The Urban Mission Alliance (UMA), for the time being, ia a concept that has been developed, to strengthen the work already started by the Estates Evangelism Task Group (EETG, of the Church of England) in bringing senior representatives of organisations with similar aims and objectives together, to share (and then potentially adjust) strategies.
An Urban Mission co-ordinating group existed in the past under the auspices of CTE but stopped work in 2015. Currently there are plans to re-establish a group along the lines set out below to begin meeting in 2022.
Urban Mission Alliance (UMA) depends on:
a) the willingness of a core group or a significant number of para-church organisations for some sort of collaboration
b) the willingness of organisations for an umbrella organisation to actively listen to those on the margins and/or be willing to speak truth to power – including regional and national denominational leaders
c) availability of funding – either from member organisations and/or third-party funders
1. UMA Ultra-lite/Churches Together in England
Two meetings per year of the lead-officers involved in Urban Mission from Churches Together in England member churches to share strategies, stories and ideas.
As these meetings would be facilitated by Churches Together, the only additional cost would be the travel expenses of the lead officers.
In additional to UMA Ultra-lite.
Hold an annual residential gathering at CEO/director level of member organisations (denominations and para-church organisations) to discuss common issues/opportunities.
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. Over 22m people live in CoE parishes that are in the bottom 20% for income deprivation. 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.
Greg Smith visiting research fellow at Chester University is spent 40 years combining research and practice in urban settings. His website UK Urban Mission is a helpful starting point with lots of resources.