16th July 2019

Deprived Communities ‘What about the poor?’

In Partnership with Renewal & Reform, Church of England

The Renewal and Reform agenda in the wider Church of England rightly challenges all church communities to give serious prioritisation to proclamation, evangelisation and growth. Some of the most successful models of growth and church planting come from affluent communities, and are rightly championed as toolkits of ideas and innovations to help others facilitate growth.

 A cursory scan of diocesan strategy information on their websites in the Northern Province in early summer 2018 revealed that only one of the twelve Northern dioceses included any intentional proclamation of the gospel and provision of sacramental ministry in deprived communities. Diocesan budgets across post-industrial dioceses are beginning to show huge strain, and traditional models of stipendiary ministry are increasingly untenable, making the poorest parish communities the most vulnerable to amalgamation and closure. What does it say about the Church of England if we do not ring fence investment and prioritise this work in the poorest communities of our mission field. In an era of declining stipendiary posts and financial challenges, surely those who are least able to nurture within themselves vocations and financial resources without support are the ones that ought to be imaginatively protected. It is in these very communities that the greatest need for knowing and hearing about the transformative power of God, to encounter repentance and forgiveness, to understand about new life in Christ, needs to be heard.

Reflecting the work of the Reform and Renewal Estates Evangelism Task Group, the Coastal Towns initiative, and the Low Income Communities Funding review work, this timely consultation intends to raise the statistical and theological implications of the consequence of prioritizing investment of stipendiary resources in the communities most likely to grow numerically and to produce the most return financially.  It allows us to ask the questions of whether abandoning the poorest communities to find the gospel and the sacraments themselves is acceptable and intentional, and to begin to formulate a response.

10th June 2019

Local Leadership in a Cyber Society 3: Building Resilience Together – Lessons for the future

In partnership with National Cyber Security Programme-Local, Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security (RISCS) and INetwork

Our consultation looked in depth at the emerging research and cyber exercising techniques, examined the impact of cyber-attacks on local communities and heard from senior leaders, policy makers and practitioners on how they are using the lessons to be learnt to build local resilience for the future.

The rapid pace of technical change is creating new opportunities for greater efficiency and effectiveness. These include more engaging and efficient digital services, new ways to work remotely and to store or transfer data such as mobile devices and cloud services. The seriousness of this challenge has been brought home recently by the UK and its allies exposing a campaign by the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, of indiscriminate and reckless cyber-attacks targeting political institutions, businesses, media and sport.

15th May 2019

Civic virtues in the public domain

The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues consulted a select group about the place and role of civic virtues in the public domain.  This will be an opportunity for individuals to share their knowledge and experience in this area and to participate in the development of a new Statement on Civic Virtues in the Public Domain.

1st April 2019

The Theology of Governance in a Cathedrals Context

Supported by The Church Commissioners

As part of the follow up to the Cathedrals Working Group (CWG), the Third Church Estates Commissioner, in partnership with St George’s House, hosted a consultation on 1st – 2nd April to discuss the theology of governance in a cathedrals context. The consultation was designed to facilitate a conversation between those deans selected by their peers to discuss what theology has to say on the topic of cathedral governance. 

The idea was to use the principles or criteria that emerged to inform a critique of the CWG proposals, with a view to recommending appropriate changes to Synod both through a resulting GSMisc and through the Synodical process.

28th March 2019

Faith and Artificial Intelligence 2

In partnership with Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence

This two-day workshop bought together 30 faith community leaders, scholars and policy-makers, to explore faith perspectives on emerging technologies of Artificial Intelligence, and help religious stakeholders to feedback to their communities who might have questions about the future of the technology and their religion.

 

Understanding the Prevent Strategy
20th March 2019

Understanding the Prevent Strategy: on paper, in practice, in public perception

The Prevent Strategy, set up in 2006 and reviewed in 2011 and 2018, aims to prevent terrorism by targeting people who are deemed vulnerable to radicalisation and is an extremely contested arm of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. It.

In a 2017 House of Commons debate James Berry, MP described the ‘two polar opposite views’ on Prevent: one that sees it as an essential and inviolable tool in the fight against terrorism; the other that criticizes its perceived targeting of Muslims and potential to erode rights to privacy and confidentiality. The conflict between these two interpretations is exacerbated by factors including the difficulty in defining radicalization and the lack of concrete information on Prevent referrals due to the confidential nature of its service. In addition, the claim that Prevent has a safeguarding function has been criticized due to a fear that it will lead to securitization of essential services such as health and social care. How is Prevent interacting with these concerns and challenges? Is it effective and fair and what steps can be taken to make it more so? Thought and discussion are needed to answer these questions.

Impacting Learning Outcomes Through Space Design
21st February 2019

Impacting Learning Outcomes Through Space Design: Methods for Now and the Future

In partnership with Herman Miller

Participants explored the notion that active learning spaces and respective pedagogies directly impact learning outcomes. These outcomes are typically considered in, for example, the areas of progress in student grades, user satisfaction, and sustainable design. Participants will however also investigate learning space design and its impact on student skills development, and how we can best evidence and present this at our organisations and universities.

 

The Future of Urban Living
13th December 2018

The Future of Urban Living

In partnership with Future iQ

The future of urban living is an increasingly critical issue given population trends which show more and more people becoming urban dwellers. Cities and their inhabitants are becoming one of the most influential factors shaping the future of the planet.

On the current trajectory, by 2050 the urban population is estimated to be 6.3 billion (66% of the world’s projected population). Currently 54% of the global population already live in cities. With a further three million people per week moving to urban centres, the future of urban living is an issue we needed to explore in depth and prepare for creatively and pragmatically.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

Rehabilitation of Offenders
4th December 2018

Rehabilitation of Offenders

In partnership with the High Sheriff of The Royal County of Berkshire

This Consultation looked in depth at issues surrounding the rehabilitation of offenders. The focus was on both local and national with an emphasis on examining ways in which ex-offenders gain employment or secure self-employment.

Other issues relevant to the transition from prison to civilian life such as mental health, alcohol and drug dependence, featured in our discussions but the transition to employment was our major concern.

We wished to highlight and learn from successful local and national initiatives in this field, identify gaps in provision, and explore ways in which knowledge, expertise and best practice might be more widely shared. From a local perspective, the consultation seeked to identify a range of initiatives aimed at the rehabilitation of offenders that might be usefully implemented in Berkshire.

The full report from the consultation can be read here

Effective Solutions to Organised Gang Violence, St George's House
28th November 2018

Equity and Integration – driving effective solutions to organised gang violence and criminality

In partnership with NHS England South East and Excelsior Safeguarding

Gang violence and criminality is both a global and a national issue, much of it grounded in exploitation. In November we hosted a twenty-four hour Consultation focused on finding solutions to this pervasive problem. Our primary focus was on transforming health services and systems to better identify, support and safeguard our most vulnerable clients ‘at risk’ from gangs, drugs, violence and other forms of exploitation.