After being part of a similarly titled session in The Exchange venue at last year’s Greenbelt Festival, here’s a guest blog from our friends at the HeartEdge initiative at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London
Many churches struggle to cover the costs of their buildings and the ministry needed in their area. Finding other sources of income in addition to congregational giving can help significantly and can also extend the church’s engagement in their local community. ‘Churches & Commerce’ is a day at St Martin in the Bull Ring (Edgbaston St, Birmingham B5 5BB) on 7 March (10.00am – 3.30pm) for anyone interested in making churches sustainable in their mission. This event enables you to hear from people for whom commercial activities, including social enterprises, are making a real difference, not only to their church finances but also to their wider mission.
Contributors include: Allyson Hargreaves (Executive Director, St Martin-in-the-Fields), Revd Dr Richard Frazer (Minister, Greyfriars Kirk), Dr Richard Higginson (Director, Faith in Business), Revd Giles Goddard (Vicar, St John’s Waterloo), plus Anthony Collins Solicitors, Grassmarket Community Project (recently named Social Enterprise of the Year in Scotland), NexGen Marketing Ltd, The Bridge at Waterloo, Salt (the Christian Aid Business Network) and others.
The programme includes sessions on: Christian Entrepreneurs; Entrepreneurial Theology; and Structuring Missional Commerce. Additionally, there will be a panel discussion with entrepreneurs and small group input sessions led by specialists (on specific aspects of commercial activity e.g. structures, marketing etc or particular commercial opportunities e.g. social enterprise, training programmes etc).
HeartEdge is a growing ecumenical network of churches and other organisations initiated by St Martin-in-the-Fields for those working at the heart of culture, community and commerce and with those at the margins and on the edge. At HeartEdge, we support churches in blending their mission around four key areas:
- Congregation – inclusive approaches to liturgy, worship and day-to-day communal life
- Community – models of outreach serving local need and addressing social justice
- Culture – art, music and ideas to re-imagine the Christian narrative for the present moment
- Commerce – commercial activities that generate finance, creatively extending and enhancing mission and ministry through social enterprise
We support our members in finding their stories, sharing resources and connecting effectively with others developing their church and community. We create spaces where members give from their experience and take from others – an exchange that’s often inspiring, always compelling, and mutually useful for all participants. We want HeartEdge to be an essential resource and a valuable community, as you develop your church and neighbourhood.
We would love to see you at the ‘Churches & Commerce’ event.