Saturday, February 19, 2005


This from Ekklesia. The full story is here.

As questions continue to be raised about their relevance in public life, churches in Britain are gearing up to renew inherited structures and embolden ‘fresh expressions of church’ through a major new initiative and training course launched this week.

A certificate and diploma in ‘mission accompaniment’ has been pioneered by Cliff College in association with the ecumenical Churches’ Commission on Mission (CCOM). The course is validated through the University of Manchester and its originators say that it will help to shake up church life in the UK.

The Diploma in Mission Accompaniment (DMA), which allows people with full-time occupations to study part-time, is aimed at all those who want to use their listening and consulting skills to help local churches and Christian organisations engage more effectively within their communities.

The Cliff College DMA has been developed out of the Building Bridges of Hope programme established over the past ten years by the Churches’ Commission on Mission, part of the official ecumenical body, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

“Mission accompaniment is a new way of thinking about activating and supporting churches as they seek to become more effective expressions of the Gospel,” says Churches’ Commission on Mission general secretary Simon Barrow, who is also an Ekklesia associate.

“To be an accompanier in mission is to be someone rooted in prayer and theological vision,” Barrow adds. “But it is also to possess an eclectic range of skills, including listening, consulting, coaching, mentoring and signposting to the right resources. It’s about long-term commitment rather than quick fixes.”

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