Manchester City Mission

The City Mission for Manchester based in the Windsor Christian Centre in Salford, has been a beacon of hope for the city since 1837. Its curent Director, Terry Durose heads the work in the city among homeless people and all who need to hear of the love of Jesus.

the dining area at Manchester City Mission

The three pillars of the work of Manchester City Mission are Incarnation – entering into the world of the people they are trying to reach, Compassion – responding to people’s unmet needs and Proclamation – telling the world about the unsearchable reaches of Christ. The three come together in the work of the Mission.

The home base of the Mission in Salford hosts the Narrowgate shelter, an emergency-access shelter for homeless people. It has thirty beds and is full every night, providing dormitory accommodation, showers, food and hospitality for those in need. Terry says that first thing the shelter offers people is an escape from the ‘fog’ of homelesness. By providing people the essentials of life, they can start to see beyond just surviving to a broader perspective in life.

Terry Durose

As well as its shelter Manchester City Mission works with homless people on the city streets, supports Iranian refugees, takes services in retirement homes and is involved in many primary schools in the region through its Groundbreakers project, which creates links between schools and local churches.

Manchester City Mission can be contacted through its website or by phone on 0161 736 7959. They have opportunties for volunteering, especially in their Narrowgate project.

Listen our Faith in Manchester podcast about Manchester City Mission.

Embassy bus homeless shelter

“God wants you to know that you’re valuable to Him”

In Episode 5 of the Faith in Manchester podcast we meet Sid Williams, who has moved from running the Eden bus ministry of The Message Trust to running his own homeless shelter on the Embassy bus.

The Embassy bus is a former luxury tour bus used by bands such as Snow Patrol and Coldplay, now adapted as a temporary base for homeless men in Manchester. Sid Williams says he had a clear call from God through a picture he received to serve young people and them to serve homeless people. So leaving a career in graphic design he moved to Harpurhey to work with local young people, and is now seeking to serve homeless men across Manchester.

Sid Williams of Embassy Bus

Sid Williams is full of stories of the people the bus has helped in the few months it has been operating. One is the ex-soldier with PTSD who has been helped into a home and a job. Another is the man who had lost touch with his mother after he had been in prison, but after prayer for the family his mother called him and sought a reconciliation.

Sid says it’s important the bus has comfortable features and proper heating. He says the quality of the bus speaks of the dignity that it offers homeless people. And the bus also helps volunteers grow in faith and in confidence as well as allowing people to spend time with the poor. The bus ministry is called Embassy because they are ambassadors of Christ and offer a place of safety and refuge.

The Embassy bus work is always looking for new volunteers from among the Christian community in the Manchester area. If you’d like to get involved or to find out more, go to http:/embassybus.org .

Embassy Bus

Hear more about the Embassy bus ministry in our interview with Sid Williams in the Faith in Manchester Podcast Episode 5

Manchester Street Pastors

“Getting someone into a taxi, before they end up in an ambulance”

Manchester Street Pastors are the presence of the Christian Church in the night-time economy of Manchester, serving in multiple locations across Greater Manchester as well as the City Centre.

In their blue uniforms, Street Pastors provide practical help to support people out on the streets at night, and someone to talk to. A night’s duty many involve giving a pair of flip-flops to a woman with a broken heel, giving directions to the train station to a lost visitor, or hearing the story of a broken heart.

Paul Keeble came to Manchester from Northern Ireland in 1978, and he was involved in setting up Street Pastors in Manchester in 2004, following the lead of the first Street Pastors founded in London by Les Isaac.

Paul Keeble speaking at CRE North

Paul said that people love to see the Street Pastors on the streets. He told Faith in Manchester, “People appreciate the fact that we’re there. Every time I go out with the team somebody… will say “thank you for being here”.” Paul, a part of Brunswick Parish Church, says the Street Pastors are motivated by their love of God and wanting to share it in practical ways, and also “to try to put across an image of Christianity and of Jesus which isn’t the one people will pick up from the media”.

Paul Keeble says Street Pastors is a simple act of “being there to care” and meeting the needs of the whole person, responding to people as Jesus did.

