Grants Awarded in 2015/16

Projects funded during 2015/16

Ablewell Advice Services, Walsall

Ablewell is a money and debt advice service in existence since April 2012. It was set up in, as a Project of Central Hall Methodist Church to fill a gap in existing advice provision. Ablewell has worked with 582 clients, assisting with £2.6m worth of debt. The grant will enable Ablewell to expand its range of services, predominantly through partnership working, to include: Job Club plus, Computer suite, Foodbank, Workplace experience for the unemployed.

Grant award £30,000

Basildon Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre, South Essex Methodist Circuit

The Debt Centre was set up in 2013. Chelmsford Diocese Mission Opportunities Fund provided initial funding. Since 2013 it has seen over 140 financially and socially deprived families, providing a route out of debt, offering food packages, energy top-ups and birthday presents and weekend holidays. Over half the families that decide to work with CAP have become debt free and many others will become debt free over the coming months. All clients are offered prayer (this is done sensitively) and many have come to church services and Alpha Courses, as well as church social events. This MAPJ grant enables the centre to continue from 2016 onwards.

Grant award £23,000

Bath Universities Student Chaplaincy, North East Somerset and Bath Circuit

This grant enables the appointment of a 'student chaplain' to develop a pioneering approach to chaplaincy which is student-centred rather than being a chaplaincy to the institution; and which will seek to go and meet students where they live and spend their time, rather than being based in a chaplaincy centre. The chaplain will be present both on campus and in the city and will develop a holistic approach to chaplaincy, supporting and developing spiritual life among students, and caring for students at a point of major change in their lives. This is a development of a unique novel pattern of student chaplaincy that will reach to all students (of faith or none) whilst being based around the key Methodist emphases of scriptural and social holiness. It is hoped that out of this work might develop new patterns of Christian community. This carries a degree of risk, not present in conventional patterns of chaplaincy, but this is part of the tradition of the Methodist movement.

Grant award £40,500

Bede Circuit Youth Worker

Previously funded by a MAPP grant, until 2015. The Youth and Children's Worker will operate in four churches (St. Mark's, Windy Nook, Wrekenton, West Harton) and have a coordinating role across the circuit, providing activities for young people in partnership with organisations such as Urban Saints, Youth for Christ and Scripture Union.

Grant award £23,879

Biscot Faith Partnership Community Development Nehemiah worker, St Margaret's, Luton

Continuation funding for work currently funded by the Nehemiah Foundation as part of the national inter faith Near Neighbours programme. The Nehemiah worker is based in a place of worship of another faith. The intention is for Nehemiah workers to work more as a Luton-wide team.

Grant award £14,640

Black Country Circuit, Community Project Co-ordinator

This project is the brainchild of the previous Tipton & West Bromwich Circuit which funded it for the first 18 months. It was decided to base the initial part of the Project at Wesley Church (West Bromwich Town Centre), with the prospect of expanding to include other churches within the Circuit. The idea came from conversations about how to make connections with our local community, be a "good neighbour" and show the love of Christ. The need for this project was identified by the church membership's observation of the lack of engagement with the local community outside of the church, and the lack of cultural diversity of the church users. It was felt that the church needed to have "glass walls" and enable people to cross and re-cross the threshold in a comfortable and non-threatening manner. In the first twelve months working relationships have been established with 20 different groups who now use the premises, including: Age-Well UK, Age UK, 'Dance for Life' (Senior Citizens), an Alcoholics Anonymous group run by Polish people, 'Kaleidoscope' (for those with mental illnesses), uniformed organisations for young people, such as Guides, Brownies, Boys' Brigade, etc. together with coffee mornings, social evenings and Men's and Ladies' Groups. 

Grant award £50,000

Bridge Street Methodist Church, Sherwood Forest Circuit, Church Family Worker

Continuation funding for work currently funded locally. Over the last six years, Bridge Street has supported a family worker to work with families from the Mansfield area, providing Christian nurture for all families and bringing the Good News of Jesus to people who are not comfortable going to church. Mansfield is an area of the country with significant economic and social issues (this is a MAPP grant). 

Grant award £22,000

Bolton Methodist Mission, Heritage Day

Following discussions with the Methodist Heritage Officer, this grant covers the costs involved in hosting a Heritage Open Day. The grant will cover the costs of promotional materials, posters, hand-outs, displays etc. and performers' expenses. Banners will depict various aspects of our history starting with our Methodist beginnings in the Ridgway Gates Chapel (visited by John Wesley in 1777). The project will also act as a forerunner for future Heritage Open Days and heritage trails, from which we can learn which marketing and what activities best engage visitors.

