Sabbatical Week 2 – An urban conversation: meeting Stephen Kneale in Oldham

Friday 6th June meant a train and tram trip up to Oldham which, headlines as the most deprived town in the England, where Stephen Kneale is pastor of Oldham Bethel.

The area (Glodwick ward) was originally white working lass but has seen first of all afro-Caribbean immigration and then in the 1970s Bangladeshis and Pakistanis meaning that there is primarily a Muslim area. It’s typical of a lot of inner city areas, terrace houses and Mosques -are church buildings are also there but how full they are on Sunday and how much the reflect the local population is open to question. Continue reading


Getting Past the Urban Impasse (Part 2) Twinning

The other day I wrote about my desire to see the impasse broken where it feels that those already committed to urban ministry are primarily talking to themselves.

I want to share a few ideas about how local churches in more prosperous areas can engage with urban mission.  The best way to do this is through partnership and specifically through partnership with other local churches.

So, today’s idea is very simple. Why don’t you arrange to partner or twin with a church working in an urban priority area? I’m sure that this is something that organisations like The FIEC, The Evangelical Alliance, Partnership UK, 20 Schemes, 2020 and CPI would be delighted to help facilitate. Continue reading