Street Pastors is now active in Manchester City Centre, North Manchester, South Manchester, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stalybridge and Stockport, Volunteers are welcome in any of these teams or to start new teams in other areas.

Hear more about Manchester Street Pastors in our interview with Paul Keeble in the Faith in Manchester Podcast Episode 5

Dana opens CRE Manchester

Dana opening CRE with CRE owner Stephen Goddard

Singer and former politician Dana, now appearing in the BBC programme Pilgrimage, opened the Christian Resources Exhibition on its return to Manchester.

In the opening ceremony children from St Leonard’s Primary School, Padiham, sang a re-written version of Dana’s 1970 Eurovision song, “All Kinds of Everything”. Dana welcomed a large crowd to the Exhibition and said it was a place she loved to visit.

Dana spoke to us at Faith in Manchester for an episode of our podcast. She told us about taking part in the BBC series Pilgrimage and opportunites to witness to her faith in words and actions on the walk to Rome.

Dana also spoke to Wayne Clarke about her singing career and the new commercial album she is currently recording in Italy. We also asked her about Brexit and as a former Independent Member of the European Parliament she has strong opinions about the removal of Christianity from Europe.

Dana delievering a seminar at CRE

The Christian Resources Exhibition was well attended, with more than 400 churches represented and included stands from 150 exhibitors and more than 30 seminars covering areas like cyber security and safeguarding in church.

CRE in Manchester this week

The Christian Resources Exhibition is coming back to Manchester this week. On Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th March you’ll find all that every church needs at Event City, near the Trafford Centre.

CRE North in Manchester 2019 includes a sold-out exhibition floor of 150 organisations including the Compassion Experience, CRE’s first-ever Study Zone featuring eight theological colleges, Dana in concert and several up-and-coming artists; Youth and Children’s Trail; Cindy’s Sofa; Brexit: Bridging the Divide with Andy Flannagan of Christians In Politics; Walk Through the Bible: every hour on the hour, and more than 30 seminars and presentations covering everything from cyber security to safeguarding.

Event City, Manchester

Faith in Manchester was there when CRE was launched by the Bishop of Manchester. The launch was held at Spotland, the home of Rochdale Football Club.

The launch last year was opened by Bishop David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester, pictured above with Stephen Goddard, the owner of Christian Resources Exhibitions, who bought the company from Bible Society when it looked like it would close. Other speakers on the day included Gospatric Hume, the founder of CRE and Chris Dunphy, the Chairman of Rochdale Football Club, a supporter and exhibitor at Christian Resources Exhibition over many years.

The Christian Resources Exhibition is the biggest show of its kind, featuring every resource that any church could need, from the roof to the hymn book, with resources for mission, music and much more. It has been called the “ideal church show”.

Faith in Manchester spoke exclusively to Stephen Goddard about bringing CRE back to Manchester for the first time since 2014 and the first time under his ownership.

Listen to the interview by pressing the play button below.

Oasis Centre Gorton wins national award

The Oasis Centre in Gorton, Manchester, has won a prestigious national award.

The local Christian charity, which supports the most needy people around the Gorton community, has won the top award in the “Best Social Action Project” category of the 2018 Christian Funders’ Forum Awards.

The glitzy awards ceremony was held on Wednesday 7th November at Mercers’ Hall in London, and the founder of Oasis Gorton, Victoria Armstrong attended the event. Much to her surprise she walked away with the award that recognised her work for the Centre as its founder and driving force, and the transformative work the Centre has done in Manchester.

The CFF Awards recognise and celebrate some of the incredible work being undertaken by churches and charities across the UK and Ireland, which has been funded by members of the Christian Funders’ Forum. The Forum is  group of executives of grant-making trusts and foundations, which makes grants of more than £30 million a year to Christian work. The Forum is part of the work of the Cinnamon Network, which helps churches find faith-based solutions to the pressing needs in their community.

The Oasis Centre has been working in East Manchester for twenty years to deliver a service which helps restore broken lives in the area. Work is about to begin on their ambitious million-pound new purpose-built Centre on Hyde Road in Gorton. This will place Oasis in a better position to serve the local community through the expansion of their current provision and through the development of new services for the local community.