The Urban Forgotten

A few days back I wrote about the fragmentation of the working classes. I want to pick up on that and focus on one group because I think it has important implications for how we approach urban mission. 

Urban Mission is a broad church. The City to City initiative considers itself urban. There is  a lot of attention in reaching millennial sceptics, students, graduates and city centre workers. That’s brilliant, however, it’s not primarily what we have in mind when we talk about urban church. Rather, we are thinking about our inner cities (un-gentrified) and council estates. Now, I think the temptation is to have one aspect of this in view and it distorts our vision. We recognise ( though admittedly not enough) that there is a group of people that have been left behind, those devastated by gang and drug culture, those suffering from intense levels of deprivation. We then imagine a particular type of worker who can reach such people, one or two of them exist, they are often robust and charismatic, they need to be. We make that the image of our ideal urban worker, we assume most people don’t fit that mould ( they don’t) and we think that by giving them an occasional platform that we are doing our bit. Continue reading

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Urban Identity and Class Fragmentation

I’ve been starting to put together some thoughts about urban theology and urban missiology over the past year – and part of my plan for a sabbatical in the summer is to give some more time towards this.[1]

Here I want to put out a few thoughts about class and identity. These are not fully formed thoughts or complete answers but hopefully will help move the conversation forward. Continue reading

The Problem with prejudice another perspective (part 3 )

We have seen the danger of prejudice including “implicit bias.” This includes:

  1. The danger that if I have an implicit bias against others I may misjudge them, I may mishear them. I may fail to see what they have to offer, fail to encourage them in their gifts and fail to hear truth from them.
  2. The danger that I may experience of perceive implicit bias from others means that I will hear everything they have to say as loaded, subjective and prejudiced. I may miss the truth when it is spoken by them. I may mistrust them and reject the love that freely offer.

Here are some reflections on how we can move forward. Continue reading

The problem with prejudice – another perspective (part 2)

Last week, Sarah Champion was forced to resign from the Shadow Cabinet. What did she do wrong? Well she wrote an article for the Sun in which she said

“Britain has a problem with Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”[1] Continue reading

The Danger of the Wrong Strategy

Evangelical summer camps have been getting some unpleasant news coverage recently -and for all the wrong reasons. In case you are wondering, yes there are right reasons for getting unpleasant news coverage -clear, undiluted gospel preaching is unlikely to win secular plaudits, so whenever the media picks up on something Evangelicals are doing which involves preaching the Gospel, then we are likely to get a bad press. Continue reading