Grant award £3,585

Calvert Methodist Memorial Church, Hastings and St Leonards Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Advice Centre

Hastings & St Leonards CAP Centre was set up in 2013 as a partnership of 7 local churches from different denominations with Christians Against Poverty (CAPUK) as an outreach to individuals and families in debt in our town. Hastings and St Leonards is a very deprived coastal community in South East England that regularly appears high on various measures of deprivation. The main purpose is to show God's love to anybody in our area struggling to repay debt by providing a first class free service to help them become debt free. Since opening, services have been in much demand. All indications are that this demand is likely to increase as Universal Credit is further implemented and the proposed removal of tax credits is implemented. The grant will enable the centre to continue to meet the current level of demand over 3 years.

Grant award £15,000

CAP Debt Centre, Penrith Methodist Church

This is a debt management centre to serve the Eden district, in partnership with Christians Against Poverty. PMC will work alongside a number of other local churches to support people in debt in their local community. The work will involve a structured referral arrangement linked to CAP headquarters to address the framing of financial solutions. It will also include informal contact and befriending to provide shoulders to lean on and general support at what will be difficult times for the people concerned.

Grant award £43,500

Chapel in the Fields

This project is to convert Sinderland Green Chapel into a centre for spiritual growth through creativity. 'Godly Play' will enable people, principally children, unfamiliar with faith stories to engage with them and reflect on them. 'Spiritual formation' involves creative work and reflection based in the chapel and workshop, with an emphasis on reaching men, who are under-represented in present Methodist congregations and who face issues of isolation and unacknowledged emotional and spiritual need. See this short video. You can view and 'like' the Facebook page here.

Grant award £67,256

Children & Families Worker, Camborne-Redruth Circuit

This full-time worker will support local church growth. This will mainly involve building relationships within local schools, developing the toddler group to include parenting classes and mother and baby work. The aim is to solidify the growing and existing community, enable relationships with the church at the vital 20-40 age group of families and invest in the community. 

Grant award £30,000

'Churches in Lunesdale Family Project', Kirkby Lonsdale Methodist Church

The 'Family Project' is a joint outreach between Kirkby Lonsdale Methodist Church and the Anglican Rainbow Parish to the families of our communities with children aged 0 - 13 years, a part of the community that our churches and outreach activities fail to reach adequately. The aim is to help the children and their families, and particularly those with whom the local church currently has little or no contact, discover more of God and God's purpose for their lives. The project will develop existing community links and broaden them into contact and friendships with parents and children. 

Grant award £20,000

Community Chaplain for Older People, South Fylde Circuit

This project is for the continuation and expansion of a targeted ministry amongst people in their later years. It seeks to accompany older people at whatever stage of life's journey they find themselves. The project aims to promote the spiritual welfare of older people in the wider community of South Fylde. This is an act of mission and is concerned to reach out to those who are not already members of the church, as well as advocating for better care for older people within the church community. The circuit is working with MHA to extend their model of prioritising spiritual care in later life and is a member of The Gift of Years network which is the BRF initiative of spirituality for later life. You can watch a short video about Gift of Years here.

Grant award £52,872 

Community Organiser, Trinity Mission Charitable Incorporated Organisation Night Shelter

Trinity Mission, a project started in 2011, has grown and developed over that time and now provides drop-in support, food, clothing, information, advice and guidance to disadvantaged residents of Castleford, night time accommodation for rough sleepers in the winter months and community outreach to the homeless and disadvantaged. This MAPJ grant will part fund the continued employment of a full time Community Organiser. The Organiser will support service users encouraging and enabling them to become active citizens and get alongside more challenging service users. The Organiser will undertake specific projects such as developing links with networks and organisations in the field of homelessness, poverty relief, mental health, substance abuse, employability, welfare advice and active citizenship. 

Grant award £30,000

Deepening the Discipleship of Churchless Christians in Scotland, Scotland District

This grant will enable Methodists to respond to the issue of Churchless Faith in Scotland by appointing a half-time Enabler to work with a pilot team of Methodists from across the District. She/he will support and encourage team members to engage with 'Churchless Christians' (people who follow Christ but who do so out with recognised church structures whether established churches or independent/new churches). This will be a distinctively Methodist contribution to deepening discipleship and Christian formation which draws on our heritage in small groups. The role will include identifying ways of locating and engaging with Churchless Christians through personal contacts, social networking, social media, local press/ radio and local publicity. 

Grant award £124,500

Family Worker, Doncaster Circuit

This grant will fund a Family Worker who will focus on the families of the most deprived and also the Roma community. He/she will be based at the Junction, working alongside the manager there. The facilities of the Junction and the newly renovated hall will be used. There are tremendous possibilities. Already, youngsters from the Roma community come into the Junction and at times it can be overwhelming. Already there are activities for families the worker will build on these and then bring new initiatives. One of the tasks would be to bring the various ethnic groups closer together. 

