THE Archbishop of Canterbury has given his backing to a website launched
last month, and designed to give churches a chance to share their experiences
of ministry. The site,
www.freshexpressions.org.uk, aims to promote the much talked-of “new ways
of being Church”, through a directory to which churches and dioceses submit
what is happening — and what seems to work — in their area.
Since the site was launched, 250 people have registered, and more than 40
churches have submitted ideas. By clicking on the directory, and submitting an
email address and password, browsers can view a range of projects — from
ambitious initiatives such as the diocese of Oxford’s internet church
(News, 5 March 2004) to more straightforward expressions, such as “Church
Mice”, a midweek pre-school activity in Cheshire.
Other submissions include community eucharists in Ely diocese, alternative
worship groups around the country, and a “messy church” in Hampshire (an
after-school art-and-craft club that ends with a service). Each submission
includes contact details, so that browsers can follow up ideas.
The Revd Dr Steve Croft, the Archbishops’ Missioner, says the site is “for
anyone and everyone”. It is part of Dr Williams’s drive “to move the Church of
England towards a mixed-economy Church — traditional parishes alongside many
different fresh expressions of Church”.
Fresh Expressions is an initiative of the Archbishops of Canterbury and
York, and is also supported by the Methodist Council.
End child murder
THE NEW international website set up by the Jubilee Campaign,
www.stopkillingchildren.com, has, since its launch in December, documented
nearly 400 cases in which children and young people have been killed in Brazil.
The Jubilee Campaign, an independent human-rights group, works with more
than 150 British MPs for religious liberty and children’s rights around the
world. It is urging supporters to sign up for the “Take Action” section on the
new site. This provides a draft letter to the Brazilian President, Lula Da
Silva, urging him to take action to stop the high death-rate among his
country’s young people.
Danny Smith, the Jubilee Campaign’s founder and director, says: “When a
child is killed in the UK, it is front-page news. People are rightly enraged.
When the same happens on an unparalleled scale in Brazil, there is barely a
flicker of interest. Brazil is susceptible to international pressure. We must
play our part in protecting the lives of Brazil’s children.”
The site, which was launched simultaneously in the House of Commons and the
United States Congress, is linked to
THE Arthur Rank Centre, the ecumenical body that focuses on rural issues,
will be using its website at
www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk to promote its new three-year project. The
project, “Life and Faith in Rural Communities”, aims to produce training
materials and resources on topics such as work, ministry, and mission in the
“Today’s Church plays a leading part in rural areas — not just for
churchgoers, but as an integral part of the community,” says Simon Martin, a
former missionary in Uganda, who is spearheading the project. As well as
producing new materials, he will be linking with existing resources and
creating an information network. All this will be accessible through the
THE MAIN Anglican church in Ethiopia, St Matthew’s in Addis Ababa, has set
up a website,
www.stmatthewsaddis.org. The site contains background material on the
political situation in Ethiopia, as well as details of church activities in the
St Matthew’s, whose chaplain, the Revd Andrew Proud, is also the Bishop of
Egypt’s assistant for the Horn of Africa, provides pastoral oversight to 20
parishes across the country, mostly in refugee camps. The congregation of St
Matthew’s has a large number of refugees from Southern Sudan.
Readers log on
THE Church of England’s 10,000 Readers now have a new-look website, which
was relaunched at the end of last month. At
www.readers.cofe.anglican.org, Readers can find resources, general
information, and articles relevant to their work. The site is designed to
complement the quarterly magazine The Reader, which is also featured
on the site.
Justice in worship
THE Roman Catholic aid agency CAFOD has launched a new section on its
www.cafod.org.uk/worship this month. The section is designed to make the
issues of poverty and social justice more prominent in worship. It contains a
database of themed prayers, liturgies, and reflections for use on various
occasions — from school assemblies to more formal services.
A spokeswoman for CAFOD, Linda Jones, said that the new web portal was “a
great way of using new media to allow parishioners to bring Third World issues
into their main occasions for worship”.