Nottingham is one of the latest cities to get in contact with the Gather Network. We were delighted to hear how God is already at work building unity in the city through social action and prayer. Hannah Buck agreed to write about what’s been happening there.
We believe we are living in an exciting time in Nottingham where God is growing unity with increasing momentum..
Faith Action Nottingham is a network that promotes collaboration, relationship and unity among Christian organisations who are working to tackle poverty in Nottingham. When we first started meeting in 2010, most of us didn’t know what the others were doing, let alone work together. Now it’s a joy to meet and the network has been a springboard for many connections and joining up across the city.
Our aims are:
– To deepen relationships within the network
– To identify the greatest areas of poverty in the city
– To respond strategically to those needs in cooperation with other services in the city
Over the last 18 months, we have grappled together about how we disciple those coming to us. A focused workshop led to us all longing to create a culture of discipleship within our places where we are honest with others about our own discipleship as leaders, as well as journeying alongside others at their pace; doing this as part of a loving community that doesn’t make assumptions, supporting people to find the resources and solutions from within themselves in communion with God.
Last week we were blessed to have Jackie Pullinger with us for a training day. I left feeling inspired to press in further to the authority that God has given us and, it sounds simple, but if that we want to see people change, firstly we have to absolutely believe that they can. She also reminded us that most transformation takes a really long time and we must not try to short cut this somehow, whilst holding on to hope that belief that people can change.
Another network in Nottingham is City Prayer, a monthly gathering of Christians from different churches across Nottingham praying for unity, for God’s power to be released and for the city being blessed. Over 100 churches are now involved in City Prayer, and 1,200 people attended the annual ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ prayer night last June. City Prayer works well alongside FAN giving focus to various member projects, and praying into all that God is doing. It is wonderful to see God bringing His people from different churches and projects together through FAN and City Prayer, to know and support one another and see His Kingdom advance!
Hannah coordinates Faith Action Nottingham on behalf of Transforming Notts Together, which is charity overseen by the Church Urban Fund and the Southwell and Nottingham Diocese. You can find out more here