Grant award £30,000

Freedom Centre, Clowne, (Bolsover Methodist Church) Sheffield District

This MAPJ grant will establish a Freedom Community centre in Clowne Methodist Church. The Freedom Community Project was established in 2009 at Bolsover Methodist Church to take the lead in mission to the people of Bolsover. It currently delivers 29 weekly activities and services to over 800 people a week through over 100 volunteers. In December 2014 a new Freedom Community Centre was opened in New Houghton. This proposal will replicate the success of the centre at New Houghton. A charity shop in will be set up at Clowne to become the main source of funding after expiry of the MAPJ grant. Clowne Freedom will also operate as part of the Food Bank, and as the Community Branch for the local credit union 2Shires Community Bank. 

Grant award £29,724

HE Chaplaincy at Cardiff University

Continued funding of the current Chaplain Rev. Delyth Liddell for a further 4 years from 2016-20. The grant enables Methodism to continue making its contribution at a key time in the life of Cardiff University.

Grant award £30,000

HIV Chaplaincy for London, London HIV/AIDS Chaplaincy Ltd

Provide pastoral support for people affected by HIV/AIDs and publish material collected from the interchange between clients and the Chaplain. Clients are met on an informal basis due to the very nature of this ministry which is to say the least on the fringes of both society and religious faith. Many suffer from bad experiences of religious organisations, and are well informed on the many negative attitudes of some of the different faith traditions. The response of some of the clients to these attitudes means that the support offered is of a very sensitive nature. A key element of the work plan is to publish the material from the interchange with the chaplain and his clients. The material is aimed at theological students, ministers of religion and other interested parties on the issues that arise from this ministry.  

Grant award £30,000

Horsefair Project, John Wesley's Chapel, Bristol

This major project is intended to develop the facilities at the New Room in order to provide a quality experience for an ever increasing number of visitors to the premises. The redeveloped and expanded museum will invite people to reflect on what they see and what this says about (their) life today. It will also provide a needed facility in order to play a more meaningful role as a key hub in the connexional Discipleship & Ministries Learning Network. The scheme involves a new build sited alongside and connected to the current suite of premises. This will include a library, meeting rooms, an education/training room for up to 50 persons, office space, toilets, café, shop and a lift (which will allow disabled access to the museum and the preachers' rooms for the first time). At the same time, in the current building the cramped space which provides office and ancillary facilities along with an inadequate 'library' will be released to provide for a new museum which will 'tell the story' of the Wesleys and Methodism and its continuing impact in the world today.

Grant award £190,000

Life at the Centre, Nottingham Central Mission

There are two distinct communities which will be supported by this grant. There is a developing and vibrant LBGTQi community is the city. Life at the Centre is the only church that actively seeks to support them, this is an area of great mission potential. The other part of the project will focus on working alongside the poor in one of the greatly deprived areas of the city; "The Meadows".

Grant award £256,000

NEC Chaplain and District Chaplaincy Officer, Birmingham District 

The current incumbent started in post in September 2013 and has considerably raised the profile of the role. This project is needed to advocate and support chaplaincy in the District. It is also important to help with continuing to provide the chaplaincy at the NEC Group which both offers something of real value to a major employer in Birmingham and promotes the Methodist church in its role of offering God's love and care to all.

Grant award £109,400

NW & Mann region: District Youth & Children's Work Enablers

This grant is to revitalise the learning and development of adult leaders of children and youth work in Methodism within North West and Mann region. Additional hours given to one member of staff in each District. Workers will be engaged in building relationships and increasing numbers of adults accessing learning & development opportunities, including ecumenical training events, local team meetings and District events. The purpose of this project ultimately is to impact the children and young people by equipping the adults who currently are leading the work with children and young people.

Grant award £60,000

Oasis Project, Whitefield Methodist Church, Bury

Appointment of a part-time Children and Families Worker to work with the Church's new community focused 'OASIS PROJECT'. The vision is not only to extend the availability and success of 'Charlie's Angels' (a thriving toddler and carer group) to 5 days a week, but to offer additional support services, for example breast feeding, parenting and other support classes like 'debt counselling'.

Grant award £28,050

Ogof Adullam, Swansea and Gower Methodist Circuit

Ogof Adullam is a Methodist project in Swansea that opened in 2014 to provide a 'place of refuge' to individuals experiencing homelessness, alcohol and drug addiction and a point of contact for prison leavers and asylum seekers. It is intended as a safe place free of outside external interferences where guests can develop safe, secure and loving relationships in a Christian environment.

