Author: Ann Harris

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Hope MK

Despite having more than 140 churches & a strong ecumenical foundation, Milton Keynes has been notorious for a lack of large-scale, city-wide Christian cooperation. There are some great partnerships in local areas, and a few projects which attempt to bring churches/Christians together but none really span & represent the breadth of the church. So when God gave a vision to bring together young Christians & churches together in mission to reach the city and Hope MK was born, enthusiasm & expectation was mixed with a healthy dose of scepticism.   The plan for Hope MK is to bring young people...

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Assisted reading scheme

Two years ago the Elevate project established the Assisted Reading Scheme to help students raise their reading ability, and enable them to confidently access the curriculum. Staffed by a committed group of 14 volunteers, and supported by a grant from MK Community Foundation, the scheme has helped almost 100 students, with volunteers having invested 750 hours. Each volunteer commits to give one hour per week during term time when they visit the school and listen to students read, offering correction & encouragement, and asking questions to ensure the reader understands what they’re reading. The scheme was initially run in partnership...

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Churches group for new housing areas meet Minister for Housing, Mark Prisk

The Minister for Housing, the church and new housing areas   The Minister for Housing, Mark Prisk, met four members of the Churches Group for New Housing Areas, at the Department for Communities and Local Government on 15th April 2013. The Minister, joined by Laura Wilkinson and Nick Stripe (Housing Policy), met Simon Taylor, Carol Richards, James Cassidy and Jim Currin representing the New Housing Group from Churches Together in England.   During the meeting, the Minister heard how churches inEnglandhave invested significant time, finance, building and personnel in new housing areas. This includes church leaders considering the new housing agenda,...

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Vital Signs

MK Community Foundation is conducting a really worthwhile survey on the city which will  help fill out the picture of what MK is like. Here’s the Press Release: Your Vital Statistics Are Our Best Asset! People who live and work in Milton Keynes are invited to take part in the Vital Signs MK consultation. The online survey asks for views on a range of aspects of life in Milton Keynes and the MK Community Foundation is keen to get as many local people filling in the survey as possible. The deadline for completed surveys is Tuesday 30 April 2013. The...

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Mission Partnership Newsletter May 2013

Dear friends, Not long after I arrived in MK, I discovered that one of my first tasks was to lead the Annual Reflection Morning for the Mission Partnership. We met in Stony Stratford over coffee and croissants and through the lens of the Five Marks of Mission began a process of bringing to voice the good things already happening here and discerning God’s call on us for the next steps of our journey together. Over the year, I’ve used the same approach around the different LEPs and so developed a platform to put together and refine a strategy for the...

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Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford plays host to the Queen on Maundy Thursday

Members from Milton Keynes were among the 87 men and 87 women who received Maundy money from Her Majesty the Queen; one man and one woman is chosen for every year of the Queen’s age. They each received a red purse containing a £5 coin, which is given in lieu of clothing and a white purse containing the Maundy money – 1, 2, 3 and 4p pieces, totalling 87p (equal to the Queen’s age) all specially minted for the occasion and paid for by the Privy Purse. The Yeoman of the Guard were present at the ceremony and carried the...

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Mission and the New Ecumenism

Mission and the New Ecumenism talk given by Rev. Dr. Roger Paul, National Ecumenical Officer for the Church of England to the Milton Keynes Mission Partnership Assembly 13th March 2013 MK History The Church in MK • A Master Plan – Build church buildings in new development areas • Ecumenical • Community centres – Do as much as we can together • Areas of Ecumenical Experiment – Unified oversight • Moderator • Coinciding boundaries 60’s and 70’s – ecumenical dreams • Optimism • Vision of Organic Unity – United Reformed Church 1972 – The Anglican Methodist Unity Scheme 1969/1972 –...

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Mission Partnership newsletter April 2013

Dear friends Change is in the air! With a new Pope and a new Archbishop of Canterbury, both bringing a fresh approach to their roles there is a positive sense of excitement, even in the media, as to what that might bring. Christian faith, of course, is in the business of discovering new life and fresh hope even or especially when things look bleak. I am reminded of Rowan Williams’ reflection on Easter as signaling a God for whom ‘no defeat is final’. In MK we have had, perhaps, an unfair share of ‘defeat’ with the loss of optimism surrounding...

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Keeping Romance in Marriage

Romantic Candlelight  Guest Couples   A group of 13 couples who were married over the last two years in the Stantonbury Partnership churches were invited to attend a 3-course slap up dinner prepared by volunteers in the parish. With their vicars acting as waiters, couples enjoyed a romantic meal in specially created restaurant surroundings at the Cross & Stable church, on the evening after Valentine’s. After dinner speakers, Revs Chris and Brian Howden, spoke about the 5 languages of love to encourage the newlyweds to enrich their marriages. The team of minister-waiters dressed up in DJ’s and a toast was proposed...