Lancashire: mission and growth resource event unites churches

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a major new ecumenical resource event taking place at Runshaw College in Leyland this weekend for churches across Lancashire.

GO – Equipping the Local Church for Growth is a joint enterprise between The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese); The Methodist Church (Lancashire District) and the North Western Synod of the United Reform Church.

The FREE event runs from 9.30am to 4pm at the College on Langdale Road, Leyland PR25 3DQ and it is designed to help churches think about outreach and church growth.

As well as more than 30 exhibitors gathered in a ‘market place’ setting, there will also be a programme of 18 or more workshops which will run throughout the day; as well as three ‘interview’ slots where a variety of local church leaders will talk about church growth from their own perspectives.

The interviews are with Rev Paul Davis, Chair of the Lancashire Methodist District at 10.30am; Bishop Philip North, Bishop of Burnley, at 11.30am and Bishop Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, at 12.30pm.

The exhibitors include Churches Together in Lancashire; Christians Against Poverty; Christians in Sport; Fresh Expressions; Messy Church; St Mellitus College and many, many more. See here for the full list.

Workshops include:

  • Discipleship: Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn
  • The Kidz are Alright: Leo Roberts, URC North Western Synod
  • Culture Connections: Linda Rayner, Fresh Expressions
  • Faith sharing in the Catholic Tradition: Bishop Philip North
  • Managing change: Dave Champness, Blackburn Diocese Vision Coordinato
  • Being invitational: Nick Moxon, The Methodist Church
  • Messy Church: Rebecca Crowe, Blackburn Diocese

Plus many more – see here for the full list of workshops.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers is David Banbury, Blackburn Diocese’s Parish Mission Support Department Leader, who lives nearby in Leyland and is also presenting a workshop at the event entitled Faith sharing for the faint-hearted, fearful and flummoxed!

He said today:  “GO is one the largest events of its kind to be organised ecumenically in Lancashire and we are hoping for a great turnout of people from all our churches.

“In Blackburn Diocese we recently launched our new Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities and later this year we have a major event in September when the Archbishop of York, The Most Rev Dr John Sentamu, and nearly 30 bishops from across the northern half of the Church of England will come to Lancashire for the Crossroads Mission event from September 8 -11.

“So GO has arrived at a fantastic time for us as we seek to equip and resource the whole Church for growth in the coming years.

“I know my counterparts in the Methodist Church and United Reformed Church are equally as excited about the event and, like me, they are looking forward to engaging with the many people we anticipate will attend on Saturday throughout the day.

“You can come to the event for the whole day; call in for one workshop or just visit the market place. We look forward to seeing you there.”

For more information, or to book onto a workshop either visit www.blackburn.anglican.org and look for GO under the Mission and Growth tab; email miranda.wraithmell@blackburn.anglican.org or golancashire2016@gmail.com or call 01254 503272 and speak to Miranda.

Booking is not essential but would be helpful for planning. Drinks are available but anyone attending should bring their own food, as well as money to purchase resources.


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