In the week beginning 9th October, and for the first time in my working life, I worked five days in a row, all of them in one office, working 9-5 each day! I quickly followed it up with a week where I travelled to Birmingham, Stafford and Alfreton, as well as two days based at my desk in Manchester.
During this fortnight, I’ve met with University chaplains to discuss how we can work together better, seen students to catch up on their lives and contacted possible Link Churches to welcome more into the fold of #TeamNW.
In Stafford, with Lisa, SCM’s Operation’s Manager, we heard about some brand new research by St Peter's Saltley Trust called 'Christians in Practice', which surveyed over 1000 churchgoers and looked into how faith and action are linked.
While I've been at my desk I’ve been preparing for events in November, the first of which is the SCM Gathering in Lancaster A Light for All. The programme is now online and the database is all ready for you to book your place! The second event I've been preparing for is 3Generate, the Methodist Children and Youth Assembly, which this year is happening in Southport and SCM are excited to be a part of that.
This weekend I was at the annual conference of the Association of Interchurch Families. Their theme for the weekend was 'Faith and the Next Generation' and I was among the speakers for the weekend. Many of the details for my talk came from the Welcoming Students to Your Church guide as well as sharing stories of the people who have influenced my faith over the years. The weekend was a great chance to meet people living out Christian Unity between denominations and hear about the research they had undertaken with adults who had grown up in Interchurch families. On Sunday morning, the speakers were questioned on a number of topics from how we reach Generation Alpha (those born since 2010) how the church can reach out to those who have been hurt and what a welcome really looks like. I had a really great time and was even given a limited-edition mug (they now only have three left!).
Quick train count: October total so far 51, meaning I’m on 771 trains since I started, plus 7 trams, 2 taxi rides and 2 bus journeys.