News Update December 18th 2015
windemere
What an amazing year! As we look back over 2015 we are so grateful to God for the favour we have seen on so many of the initiatives HOPE is working on with UK churches and ministries. The 24 hours prayer summit for 40 church leaders in Windermere was a historic moment. The unity achieved in that gathering led to the landmark Talking Jesus research, which gives us a unique insight into people’s perceptions of Jesus, Christians and evangelism.

HOPE’s Vision Day gave us the mandate we wanted from the churches to plan for 2018 and a massive year of mission together in words and action.

Young people started using the Chatterbox to plan mission among their peers and the Step Out Tour is already giving a fresh boost to regions preparing for mission.

We are thrilled to hear that people have been using the Talking Jesus research to re-shape their evangelism. And people are responding to Jesus! The Rugby World Cup saw loads of churches working under the Engage banner to reach rugby fans. And all over the country there are churches bringing communities together to Sing Christmas. We start 2016 in prayer. Join with us as we use the Talking Jesus New Year Prayer.

Thank you so much for standing with us – with God’s help you have made all this possible. Have a great Christmas and a hope-filled New Year

Roy Crowne
HOPE’s Executive Director

Sing Christmas – karaoke carols for local communities
More than 70 venues in Leicestershire and Rutland will be joining a live BBC radio broadcast to Sing Christmas on Monday 21 December at 7pm.

Silent NightCarol singers in pubs, clubs, community centres and care homes will be joining the live BBC Radio Leicester broadcast – all they need to do is tune in and sing along! Churches are helping their local venues take part and participants can get a mention on air by texting BBC Radio Leicester during the broadcast. 

Jeff Bonser, one of the team behind Leicester’s Sing Christmas, is hoping that in 2016, churches will follow Leicester’s lead inviting their local radio station to create a Sing Christmas community broadcast to enable many more people to join in. Find out what’s happening in Leicester at www.singchristmas.org.uk and listen in to the broadcast on BBC Radio Leicester.

Jeff has also used the Sing Christmas carols programme in Market Harborough this year. Churches Together partnered with Harborough District Council for the Christmas Lights Switch-On event in the Town Square. The Sing Christmas programmes were given out to everyone there and they all sang carols between performances from local school choirs and a school soul band. There was a ‘great atmosphere and outreach’ Jeff says.
Church leaders call for prayer at New Year
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, Bishop Eric Brown and Billy Kennedy, all of whom are Presidents of Churches Together in England, are calling on churches to start the New Year with prayer using the ‘Talking Jesus’ research.

TalkingJesusCoverIn a joint statement they said, ‘At Christmas Christians celebrate God’s great gift of love in Jesus Christ. It is a gift that the Christian church wants to share with everyone. At the beginning of a New Year, we ask you to pray that the love of Jesus will transform the communities in which we live and witness, and that our churches will faithfully fulfil their commission to ‘make disciples of all nations’ (Mt 25:19). ‘We commend to you the research undertaken about “Talking Jesus” as you begin a New Year of love and service.’

You can download the Talking Jesus New Year Prayer as a video, a printed prayer or as part of a New Year Prayer service outline – visit www.talkingjesus.org
Looking ahead to 2016 and beyond
HOPE isn’t prescriptive – but we do encourage churches to develop a rhythm of mission through the year, so key festivals become outward-looking, getting the Church out into the community, putting our faith into words and action.
Try Praying
In 2016 churches throughout the UK are using Try Praying in the run-up to Easter. Find out here how you can use it and lose it. 
crownRoyal birthday
HOPE, LICC and Bible Society are preparing an amazing give-away book for churches to use as the country and Commonwealth celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. Find out more here.
Summer street parties & festivals
Fusion Youth & Community, HOPE and CPO are preparing a great resource on how to run a street party – and Fusion are offering training days for groups of churches planning a summer party or festival.
The Heartbeat of Mission
Many churches are being challenged by their denomination or diocese to do ‘just one more thing’ in mission in 2016. The Heartbeat of Mission is packed with ideas. Make sure the leaders in your church and locality have a copy. We have a few copies left to give away – all you need pay is post and packing. Order online from the HOPE shop.
Using the HOPE logo

HOPE logo Colour-transparentCan you use the HOPE logo? YES – wherever you are working in mission, in words and action, do add the HOPE logo to connect your local mission with HOPE nationally. We are stronger together than apart! You can download the logo here.

If there is any way in which HOPE can serve you as we build towards 2018 – ten years on from Hope08 – please do get in touch.


With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from Roy Crowne and the HOPE team