A Christmas walk with a destination! From Sunday 19th December right up to Christmas Eve, the churchyard of St Mary’s, Shenley Church End will be transformed into a fun Christmas trail for all the family. Between 4pm and 6.30pm come and discover the story of the first Christmas, with nativity scenes and a downloadable guide, sparkling lights to brighten the night and small bags of sweets to take away.
Here are the Christmas Opening Times for MK Food Bank and MK Community Fridges.
If you would like to volunteer and could help Winter Night Shelter MK at their centre, Unity Park Station, they have a few roles that urgently need filling ready for their Night Shelter opening on 4th January.
Building on the success of last year’s debut Car Park Carols, Watling Valley Partnership invite you once again to drive-in and sing carols and festive songs to your heart’s content from the comfort of your own car! (Booking required)
The Salvation Army are looking for Transport Volunteers and First Responder Volunteers.
Can you help Winter Night Shelter MK to get the night shelter open? Their homeless guests are desperate to come in from the cold. Their overnight venues are ready, their beds are ready, their cooks are waiting in the wings. Right now, what prevents them from being able to open the Night Shelter service are some remaining essential gaps in their volunteer rotas. Can you help, or spread the word?
Here are some of the ways you can help local charities this Christmas.
MK Based Youthwork+ seeks to inspire and support churches, projects and Christian ministries to see more young people’s lives transformed and hopefully more young people finding a home within supportive church communities. They have a short new promotional film for sharing who they are with youth/kids leaders, churches, charities and more.
The theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) for 2022 is ‘We Saw His Star in the East’. WPCU is traditionally celebrated between January 18 and January 25 – the the octave of St. Peter and St. Paul. The materials for WPCU 2022 has been prepared by the churches of the Middle East.
Today, Thursday 25th November 2021, is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, and White Ribbon day. Here in Milton Keynes there will be a vigil at the MK Rose at 5.00pm to call for the end to violence against women and girls in our city.
Winter Night Shelter MK are desperately in need for more volunteers to come forward in order for them to be able to open the night shelter next month.
Bishop Mike Royal has been called as the next General Secretary of Churches Together in England (CTE). He will take up his post in March 2022 when the current General Secretary, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff, retires.
YMCA MK’s brand new project, tackling violence amongst young people, has officially launched within Milton Keynes University Hospital.
Milton Keynes Christian Centre are looking forward this coming year to serving the needs of our community. Over the next twelve months, they’re raising £20,000 for four specific areas. They want to show the people in our city that God is for them, and we are too – we are “for Milton Keynes”.
St Marks Meals feed hungry kids in Milton Keynes. They now want to give away the knowledge they have built up and train other charities, churches and voluntary organisations to do the same.
Aware that church is not always good at caring for survivors, and eager to create Sanctuaries across MK, St Marks MK have set up the Sanctuary Network: helping churches become safe spaces for survivors of domestic abuse.
Winter Night Shelter MK are so pleased to be able to open their Night Shelter again this winter, alongside several other elements of wraparound care, which will help to save and rebuild lives. As a charity they can only help the homeless in the way they do because of the good will of hundreds of volunteers from across MK willing to ‘do their bit’. They are now recruiting volunteers for their winter season.
A short resource from Churches Together in England to help local groups to re-focus and find new life. It is written by CEOs and includes practical examples.
There are Reflection Services being held across the church partnerships over the next month. These give an opportunity to remember loved ones you have lost, particularly poignant this year.
CTE Presidents have issued a statement following the death of Sir David Amess
How will the Winter Night Shelter MK be helping the homeless and vulnerable this winter? How can you help?
It is clear that this winter is going to be a tough one for many people. Winter Night Shelter MK are expecting a lot of demand for their services, particularly in light of the evictions backlog, the ending of the furlough scheme and the Universal Credit uplift, the worsening crisis in availability of affordable housing, rising energy prices and the digital exclusion of many people from a number of support services that have pivoted online.
Find out their plans on how to best serve those who need them this winter whilst keeping safety and Covid as paramount considerations.
10th – 16th October is Prisons Week. An opportunity to pray for all those in prison, and those who work in custodial settings.
Vital Signs MK is an annual publication designed to summarise the current research on the communities of Milton Keynes and present it in an easy-to-read summary of a much longer report. This year’s focus is Health and Wellbeing; Poverty and Disadvantage; Work and Education. It also looks at each area through the lens of Diversity and how different parts of our community are adversely affected to reflect the intersectionality of issues.
