Resourcing Urban Mission 2012-2014   Jan 13, 2012

Pilgrim Church in cooperation with the Urban Mission Network and other agencies is planning a series of events over the next three years to help churches reflect on the ministry implications of the emerging post secular city.


There are many new pressures on city and regional centres to generate employment through an events driven economy. “Mainstreet Associations” of local traders across South Australia are exploring ways to generate a ‘sense of place’ and recover from the loss of community. New street programs, located in high profile heritage listed UCA buildings, have become a valuable resource in strengthening bonding capital and are safe places for hospitality ministries that provide face to face opportunities for strangers to meet and become friends. 

A two day workshop in 2012 and national conferences in 2013 and 2014 aim to generate an ongoing conversation for leaders of congregations as they meet and share insights about ministry practices and mission initiatives in response to the changing social context. 

Church on Mainstreet is a two day extended workshop to be held at St Andrews by the Sea Uniting Church, 92 Jetty Rd Glenelg on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th September 2012. The workshop will involve a wide range of workshop topics led by those involved in community ministry. Over the past 20 years or so St Andrews by the Sea, a Mainstreet Church, has been at the forefront of community ministry. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet leaders who have the responsibility for a range of activities that make it a very public church. 

Dr Christopher Baker of the William Temple Foundation, Manchester UK will be guest speaker at the second National Conference of City Churches to be held at Pilgrim Uniting Church, 14 Flinders St, Adelaide Tuesday 24th Thursday 26th September 2013. Dr Baker has researched and written extensively on the implications of the changing urban scene for the church. As Director of Research for the William Temple Foundation ( and Director for the Centre for Faiths and Public Policy at the University of Chester where he is also Senior Lecturer in Urban and Public Theology . 

Preliminary planning is also underway for the third national conference of the Australian Mission Studies Association in September 2014. This will follow successful conferences held in Canberra 2008 and Sydney in 2011. Information about the AAMS can be found at

Ways to contribute and keep in touch:
• The Urban Mission Network is setting up a Blogg for continuing conversation and comment. Contact Dean or Sandy to be included in the conversation. 
• A web site has been set up to resource and to keep church leaders informed about this three year program. 
• From time to time articles and other resources will be added to the Theology in the City page of the Pilgrim Uniting Church web site

For further information and enquiries contact 
Rev Sandy Boyce at phone 0409 283004 or 
Rev Dr Dean Eland at phone 0419 112 603

Dr. Christopher Baker, Director of Research at the William Temple Foundation, joined the Foundation staff in September 2001. He was awarded a Doctorate at Manchester University on the impact of new town planning on religious behaviour and belonging in the UK and went on to teach urban theology at the university. He now works two days a week at the University of Chester, where he is Associate Team Leader of the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology programme, and is Director of the new research partnership between the University of Chester and the Foundation. A new Centre for Faiths and Public Policy was established in Easter 2011. The Foundation has just completed a major research project for the Leverhulme Trust on the scope and impact of religious and spiritual capital in the UK Publications by Christopher Baker.

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