Grant award £50,000

Open Doors, Hull

This MAP grant is to continue providing a friendly and accessible support and learning environment in safe surroundings to people seeking asylum, refugees and migrant workers. As well as practical help in the form of free basic food parcel once a week, tea and coffee, breakfast and lunch one day per week, emergency funds, the project also supports people through befriending and counselling service, immigration and benefits advice (in partnership with British Red Cross), Voluntary Interpreting and Translation service, music and guitar lessons, internet facility, allotment activities, English classes and conversation, basic computer classes, clothes shop.

Grant award £36,432

Peer Talk, Settle Circuit

PeerTalk aims to establish a UK-wide network of volunteer-facilitated peer group support meetings for people who experience depression and their families. A model for such a group network exists in Ireland provided by the charity Aware. PeerTalk will build on this initiative by delivering day conference events within the Districts/Regions of the Methodist Church in order to inform and equip individuals to make a positive response to mental health issues within their church and community. 

Grant award £101,440

Poverty - The Human Face, Applecart, London District

This grant will provide films and worship resources that show the human cost of poverty in the UK. This will be done by engaging with young adults living in some of London's poorest areas and train them to tell the story of poverty from a personal point of view. The project will allow Applecart to develop its mentorship and training of young adults in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. This ongoing work is central to Applecart's future work and the long term benefits are exponential; encouraging young people to develop skills, increase their confidence and improve understanding within their local community and beyond. The finished films will be offered primarily broadcasters such as BBC 3, before being made available to view or download online. The films will benefit, inform and challenge individuals, church congregations, church activists and political campaigners.

Grant award £51,000

PMC Community Outreach, Penrith Methodist Church

This grant will maintain and develop the outreach work centred upon and co-ordinated from PMC. The project covers:

Adventure Cells - exploring spirituality through outdoor activities
School Chaplaincy - collaborative ecumenical chaplaincy working in schools and developing into community wide youth work
Sanctuary - after school café designated as a safe place for secondary aged children with learning difficulties.

Grant award £75,000

Reinvigorating the Mission and Ministry of the Newcastle West Circuit

The project involves increasing ministerial staff in order to be able to properly develop and support existing congregations in applying Robert Schnase's, "Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations". The Newcastle District has already committed itself to the "Five Practices". This grant will provide a high quality training programme that leads to individual churches identifying the specific areas that they need to work on, and adopt the relevant practices necessary in order to be fruitful in their work, purpose and witness. Adopting Schnase's principles is the main thrust of our plan for a radical and sustainable period of growth and renewal at every aspect of church life.

Read about 'Fruitful Church' in Newcastle West here.

Grant award £10,000

SCARPA, The Children's Society, Newcastle Central & East Circuit

SCARPA aims to address the serious problem of young people going missing from either home or care and involved in child sexual exploitation. The grant will be used to pay for a project worker over a three year period. Combined with other funding this will guarantee 75 vulnerable young people will receive life changing help. In addition a portion of the grant will be used towards bespoke barrier-busting interventions, such as therapy, basic necessities and access to education, which lift young people out of poverty and away from risk.

Grant award £86,981

Signpost Project, Solway Circuit

The Circuit, with the support of the District and a previous Mission Alongside the Poor Grant, have seen the realisation of a vision (Signpost) to begin to reconnect with the local people within Maryport. The development of this next stage of the work of Signpost is more intentional in strategy, aiming to meet the perceived needs in two specific areas. However, it assumes and requires that the present work in the Signpost will continue, enabling individuals and the community within Signpost, Maryport Church and the wider community to grow through the sharing of God's love. Difficult situations that might arise will be supported and where possible transformed, through partnerships with both secular organisations and Christian communities both within the town of Maryport and across the Cumbria District. This funding will enable the deacon who is resident in this Circuit to develop this work alongside the members in the Circuit. The Deacon will lead in this work, recruiting and training volunteers, developing partnerships with local organisations. There is also the strong possibility that the young people coming to the youth centre will become involved in the activities organised for Dementia sufferers.

Grant award £91,505

Synod Enabler (Culturally diverse congregations), Synod Wales

This grant, through the MAPP programme, will support the pioneering work of Rev Irfan John in his role as the Wales Synod Enabler (Culturally diverse congregations) for a further 3 years from 2016-19. Irfan's ministry focuses on 2 areas, work with asylum seekers and refugees (building on his own experience of fleeing Pakistan and arriving in the UK as a refugee) and ministry with culturally diverse congregations, which over the course of the last 7 years have led to developing relationships with a range of congregations (Chinese, Ethiopian, Mala'ayam (S Indian)) and to the creation of 2 new Urdu-speaking congregations in Cardiff and Swansea.

