BLOGS

New CTC Apprenticeship

The Centre for Theology & Community l

We are excited to be looking for two Church-based Community Organising Apprentices – part time roles paying the London Living Wage and starting in mid-September. The Job Descriptions for the posts are here (general) and here (Christ Church Three Mills). Please email claire.moll.namas@ctclondon.org to request a full application pack. The deadline for receiving completed applications is noon on the 26th of July.

Synodality in action: new project in Forest Gate

The Centre for Theology & Community l

Over the last year, CTC has been leading an action-research project exploring how the “Three Rivers” of Synodality, community organising and Catholic Social Teaching can flow together. Our initial report is now online.

Today (19 June), we were delighted to receive a grant from the Charles Plater Trust which will draw these “rivers” together in a 2000-strong Catholic parish – supporting the church in both meeting the immediate needs of migrants and refugees, and also recognising and developing them as leaders in church and community. In her address at the awards ceremony, Ana França-Ferreira explained what the award means, both for the people of Forest Gate and for our wider work.

Finding Communal Peace and Hope in Difficult Times

Community Organising, Events, The Centre for Theology & Community l

Nuvia Vaquerano is a lay leader at St. Martin’s Church in Plaistow. She helps with the readings during mass, prepares prayers and leads Bible studies. She volunteers at the church’s food pantry. She is a member of the PCC and acts as their Deanery Synod representative. She also volunteers in a local charity serving warm drinks and as a teaching assistant in a Catholic primary school.

Nuvia moved with her husband and two children from El Salvador to the UK four years ago seeking asylum. She likes to watch television, listen to music, and in her free time plays tennis.

The following talk was given at the Diocese of Oxford’s Community Organizing Resource Hub Day at St. Frideswide’s Water Eaton in Milton Keynes on the 23rd of March 2024 by Nuvia Vaquerano. All speakers were asked to reflect on what it means to “go at God’s pace”. Nuvia recounted the story of her church St. Martin of Tours, Plaistow and how they have found peace and hope to move forward in light of the untimely death of Father Marco Lopes. (The following is the English translation of her talk and below that is the original Spanish.)

Learning, Listening and Leading

Community Organising, The Centre for Theology & Community, Urban Leadership School l

Our Director of Leadership Training, Miriam Brittenden, reflects at the end of our twelve-month programme of lay leadership training

Over twelve months, 17 extraordinary lay leaders from seven churches in East London participated in our last Olive Wagstaff programme. As it came to an end, I found myself thanking God for the hopeful signs of sure and steady growth that we witnessed over the year.

Joining voices, building power

Community Organising, The Centre for Theology & Community l

Mariam Kizza has recently begun as a Community Organising Apprentice at CTC, and will take part in the 2023-4 Buxton Leadership Programme. In this blog, she explains why her faith has inspired this engagement with organising, and describes her journey so far…

As a Christian, I have found myself increasingly challenged that we must be intentional and committed to being present in the community and in public life. When I first read up on the Buxton Leadership Programme, it resonated with me straight away.

I was drawn by its aims which make the crucial link between the Christian faith and bringing about justice. By this time, I had already been on a journey of realising the importance of voice. Not only in finding my own voice but also in advocating on behalf of others. As I explored the practice of community organising more, I particularly identified with its principle of mobilising ordinary people and empowering them to use their voice to bring the desired change.

Peace at the heart of the struggle

Prayer, The Centre for Theology & Community l

This is the last of our Director’s Lent blogs on silent prayer. His first blog described one way of putting this into practice, the second blog looked at some of its fruits in our life the third blog explained how silent prayer differs from “mindfulness,” and the fourth blog explored how silence sits alongside other forms of prayer. 

“Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

Organising in Aotearoa New Zealand

The Centre for Theology & Community l

Last December/January, Miriam Brittenden (our Director of Leadership) visited Aotearoa New Zealand – and spent the last part of her trip with a community organising alliance in Auckland, New Zealand to reflect on organising in our respective contexts, and organising with faith institutions. In this blog she reflects on the visit.

Te Ohu Whakawhanaunga (Te Ohu) is an emerging broad-based community alliance of community organisations, faith groups and trade unions. It’s inception was in 2017 when, based on the success of the broad-based organising of the Living Wage movement in New Zealand – a group of leaders from key institutions decided to build a broad-based organisation founded on a vision of solidarity across diversity. Later in 2023, Te Ohu will be formally founded (currently they have a ‘commitment to found’) and begin public campaigns. 

Seeing the Burning Bushes in our midst

Prayer, The Centre for Theology & Community l

This Lent, our Director Angus Ritchie is writing a weekly blog on silent prayer. His first blog describes one way of putting this into practice, the second blog looks at some of its fruits in our life and third blog explains how silent prayer differs from “mindfulness,” and why its value lies in more than its effects. In this fourth blog he explores how silence sits alongside other forms of prayer, as we seek to discern God’s action in our midst.

Many of you will know Sister Josephine, who we are blessed to have as Chaplain at CTC. She is fond of pointing out that in the story of the burning bush in Exodus 3, God only speaks once Moses notices the bush and goes over to look at it. “How many burning bushes do we miss?” she asks.

Becoming “mothers of Christ”

The Centre for Theology & Community l

On Mothering Sunday at St George-in-the-East, our Housing Organiser Rhiannon Winstanley-Sharples drew on St Augustine to reflect on how we can all be “mothers of Christ” as we support one another in deepening our faith and organising for justice.

“When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” (Luke 2.39,40)

Beyond mindfulness: “wasting time” with Christ

Prayer, The Centre for Theology & Community l

This Lent, our Director Angus Ritchie is writing a weekly blog on silent prayer. His first blog describes one way of putting this into practice, while the second blog looks at some of its fruits in our life. This third blog explains how silent prayer differs from “mindfulness,” and why its value lies in more than its effects.

On Tuesday of Holy Week, an anonymous woman anoints Jesus feet with costly ointment, and Judas complains that the money could have been given to the poor (Mark 14.1-9). When she is criticised, Jesus defends her, just as he defends Mary of Bethany when Martha criticises her for sitting at his feet when there is work to be done (Luke 10.38-42).

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: