Learning how to share our everyday faith with confidence

First published on: 24th February 2021

Ten groups of Christians across the Diocese of Manchester are learning together how to more naturally share their faith in Jesus with the people that they encounter day to day. Recognising that most Christians spend far more time in the workplace, education, community and family contexts than they do in church services, the project is helping them grow in confidence to witness to God’s love, wherever they are during the week.

Christians come in all ages, shapes and sizes and are busy doing all kinds of different things during a typical week. However, with the focus on Sundays being on worship and parish events, church members often don’t know much about what each other does outside of church from Monday to Sunday.

While it is quite understandable that parish life is focused on Sunday worship and parish activities, it is becoming increasingly clear that such an approach fails to honour the fact that most Christians spend far more time outside of church than in services.  Such an approach can also create a secular / sacred divide for many Christians, and encourage them to compartmentalise their lives, so that faith becomes separate from everyday life.

The Church of England has been grappling with this issue for many years and has recently made a real attempt to shift how we see our following of Jesus.  A national report called Setting God’s People Free has been given resources to try and help dioceses and parishes to make a real impact. 

In Manchester, we have called this whole approach #MoreThanSunday, picking up on earlier work from our digital team. Ten pilots have been chosen to work through some resources. They carefully chosen with regard to diversity in socio-economic factors, church tradition, and ethnicity. Eight of the pilots are parishes, one is a Church secondary school and one is a chaplaincy. 

Canon Simon Bessant, Project Manager for #MoreThanSunday, said, “The ten pilot groups are exploring how focusing on ‘everyday faith’ can make an empowering difference. By making small changes, can we begin to see a proper focus on people being church beyond Sunday (and the church building)? Could this in turn help people be more confident in their calling to follow Jesus, and more naturally able to witness to His transforming presence in their lives?”

The learning journey is well under way with groups meeting over Zoom to explore the issues. The first stage of the project will be completed by July 2021, after which the learning will be cascaded throughout the diocese.

For more on #MoreThanSunday and the resources that accompany the project, please visit https://www.manchester.anglican.org/morethansunday/

 




The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House, 
90 Deansgate, 
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400