Mental health & Christian leadership - conference on 23rd Oct

A day conference for Christian leaders, chaplains, student workers and anyone interested in looking after their own mental health and that of others. This will be held at Bloomsbury Baptist Church, London on Wednesday 23rd October.

Lots of varied conference content and the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics… Theological input, panel discussions and a choice of workshops including exploring mental health first aid, supporting those in study, and worship and dementia.

The conference costs are £25 per person and you can find out more information and book your place here.

Come along and be inspired… learn together…

Develop skills and share good practice in this important area of ministry

For information contact

Tickets provided through Eventbrite

Prison reform - then and now!

Did you know that The Howard League is the oldest penal reform charity in the UK?

Did you also know that it was set up in the name of John Howard, who was an active free church member?

The Howard League was founded in memory of one of England’s earliest prison reformers, John Howard (1726-1790). The League are still active in all sorts of work and play a vital role in prison reform.

For over 150 years the Howard League for Penal Reform is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. They work with parliament and the media, with criminal justice professionals, students and members of the public, influencing debate and forcing through meaningful change to create safer communities.

They campaign on a wide range of issues. Recent programmes have focused on transforming prisons, reducing child arrests, promoting real work in custody, and ending the criminalisation of children in residential care. They use our legal work to transform and shape the law for children and young people.

Free Churches Group and Free Church chaplains continue to play a key role in the lives of prisoners and prison staff, to support and pastor men and women. You can read more about the work of FCG in prisons in England and Wales HERE.

Let us give thanks for the work of the Howard League over the last 150 years, giving thanks to God for the brave and active work they do in making the lives of prisoners healthier and rehabilitative.

Let us pray

Lord, you offer freedom to all people.
We pray for those in prison.
Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist.
Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends,
prison staff and all who care.
Heal those who have been wounded by the activities
of others, especially the victims of crime.
Help us to forgive one another.
To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ
in His strength and in His Spirit, now and every day. Amen.

Photo courtesy of Mitch Rosen at Unsplash

Exploring Chaplaincy in Education - conference on 10th July - Manchester

Are you interested in exploring chaplaincy in education? Have you felt a calling to serve in this way? Are you currently working in education, but want to find out more about how your church can engage with colleges?

The Church of the Nazarene (who are members of FCG) in partnership with Festive, Chaplaincy Central and FCG are hosting a conference on 10th July in Manchester.

This will be a great opportunity to learn more about chaplaincy in education and to find out ways that you can support churches and colleges to work together to support the pastoral needs of students.

The event will be hosted by the Nazarene Theological College and tickets costs £20. You can find out more and book your place HERE.

The kind of student support services, prayer and encouragement that chaplains can provide in colleges are crucial to the progress and confidence students have - although FE serves people of many ages, further education is a key time of transition from youth to adulthood for younger students and so the work and witness of a college chaplain can be vital in offering guidance and support to them.

You can read more about what an FE chaplain can offer here. Please join us as we pray for the work of college chaplains and the staff and students at colleges whom they support and encourage.

To find out more about FE chaplaincy, why not read this?

"The hospitality of chaplaincy"

The Student Christian Movement (SCM) has been active members of the FCG Higher Education working Group over the last few years. Read who they are, in their words:

“We’re a movement of students, past and present, responding to the call of Jesus to follow him and show the love of God on campus, in our communities and in the world. We come together as an ecumenical and inclusive community, fostering unity in diversity and exploring faith through worship, discussion and action.”
— Student Christian Movement

One of their members, Ellen Lesser, who is studying Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, has written a powerful article about the welcome and hospitality she found in the university chaplaincy.

You can read more about all the work the FCG has been doing to link with and support our churches engaging with the university sector HERE.

For resources for your churches have a look HERE.

Please join us as we pray for those in education and those supporting them.

(Photo courtesy of Charles Etorama @ Unsplash)

Moving on to university? Helping those who are?

The Student Christian Movement, who has been valuable members of the FCG Working Group on Higher Education have published some useful resources to support you to help those in your churches who are moving into a new phase of their lives and beginning university in the autumn. You can read, download and share these HERE.

SCM says, “We're really pleased to announce the launch of our new Going to Uni workshop resources! These workshops have been designed to work in conjunction with SCM’s Going to Uni Guide, enabling you to go deeper into some of the topics covered in the guide to help young people in your church or chaplaincy to prepare for University life as a Christian student.“

Do join with us to pray for those preparing to start university this September and for the church families, parents and carers who are waving them off….

Creator God, we pray for all those who are on higher education courses for degrees and vocational programmes. We pray especially for those for whom this is a new start… We know this can be a time of great change, so we humbly ask that you uphold and guide the students at this time of transition. We pray for the tutors and chaplains in universities - loving God, give them the wisdom, clarity and patience to support the students and staff with compassion. Living God, we pray for the parents, carers and church families who know and care for students. Give the parents, carers and our churches the courage to support and guide students. Majestic God, as students aim higher and develop their God-given potential, give students firm foundations in your wisdom, rooted in your love and stability. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 (NRSV)

(Photo courtesy of Lili Popper @ Unsplash)