Initially, ten churches in Norfolk
will receive consultancy support to build on their strengths and aspirations to put their community outreach into operation or to make existing activities more effective. A ‘Discovery’
process is facilitated which is biblically based and positive, using tools developed in the UK and developing countries to envision and equip each church for local community engagement. The scheme is being funded by the Social Action Fund
and there is no cost to churches.
Consultancy will initially be provided up to August 2013 and is available for churches who either would like to increase their community engagement or to review what they are doing in order to make it more effective. There may also be some funding to develop certain types of community projects after going through the process.
As a result of Catalyst
, churches in other parts of the UK have developed a good understanding of their communities and developed key ways of engaging with people including informal community cafes, youth groups, debt counselling, job clubs, lunch clubs, homeless projects, visiting schemes, foodbanks and many others. The church works with the community to see how they can serve most effectively. Where churches are already engaged in the community, they are able to review whether their activity is meeting local needs.
Local Charity Consultant Julian Bryant
will be the Catalyst Church in the Community Advisor
in Norfolk. Julian has developed and overseen various community projects around Norfolk and the UK including drugs services, youth projects, church-based projects and community groups. As Director of The Matthew Project
for 10 years until 2011 he oversaw substantial growth in community projects and contributed to their latest successful countywide funding tender. He has been involved in developing community projects within churches for over 20 years and more recently in overseas development and campaigning which he will continue.
Describing the Catalyst programme, Julian said, “We are looking to see lives changed and communities transformed, to see ‘churches without walls’ – local, connected, relevant, transforming and sustainable church groups living out the good news of Jesus. Churches are already signing up and if your church is interested get in touch soon.”
To watch a video about how this has made a difference to two churches, click video below.
If your church would like to register an interest to be part of the Catalyst programme or would like more information, they should get in touch with Julian soon. firstname.lastname@example.org