'Life in all its fullness'" (Gospel of John 10:10b)
The Free Churches Group are committed to supporting denominations and churches engage with the further education sector in a strategic and practical manner.
“The Free Church perspective is committed to what is best for all in education." A quote from A Free Church Voice on Education, 2010
The imperative for the free churches to engage with further education is informed by a number of significant factors which include the great number of young people and adults engaged in further education; the distinctive nature of further education, particularly its values of inclusiveness, often reaching to the most vulnerable in society; its local community facing provision and the way in which such values and features resonate so closely to those of the Free Churches.
In 2015 a Working Group was commissioned by the Directors of the Free Churches Group to produce a report on the current and potential future engagement of the Free Churches with Further Education (FE).
The brief for the report from the Directors outlined the following aims and outcomes for the Working Group’s investigation and final report. The aims were to:
· undertake a scoping exercise to discern the most effective areas of engagement for the Free Churches with further education;
· explore existing projects and initiatives in which the Free Churches are involved and to identify good practice;
· reflect theologically on the issues involved for the Free Churches regarding further education;
· build capacity amongst the Free Churches to support further education
· build up the Further Education presence on the Free Church Education Committee;
· produce a report which identifies theological issues, policy considerations and proposals for the future practical engagement of the Free Churches with further education.
To read a copy of the full report, which was published in Summer 2016, click HERE.
The nature of FE makes clear the significant part it plays in the society that our churches seek to serve. There is a clear resonance between the values that drive FE and the core values at the heart of our Free Church heritage and continuing commitment to local communities, mission, outreach and social justice. This commitment to deepen our engagement with FE will entail doing more to identify and connect with those involved with FE within our own congregations and for churches to seek out and create opportunities to engage with the FE colleges in their local communities.
For further information, or to find out how to get involved, please contact Sara Iles, Education Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org