This section of the site brings together a number of resources for churches in Wales seeking to engage with their communities under three headings: Gweini resources; working with “compassion ministries”, and training courses specially designed for churches.
New book shows how Christian collaborations are changing the face of Wales
This book tells the stories of ten partnerships between "compassion ministries" and local churches to serve their local communities. If you want to see your church reach out effectively to people living around it, this book will give you some great ideas to take that vision forward.
Engaging Churches and Local Authorities
In May this year, the Gweini National Board and Local Gweini leaders met to share their experiences of working with Local Authorities (LAs). Despite the cut-backs, the mood of the meeting was upbeat, and here are some of the conclusions - and ideas for taking action.
The good news is that LAs are now generally more willing to work with churches than in the recent past:
- 'Religion or belief' is now one of the equality targets, along with race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and age. This offers ways to be involved in local compacts, local health boards, and many other official bodies“ LAs are keen to be seen to respect diversity goals;
- LAs have less money to spend than in the past and are seeking out good partners wherever they can find them;
- LAs often understand that the churches are major actors in social provision (and the Faith in Wales report helps convince them of that);
- LAs often realise that they cannot hope to provide adequately for the social and spiritual needs of their clients“ at best they can cover the physical needs (see the Adopt a Care Home project in Swansea for just one example);
- LAs increasingly understand that churches are capable of delivering social services without proselytising.
"Big Society" and the Church
Dr Dan Boucher, CARE's Director of Parliamentary Affairs, gave the keynote presentation, "Big Society and the Church", at the 2010 Gweini Autumn conference. Dan analyses where the concept of the "Big Society" has come from, where the Church have come, and the opportunities and challenges the Big Society now presents to the Church.
He links all this to the renaissance of the voluntary sector, supported, at least up to now, by the State. Dan ends with a discussion of some innovative ways in which churches can serve their communities.
The Talk and Powerpoint Slides from the Autumn 2010 Gweini Conference are now available here as a download:
Download the talk (iTunes m4a). [39.48 MB]
Download the notes (Adobe Acrobat PDF). [1.15 MB]
Speak Up! Gweini 2009 Conference Keynote message
At the end of 2009, we held our Annual conference at Cornerstone Church in Swansea.
If you weren't able to come along to the conference, don't worry, all is not lost. You can still hear Paul Francis' keynote speech on a specially produced CD for just £3.
Alternatively you can download the talk here: Gweini_Speak_Up_Conference.m4a [87.91 MB]
This Gweini resource book is about one of the best kept secrets in Wales. It recounts some of the amazing ways in which local churches have reached out into the Welsh community; Christians standing up for biblical truth and demonstrating Christ’s compassion in practical ways across the neighbourhoods of the Nation.
Prospects: How we can help you?
Prospects is a Christian organisation which enables and values people with learning disabilities to live their lives to the full.
Caring can be fun but exhausting. As your child reaches adolescence you are aware that school and other children services will come to an end which may add to your worries. Maybe you have organised all your adult child’s activities for years not knowing that you can have help. You may want some advice regarding church inclusion and bringing your child to faith.
Christians Against Poverty
Christians Against Poverty is a national debt counselling charity working through a network of centres based in local churches. CAP offers hope and a solution to anyone in debt through its unique, in-depth service.
CAP aims to show God's love in action by providing sustainable poverty relief through debt counselling, advice and practical help. The charity's unique, "hands on" approach empowers people to help themselves out of poverty and be released from the fear, oppression and worry generated by overwhelming debts. CAP provides sustainable poverty relief as their service teaches clients vital budgeting skills that will last a lifetime.
Green Pastures Housing - Carrying the torch for Homeless people
Pastor Pete carrying
the Olympic Torch
Green Pastures Housing started 13 years ago, when Pastor Pete (as he is affectionately known) and Vicki Woodley cashed in small annuities to make a deposit on 2 small flats to house 2 homeless people.
Bring that into the year 2012
Green Pastures have permanently housed over 1,100 people, lots of whom are now living independently from Green Pastures and free from the chains of their past.
Currently they permanently house 400 people through partners across the UK, including partners in Bridgend and Holywell in Wales, and have 240 properties.
Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK, in partnership with with churches and communities.
All food is donated by the public and sorted by volunteers. Frontline care professionals such as doctors and social workers identify people in crisis and issue a food voucher. Clients receive three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food in exchange for their food voucher. Foodbanks also make time to chat and to signpost clients to other helpful services.
The Trussell Trust is a Christian organisation motivated by Jesus' teaching on poverty and injustice. It operates according to Christian principles of compassion, honesty, integrity, openness, kindness and care of all people, regardless of backgrounds or beliefs. It believes in turning faith into practical action, living out God's love for the poor, serving people of all faith groups and none.
Making a positive difference in the lives of young people
Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue.
It was pioneered in London in January 2003 by Rev Les Isaac, Director of the Ascension Trust, and has seen some remarkable results, including drops in crime in areas where teams have been working. There are now over 100 teams around the United Kingdom.
Prison Fellowship: Sharing God’s love beyond the prison bars –
Adam’s story of hope
School days were certainly not the best days of my life. At 16 I had no qualifications. I was involved in an armed robbery when I was 18 and sentenced to 5 years in a young offenders’ institute.
I had dreams like everyone else but I didn’t have the education to go to college; the only thing I could do was sell drugs and I thought this was the way I could earn the money to buy my dream.
Courses for Churches
Square Mile is an Evangelical Alliance initiative which aims to catalyse and equip Christians to take a truly integrated approach to mission, expressed in four dimensions:
Mercy - demonstrating God's compassion to the poor
Influence - being salt and light in the public life of the community
Life Discipleship - equipping Christians for missional living as workers & neighbours
Evangelism - faithful and relevant communication of the gospel
Discovery is a practical process from Tearfund designed to help your church become a transforming influence within your community.
Written by skilled practitioners who have worked extensively in inner-city communities, Discovery draws on Tearfund's experience of working with churches and community groups in the UK and overseas.
It aims to build on the strengths and aspirations of your church group to help them put their plans into action.