Welcome MK desperately need volunteers to help them maintain a daily presence in the MK hotels where the Afghani Refugees are staying.
As described at our last Assembly, the Mission Partnership is experiencing some financial challenges which have led to a review of the organisation. We were very much hoping to be able to share possible directions or outcomes with you at the Assembly planned for October 13th. However, responding to the situation is proving highly complex, and we are not yet in a position to do that in a meaningful way.
An update on Grapevine, the weekly Wellbeing Cafe Hub on Coffee Hall and exciting news of a new Wellbeing Cafe Hub on Conniburrow
Would you be interested in volunteering? Read this report from Penny Keens
A report on the recent Coat of Hopes events in MK, part of the Camino to COP pilgrimage
As we continue working to get Welcome MK up and running [see more about Welcome MK here], we have two voluntary administrative roles we’re hoping can be filled from people across our MK churches.
The crisis in Afghanistan and the fallout for people who have had to leave their homes has been devastating. Having to start up again in a different country is difficult for anyone, but for those that have been through this immensely challenging journey as a result of the recent events in Afghanistan, it is incomprehensively tough.
MK Community Foundation and Milton Keynes Council have partnered up to deliver an appeal aimed at helping the people who are starting new lives here in Milton Keynes under the refugee settlement programme to support the needs of our new community.
MK Council have recently announced their intentions to convert the first floor of the Old Bus Station into a facility for supervised overnight accommodation for up to 18 rough sleepers, intended to operate from November this year.
MK’s Climate Cafe is being relaunched this November! There will be a Green Fair with stalls, speakers and a workshop. Help the Climate Cafe raise awareness about the climate emergency in MK.
An update on the Afghani Refugees in MK including the launch of Welcome MK and an urgent request
Today, in response to the ongoing arrival of families and individuals from Afghanistan into our community, Welcome MK is being launched.
The primary aim is to ensure that all those who arrive into our community as refugees, asylum seekers or migrants receive the warmest of MK welcomes.
We had a good turnout for our Living Mission Event at the beginning of September, part of Bishop Steven’s Pilgrimage to Milton Keynes, with attendees from across our many churches, partnerships and denominations. We invited those attending to share what matters to them about mission in MK through one of our famous “dotmocracy” exercises applied to the 5 Marks of Mission. We discovered what can be celebrated, what we need to work at, and what we could do as we emerge into this new post-lockdown world.
The Camino to COP pilgrims will arrive in Milton Keynes this Saturday, 11th September, on their way to Glasgow. They will stay in Milton Keynes two nights, and depart to walk to Towcester on Monday. On Sunday afternoon there will be two services in MK.
The latest update on how you can help the Afghani Refugees in Milton Keynes.
This term we are pleased to offer 4 different coMPass courses:
* An Introduction to Christian faith and membership of the Church (Confirmation)
* The Sacred in the Secular: how do Christians read fiction?
* What is Ecumenism? A guide for the Perplexed
* The Trees of the Field Shall Clap their Hands… Quiet morning at Salcey Forest
We reported last week that many Afghani families had arrived in Milton Keynes with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. They are being housed and fed in a hotel.
Find out the latest news and how you can help.
Bishop Steven will be with us next week for his pilgrimage across Milton Keynes. Most of the events will be in local churches where he will pray with us – marking a blessing on our places of worship with chalk. Sadly, he won’t be able to visit every church, but will be visiting every parish, so everyone will have a chance to see him at some point.
This Event is part of Bishop Steven Croft’s Pilgrimage to Milton Keynes in September. It will be an opportunity to discuss COP26 and the way that local businesses, government and civil society can work together on the climate emergency.
Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, is undertaking a five day Pilgrimage to Milton Keynes this September. It will start with an event at The Church of the Servant King in Furzton on Wednesday 1st September entitled ‘MK: Living Mission … opening up the future with Bishop Steven’.
Many Afghani families have arrived in Milton Keynes this week with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. They are being housed and fed in a hotel. Due to the generosity of the people of MK, many donations of clothes, toys etc have been received for them.
Following on from a pilgrimage walk around Oxford Archdeaconry in 2018 and Berkshire Archdeaconry in 2019, Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, is walking and cycling across the three deaneries of north Buckingham Archdeaconry – Buckingham, Newport and Milton Keynes – over five days at the beginning of September.
We’re delighted to welcome a new homelessness prevention charity to the area, Depaul Milton Keynes.
