The Urban Mission Alliance (UMA) is a new group beginning to meet for the first time in 2022.

Ben Aldous from CTE and Dave Champness from the Estates Evangelism Task Force seek to gather, ecumenically, those folk who are the national leads for their churches/networks/theological research organisations for mission/evangelism in social housing/income deprived contexts to come together for conversations around Urban Mission.

The purpose of the gathering is 

  1. To meet others with the same/similar brief to start to build relationships/ a network
  2. To hear about each other’s strategic priorities with respect to evangelism on social housing estates/income deprived contexts
  3. To identify any opportunities for collaboration at national/regional level.
  4. To decide any next steps and whether to meet again.

The group met on 7th March 2022 at the CTE offices. They heard from Rosie Hopley on her recent research funded by Jubilee-plus on the range of resources available for those working in/supporting evangelism in social housing estates/income deprived contexts.

The group represented a number of denominations from Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, URC, Elim, Salvation Army and Nazarene churches as well as from organisations such as Theos, Urban Theology Union, William Temple Foundation, Caritas and others.

Coming out of Coronavirus it is predicted that there will be many economic challenges still to come that will affect the young and the marginalised the most in those places in the country that are already deprived. Whilst social housing and deprivation are strongly linked, there is also significant poverty in the terraced properties of post-industrial towns and some coastal (and market) towns.   

At the same time many churches and Christian third sector organisations have had their income streams squeezed. With a return to pre-lockdown level of finances unlikely to happen for many months, if at all, it is very likely there will be an urgent need for more collaboration, a reduction in competition and   providing easier access to resources direct to front line practioners of urban ministry of all denominations.  

Future meetings

Autumn 2022 – date TBC – agenda

  • Meeting to be held in a GMH denomination church
  • Deep listening to understand GMH denominations’ approach to evangelism in income deprived communities
  • Reflect on outcome of Jubilee+ work on resource hub options (NB this is targeted at the 4 nations, not just England).
  • Any stories of great ecumenical working on estates?
  • Any updates from denominations/academia
  • Any areas of research