Archive for December, 2008

Home Start Manchester secure 270,000 on Family Support Tender

Home Start Manchester North and Home Start Wythenshawe have been successful in securing approx. £270,000 over 2 years to fund a half time Coordinator for Cheetham, full time Coordinator for North east, and full-time Coordinator for Wythenshawe Mcr City Council’s Family Support Tender. This follows on from the recent news of 5 year funding from the Lottery. Michael Harvey says:

“More wonderful news for North Manchester. It demonstrates the church in action through people using their God-given gifts.”

Back to Church Sunday in New Zealand

Nearly 1000 people accepted an invitation from a friend to church in New Zealand on September 21st 2008 and I had the privilege of hearing some of their stories. Not all have stayed but many are now attending weekly and exploring faith within the church community. Hamilton Cathedral in Waikato have 10 people who have been added to the church. The Bishop of Wellington told the story of a lady who did the church flowers for 20 years but never attended church, she accepted an invitation and is now weekly attending!

Prayer answers

* I did not suffer from jet lag despite most of the meetings being between 11PM and 5am UK time despite 13 flights in six days and 60 hours of travel to and from the UK/NZ
* Everyone of the 7 dioceses in New Zealand will now do Back to Church Sunday in 2009
* Every Bishop seen has promised to speak directly to the population of the area they represent in a coordinated effort to break the fear of a return to Him.
* The day in New Zealand will be lined up with the Alpha programme plus discussions with other discipleship courses like Credo.
* The Baptists of NZ are on board.
* The Christian TV and Radio station are on board and have interviewed me and will promote to Christians across the nation.
* The TV interview will be used to give confidence to invite.
* Ongoing talks with Presbyterians will encourage participation of at least a pilot.
* Back to Church Sunday will be on Sunday 13th September 2009 and it will be a major national mission.

Thought from the Trip

After flying the South Island we drove to the North Island of New Zealand beginning in New Zealand’s capital Wellington and by Wednesday we had reached Lake Taupo a former volcano now turned into a basin lake. Before going to New Zealand Sharon Stone had prophesised that on this trip I would not have to use a sledge hammer because God had provided the fissures. Gaps suddenly appearing in the surface of things breaking even the hard rock. The next major town was Roturua where Thermal springs draw people from around the world to take the cure. It was amazing to see boiling hot water forcing its way to the surface as one walked through the town. A town that suffers regular tremors and eruptions. Activity below the surface of the earth. The celtic Christians talked about Thin places where God’s presence could be felt intensely. As modern Christians we are often unaware of God’s presence and His activity. Modern Christianity resembles the ten spies who went to spy in Canaan. They brought back a report which said that we are grasshoppers in the eyes of the people of the land. They had forgotten God, they had forgotten His activity, they had lost His presence. They had forgotten whose people they were. They had forgotten their position in relationship to their Father. How different from Joshua and Caleb. They found His presence whilst the others didn’t.

Thin places where God’s presence can be felt and seen are more available than even the Celtic Christians experienced. he creates the fissures so His kingdom can extend. He walks before us, He walks behind us, He carry’s us, He holds us, He comforts us. His power is bubbling beneath the surface of our lives. He won’t force Himself on us but gently woos us into relationship.

Just as I walked through the town of Rotorua that evening seeing all that activity with my eyes for the first time, may my God bring you daily to the thin places in your homes, workplace, community and life. May you not have to use a sledgehammer to extend the Kingdom of God but may the small finger of your weakest hand find God’s fissures so that when you push, God’s power and ability will be released in ever increasing measure into your life.

Back to Church Sunday launched in Toronto

In October I visited Canada for 1 week to launch a mission to the church in Toronto. Please click here to see the presentation

Home Start North Manchester Major Investment

Press release – Home-Start Manchester North

Local family support charity Home-Start Manchester North is delighted to announce it has been awarded over £272,000 from the Big Lottery Fund! This welcome grant will secure the scheme’s medium term future and provide strong foundations on which to expand the service.  The funding will be spread over the next five years and the charity’s Management Committee, Staff and Volunteers involved in the scheme are encouraged by the news that significant funding has been made available to an area where there are real needs to be met.

The scheme, which is just over a year old, recruits and trains local parents to provide emotional and practical support to families with young children in Blackley, Crumpsall, Charlestown, Moston and Harpurhey. Volunteers help families who may be isolated, have limited family, suffer poor mental or physical health, need advice and support on housing or financial issues, where family members have disability or special needs, through bereavement or family breakdown.

Scheme Coordinator Shelley Byrne says; “In simple terms, our volunteers offer confidential and non-judgemental friendship to try and ease the strain for families experiencing stress for whatever reason. We are overjoyed with the news of secured funding, which means over the next five years we will be able to reach out to at least 185 families and around 550 children!”

As welcome as the news is, the scheme sees this merely as merely the beginning. There are many more families who could benefit from Home-Start support, and likewise an astonishing number of local people wanting to become volunteers. The Management Committee are going to be working in the coming months and years to secure yet more funding for an increase in the service provided in the current areas, as well as to expand geographically. “This is a practical demonstration on helping to release the potential of an individual” Michael Harvey Home Start North Manchester Trustee