Depaul UK is a national homelessness charity that has been running for over 30 years, based on Vincentian values. With the full backing of Milton Keynes Council and the Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership, they have been commissioned to offer two of their prevention services to MK – Reconnect and Nightstop – so that no young person will have to experience hidden homelessness or rough sleeping.
The Methodist Church Zimbabwe Fellowship is pleased to announce the opening of the new branch in Milton Keynes. The fellowship is a national organisation and a fully integrated part of the Methodist Church of GB. It’s role is to serve the Zimbabwe community, in Milton Keynes.
Thank you to everyone who attended our Assembly AGM in June which looked at the topic: “The Mission Partnership: in Review. Vision Purpose, Ecumenism. What do you think? and how can we resource MP?”
Our next Assembly will be held on Wednesday 13th October 2021.
Church leaders, leading Christian sports organisations and millennial leaders have joined with society to condemn the vile, racist abuse that was poured out over social media following England’s defeat in the final of the UEFA European Football Championship.
The UK Government has announced that they will remove outstanding legal restrictions in England on social contact, life events, face coverings, and the closure of venues on 19 July 2021. For churches this will mean that with the removal of legal restrictions comes a fresh set of decisions about what ‘responsible’ actions should now be taken.
An invitation to sew your hopes for the future on a Coat of Hopes for the COP26 Pilgrimage
Milton Keynes featured in a recent edition of the Diocese of Oxford eNews. Read about the new deanery plan and watch Rev Catherine Butt of St Frideswide’s Water Eaton talking about the challenges and opportunities of parish life in MK and how the congregation is ‘giving itself away’ as a diocesan resourcing hub.
Our Assembly AGM will be held on Wednesday 23rd June 2021, 7.30pm via Zoom
News from the ROC Wellbeing Action Group about a “Wellbeing Network/Hub” being set up, centred at Christ the Vine Community Church on Coffee Hall.
Churches in England have been strong supporters of the take-up of the Covid-19 vaccines, and as we approach the final push to vaccinate all adults in the UK, Revd Dr Paul Goodliff, Chuches Together in England General Secretary, encourages everyone for whom the vaccination is suitable to have their vaccine when invited.
At the June Assembly AGM we have the capacity to elect up to four new trustees to the Trustee body in line with our Constitution. Could this be an opportunity for you to come and work with others, to be a ‘critical friend’ in the life and development of MKMP?
Pray MK have produced some hard-copy resources: Prayer Walk Maps and Disciple Playing Cards!
Starting Today, we are delighted to be able to share some more Reflections written by Rev Matt Trendall. This series of Reflections – which we’re calling ‘Wildfires’ – reflects on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, from the first verses of Genesis, to the last verses of Revelation.
We told you in January that our gentlespaces initiative for bereavement support would be available via zoom. We are delighted to say that, with Lockdown measures easing, we are once again able to make gentlespaces available in the physical space.
Join Churches Together in England on 25 May 2021 for Candle of Justice: a moment of action – commemorating the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. The Candle of Justice will be a moment to light a candle, pray for racial justice and commit to taking personal and institutional action to tackle racial injustice in our society and our churches.
An array of senior church leaders from Britain and Ireland will call for justice at a national church service marking the first anniversary of the killing of George Floyd on 25 May 2021. Entitled Doing Justice: A National Service of Reflection on the Anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, the service will host senior church leaders and local Christians at the New Testament Church of God in Brixton, south London.
Constance Coltman was the first woman ordained in a UK denomination over 100 years ago. Constance, and her husband Claud, ministered in Wolverton from 1932 to 1940. Join contributors of ‘Constance – Pioneer, Pastor, Preacher’ for the book’s official launch on Tuesday 18th May.
Many of you will be aware of the ROC (Redeeming our Communities) initiative in the city. As one of a number of projects that it is bringing to life, the ROC Tele-Mentors Community Mentoring programme is aimed at supporting people going through tough times in our community.
There will be a local Commemoration Service for the Duke of Edinburgh, which will be broadcast from Cornerstone at 2:00pm on Friday afternoon. This will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, the Mayor and our two MPs – with contributions from other faith communities.
The Trustees of Milton Keynes Mission Partnership (MKMP) have decided to undertake a Review of the organisation
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement which the Archbishop of Canterbury is inviting people around the world to join. The wave of prayer will start on 13 May and run for 10 days between the Christian festivals of Ascension and Pentecost to 23 May.
This Summer we will be running two coMPass courses: The Virtual Museum: the Bible in (about!) 20 Objects and Approaching Creation: Windows on the Divine.
