longbone

Church Related Community Work

Ashbourne Road Church (URC and Methodist) to Central URC Churches-in-Community

RC Project Number 05W01

Church Related Community Work Minister

Hi, my name is Vicky and I am the Community Minister for the Derby A2C community project.

I work alongside Ashbourne Road Church (URC and Methodist) and Central URC, hence A2C.

My role is to enable and empower the churches, local people and communities to work together to tackle social and economical disadvantage in the area.

We believe this to be the hope that is given in the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth, and the mission of God given to the church.

What is Church Related Community Work Ministry?

CRCW ministers find practical responses to local needs, aiming to improve the quality of life of the different communities and the people within them, whilst remaining engaged in theological reflection.

Churches have a long history of community service - looking at the provision of facilities, skills and structures to meet a need in the community, offering social and welfare services. (coffee mornings, lunch clubs, foodbanks, etc). The danger here is that we can end up doing 'for' others rather than 'with' them.

Church Related Community Work encourages community development and focuses on working with people - not for them. The aim is to enable people to take control of their own lives.

Community Development Work

The key purpose is to work collectively to bring about social change and justice.

This involves working with communities to identify their needs, opportunities, rights and responsibilities.

This should lead to being able to support the community to plan, organise and take action, in ways which challenge oppression and tackle inequalities.

Core Values

There are 6 core values that underpin the work

Social Justice
Working and learning together
Building sustainable communities
Enabling participation
Engaging in reflective practice

Types of response

No CRCW minister does the same thing!

In Sutton Coldfield there were lots of organisations, but they weren’t well known to the public or other organisations. By building a community directory, community members could find the relevant support and community organisations could sign post people to the right organisations to meet their needs.

In Bradford a credit union was formed to allow financial inclusion for all community members.

In Birmingham a community garden was set up, not only offering a quiet space, but allowing education of growing and preparing 'home grown' vegetables.

In Manchester a 'speak English stay and play' group was set up. Allowing parents to learn English as a second language, whilst their children were supervised in a safe play environment.

CRCW ministers can find themselves involved in regeneration projects, environmental projects, housing issues, youth work, community cohesion, community safety, community celebrations and developing community centres.

Church Related Community Work Minister:

Vicky Longbone
01332 238189
07952 751635
Central United Reformed Church
Becketwell Lane, Derby, DE1 1JW

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