Grant award £30,000

Ty-Sign Community Mission Enabler, Newport and Lower Wye Methodist Circuit

The Mission Enabler provides a complimentary ministry to the Ty-Sign Lab Hub working alongside the local Churches, the Lab Team and with secular support. This will be achieved through Incarnational living in the community of Ty-Sign, fulfilling the calling of the Church to be a Missionary presence.

Grant award £30,000

Wesley Cottage, Trewint

This grant will develop the work of Wesley Cottage by:


1. Providing funding for a refit of Wesley Cottage - converting additional space into a visitor centre, museum and educational resource.
2. Producing appropriate publicity and adequate signage for the developed project.

It will tell the story of John Wesley's visits to Cornwall and the beginnings of Methodism. The exhibition will emphasise John Wesley's balanced approach to personal spirituality and social action, and how this can inform life today. This should enable Wesley Cottage to be recognised as a Museum by the Arts Council. Wesley Cottage/Museum could therefore become a focal point and a gateway to Methodism in Cornwall. Consideration will be given to the 'Wesley Trail' of the 1970s being updated.

Grant award £30,000

Who is your Neighbour? Sheffield District

The needs of local communities in South Yorkshire for unity and mutual understanding are crucial for wellbeing at neighbourhood level. A focus on exploring 'Who is your neighbour?' and on the injustice of prejudice, encouraged through fear of difference, is the core emphasis. The expected project outcomes are improved community understanding, increasing individual confidence in meeting and challenging prejudice, and communicating alternative positive narratives to the media stories which foster fear and divisiveness. 

This project was established to learn through experience how Methodists and local communities in South Yorkshire can better engage with, understand and value our different cultures, ethnic groups and faiths, and become more resilient to racist and divisive ideologies.

The project is also funded through Sheffield District and is managed by a multi-faith management committee. The project works with communities which are vulnerable to racist and divisive ideologies in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Grant award £195,999

 

Non-Methodist Organisations

All Faiths and None (AFAN), Partnerships of Hope

AFAN will engage with and empower young people through workshops and activities using open facilitation methodology to come together to 1] better understand their faith identity, 2] build relationships within their community, 3] make a positive contribution to society. AFAN sessions discuss the 'Big Questions' of faith and belief - and values - including those derived from faith, and those from secular society. In this project we seek to anchor our work more concretely in local communities, by creating model 'Partnerships of Hope'.

Grant award £40,500

Hope Together, Hope Together Project

This project is to empower people to share their faith, through resourcing and training for church leaders to equip their congregations and also for individuals and small groups to grow in confidence in the Gospel and in sharing their own faith story. A book celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday is a key resource produced this year (2016).

Grant award £130,000

'Methodists and Muslims', Christian Muslim Forum

The Forum is offering support to the Methodist Church in a structured way. This project will give confidence and boost expertise in building Christian-Muslim relationships in many different ways as part of church life at local level across the Connexion. This project will identify a network of key contacts across the Districts, pilot a workable way to relate to, support and celebrate Methodists in their Christian Muslim work, identify gaps and bring the experiences and concerns of Methodists to the national conversation.

Grant award £17,000

Senior Faith Leadership Training Programme, Coexist House

Coexist House is an innovative inter-faith organisation dedicated to increasing religious understanding through a range of diverse educational and training programmes. The courses consist of three, three-day leadership training modules, one course per year, for 21 leaders in each course selected from the three Abrahamic faiths. Senior religious leaders are given high-level training in leadership skills, as well as being introduced to deeper inter-faith understanding through Scriptural Reasoning, a practice of reading and discussing the scriptures of multiple faiths in a safe and respectful environment.

You can apply here (closing date 1 November 2016), but if you're a Methodist member and interested please contact Discipleship and Ministries as there are a number of sponsored places available. Please email research@methodistchurch.org.uk to apply.

Grant award £75,000

St Ethelburga's, Sacred Activists: Young leaders re-inventing interfaith activism

This programme will recruit young adults between 20 and 34 from a range of different faith backgrounds (including 15-20% young Methodists) who are commited to their faith and show leadership potential. They will experience a 9 month programme of training, visits to inspiring case-studies, youth-initiated gatherings, cross-faith 1:1 mentoring, and a summer retreat. They will learn from the 'fresh expressions' movement within Christianity and see how that might be applied to interfaith, but also from the youth-led New Monastic Movement in America, new economic thinking and the most innovative forms of social entrepreneurship. You can sign up here.

Grant award £82,230

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