It is with sadness we inform you of the death of Rev Gordon Simmonds on 19th February. Gordon was the Methodist Superintendent in MK from the late 1970s to the early 1980s and played a significant role in the development of ecumenism in Milton Keynes.
At our Spring Assembly on Tuesday 9th March we will take the opportunity to explain something of Mission Partnership itself and take away some of the mystery!
The first Sunday in Lent always centres around those strange and disturbing texts in the gospels which tell the story of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. It has often struck me that there is a “fourth temptation” which precedes the other three and without which there is no story at all, indeed there is no story about Jesus at all.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, have issued a call to the nation to pause and reflect – remembering the more than 100,000 people across the UK who have died after contracting Covid-19, and all those who know and love them.
Phew! January has proved an exceptionally busy month already. Apart from the usual round of meetings, a number of significant projects are now launched or about to be launched. For ease of presentation, I’ll list what’s happening…
PrayMK writes: Let’s pray for our NHS. Here are some pointers written by a senior A&E nurse in a large teaching hospital.
What are your hopes and dreams for your faith in 2021? At the Mission Partnership we want to help you realise the best of your discipleship through a new scheme which we are calling The Vine. This follows on from our November Assembly when we explored intentional discipleship groups together.
Back in October we told you about gentlespaces, the network of bereavement support groups we are setting up across Milton Keynes. We are delighted to say that we have now revised our offer to make it available via zoom until such time as we are able to meet physically with more consistency.
This Spring we will be running three coMPass courses: ‘What shall we tell the kids?’, ‘Worship: a Spring Clean’ and ‘Being a resilient church’.
We hope you enjoyed our Advent Reflections 2020: ‘Hidden in Christ’. We’re pleased to introduce a new series of reflections for the Season of Epiphany written by Rev. Matt Trendall – Epiphany Reflections 2021: ‘Looking for Light’.
The theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) for 2021 is ‘Abiding in Christ’.
After our lively Assembly in November, we are following up the great enthusiasm we heard for being part of intentional discipleship groups. We have earmarked Wednesday 10th February at 7.30pm for a training session at which we will also launch a scheme for such groups.
MK based Youthwork+ write: “To cut a long story short, we believe God gave us a passion to be champions for young people and to encourage, support and empower work with children and young people. In 2019 somehow, we ended up in the right place at the right time (God’s timing!) to start working towards setting up Youthwork+ as a non profit…
Adrian Boynton writes: “As you know, we have just entered the season of Advent. One of the very special occasions of our musical year at The Church of Christ the Cornerstone is the Advent Carol Service, held on Advent Sunday.”
Not everyone is looking forward to Christmas. This may be a difficult time of year for you, maybe for the first time, or perhaps it always is. On 21st December Watling Valley Partnership will be sharing a video service called ‘The Longest Night’ – a space for you to be real about the feelings you hold deep in your heart.
Dear Friends, There is no doubt that this Christmas is going to be one of the strangest...
Under the heading “Crisis, Challenge and Commitment….responding to Covid 19” our Assembly this week explored how we strengthen our discipleship together by looking at some very simple questions which arise from the letter to the Colossians.
“Across the world, Covid-19 has brought much sadness to many. ‘On the brink of this second lockdown we might understandably feel helpless, anxious and vulnerable.’ says the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
In the light of the announcement by central government last weekend, we have discussed...
Vital Signs MK is an annual publication designed to round up the most current...
On Thursday 29th October at 7PM Pray MK began 7 days of prayer for shalom in and...
Our next Assembly will be held on Wednesday 25th November 2020 via zoom. The topic will be ‘Crisis, Challenge & Commitment …..responding to Covid 19’
In response to the Covid crisis, Milton Keynes Mission Partnership, an umbrella body for...
Dear Friends, In my last newsletter, I picked up some of the major themes arising from...
Churches Together in England have responded to their Presidents' call for real change to...
Dear Friends, Since our Assembly in July and the analysis of responses that emerged from...
This Autumn we will be running two coMPass courses: Why do I...? Hosted by Sharon...
Dear Friends, A time of transition is always a challenging time: knowing that the old...
61 people attended our Assembly in July, our first via Zoom. Thank you so much to...
Press statement: 28 July 2020 Presidents of Churches Together in England, named below,...
Rev Dr Paul Smith, a minister within Stantonbury Ecumenical Partnership, has written...
Mission Partnership Assembly AGM Tuesday 7th July 2020, 7.30pm via Zoom In preparation...
It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the death earlier today after a...
PrayMK is a project which grew out of The Call, trying to galvanise and resource prayer...