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ACNS3301 Major initiative to enable Church of England churches
"Anglican Communion News Service" <email@example.com>
Thu, 13 Feb 2003 15:44:57 -0000
ACNS 3301 | ENGLAND | 11FEBRUARY 2003
Major initiative to enable Church of England churches to rediscover their
role in the community
[Restoring Hope Press Office] A major initiative to arm parish churches with
a fresh vision and to enhance their position at the heart of their
communities was announced on Monday 10th February 2003.
Restoring Hope, which has the support of both the Archbishop of Canterbury
and the Archbishop of York, encourages congregations to take a fresh look at
their primary calling, namely 'To love God and to love our neighbour as
The Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, described Restoring Hope in terms of
serving the local community. He said, "The project is not just about
restoring hope in our churches, but restoring hope in our communities,
helping people to recognise something of the image and likeness of the
eternal God in them."
Under the Restoring Hope initiative every Church of England benefice is to
be sent a free resource pack this Easter. Packs include a 40-minute video
presented by Tom Wright, the distinguished theologian and Canon of
Westminster Abbey. The video will feature comments from senior Anglican
leaders including both Archbishops, Dr Christina Baxter and the Bishop of
Rochester, the Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali.
Addressing a range of subjects, it will lay out a vision for the church in
the 21st century, as well as giving an honest assessment of the challenges
facing churches today and a call to reflect prayerfully on the spiritual
characteristics of the early Church.
A set of booklets accompanies the video, including the two successful
Springboard workbooks: Growing Healthy Churches and Discerning Church
Vocation. These aim to take churches through a process of evaluation,
encouragement and assessment, enabling each congregation to discern together
their own vision for the future. The third booklet will point churches
toward a range of additional resources where they can find further
inspiration and practical help.
Support for this initiative has come from across the Anglican community,
including sponsorship from a number of major Anglican mission agencies, such
as Springboard, the Church Army, the Church Mission Society, the Church
Pastoral Aid Society, the Mothers' Union and the United Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel.
Jayne Ozanne, project manager of the Restoring Hope initiative and a member
of the Archbishops' Council, said, "Restoring Hope is designed to stimulate
church congregations to listen - first to God and then to their neighbour -
so that they can better serve the needs of their local communities.
"It is no coincidence that the sponsors of Restoring Hope are drawn from
across the Anglican community. We believe there is great strength in working
as one body, so that together in partnership with the dioceses and local
parish churches, we can learn to serve and minister in the most relevant and
practical ways to the diverse needs of our nation."
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