Some recent beneficiaries of the Trust

Who is Your Neighbour?

Who Is Your Neighbour? (WIYN) holds conversations in which people are able to speak openly about issues like immigration, ethnicity, and people who are ‘not like us’. Most of these are in white communities where there isn’t a lot of day to day contact with people who are ‘not like us’ but where there might be worry about unsettling change.

In these conversations, people are taken seriously and their experience is valued which allows for openness, curiosity about others and questioning consensuses.

Our group of dialogue facilitators all have many years’ experience of working with conversations about hard things.  The facilitators share and pool their learning and experience and this develops and builds how we work.

WIYN was set up in 2010 in South Yorkshire, where most of our work has taken place.  We have developed our learning and experience during the last ten years and are keen to share it in ways that are useful.  To increase the impact of our work, we will begin working in partnership in 2022 with three national organisations, the Local Government Association, the Housing Diversity Network and Methodist Church Regional Learning Networks to embed our learning in their work and that of their member or partner organisations.

You can contact us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence, Bristol Baptist College

 

In an average year, 5.5% of adults in the UK experience domestic abuse. Sadly, the figures are almost identical within the UK church, in every denomination. In church as in the general population, financial, psychological, and family factors may combine to trap people in abusive situations. However, when domestic abuse occurs in a church setting, there are additional complexities which can prevent resolution of the situation.  Some abusers use the Bible to manipulate their partners into complying or submitting. Churches sometimes unwittingly exacerbate the problem by giving unhelpful teaching about forgiveness, divorce and submission.

With generous financial assistance from the MR Reckitt Foundation we will be creating a set of six videos for use by church small groups, to help participants become allies in situations of domestic abuse. This is phase two of a three-phase project seeking to address the weaponization of the Bible in situations of domestic abuse. By using these studies, churches will become aware of and resistant to the weaponization of the Bible by abusers. The videos will be  based upon the successful book The Bible Doesn’t Tell Me So by Helen Paynter, and presented by the  author, and others. For more information please visit the centre's website.

Together Free

Modern slavery ranks as the second most profitable worldwide criminal enterprise after the illegal arms trade. There are an estimated 40.3 million people kept in modern slavery in the world with 136,000 of those estimated to be in the United Kingdom (Global Slavery Index). With churches and faith groups increasingly encountering victims of modern slavery through their grassroots work with the homeless and other vulnerable people, there is the question of how we can respond? There is consequently a need to explore and develop theological and practical responses to the exploitation occurring on our doorstep.

The Together Free Foundation serves communities and faith groups in helping them partner towards slavery-free communities. This is done through training, developing resources and practical action. In partnership with the MB Reckitt Trust and their grant, The Together Free Foundation will develop an academic research paper exploring faith and grassroots responses to modern slavery. Two articles for wider readership will accompany the academic paper in order to encourage faith in action through responding to local forms of modern slavery and human trafficking. For further information about Together Free refer to www.togetherfree.org.uk

Christian Muslim Forum – Resources for Churches on Muslim life in Britain

Evidence from the Christian Muslim Forum’s work and from major surveys (Pew, 2018, reported that 45% of church-attending Christians think Islam is incompatible with British values) reveal ignorance about Muslims within church circles which can sometimes lead to fear, hostility and division. Commonly used sources of information about Islam can be misleading and existing material to fill this gap tends to have been produced years ago and designed for an already knowledgeable or motivated audience. Personal links are also an important factor in reducing hostility and engaging across religious differences on a realistic basis.

With the support of the MB Reckitt Trust, CMF will be creating attractive, easy-to-use, written resources, based on the recommendations of a reference group, and disseminating these through church structures across the country. This will be coupled with opportunities for churchgoers to get to know neighbouring Muslims and Islamic organisations through CMF’s national network. The result will be better informed, more confident Christians in their understanding of Islam, and in their understanding of their own faith, and who have taken up the opportunity to meet local Muslims.

website.

The Anglican Consultative Council - Gender Justice Curriculum Project

Gender-based and domestic violence are symptoms of unjust power relations between women and men. Other symptoms are the lack of women in decision-making roles and unequal access to knowledge and resources. Such inequalities are reflected in our churches as well as in our broader communities. Church leaders can play a pivotal role in teaching, preaching and modelling equitable and just gender relationship. Ministerial formation in this area is therefore essential.

The MB Reckitt Trust is supporting the International Anglican Women’s Network with resources for an international academic workshop in Kenya to finalise a curriculum for theology and pastoral skills relating to gender equality and preventing gender-based violence. The curriculum will be disseminated to theological colleges around the world and used in the training of ministers and other church workers.

The completed Gender Justice Curriculum and study materials can be accessed and downloaded here

The Centre for Theology & Community – Reading the Bible with the Poorest 

If there is truly to be (in Pope Francis’ words) a “Church of the poor” and not just a “Church for the poor,” then the poorest need to be speaking in theological discourse, and not merely spoken about. With the support of the MB Reckitt Trust, the Centre for Theology and Community is developing facilitated Bible Study sessions to bring the voice of grassroots leaders with whom we work more directly into the process of theological reflection. This will both deepen their own theological and spiritual engagement with the issues they identify as most salient, and will enable resources to be produced which bring their voice into the wider theological discourse of the Church – and which enable Christians in other parts of the UK to replicate the process.

For news and updates, please see our website.

LONDON HIV CHAPLAINCY - HELPING PEOPLE LIVE WITH THE COMPLEXITY OF HIV

Many people living with HIV suffer trauma both from being diagnosed positive and through the negative responses they have received from their faith communities. The chaplaincy walk with clients who suffer such trauma to re-establish their self-confidence, to enable clients to be able to trust again. Trust can only be built when our words match our actions.

Thanks to the MB Reckitt Trust the London HIV Chaplaincy has published a book ("Who Cares about HIV? Challenging Attitudes and Pastoral practices that Do More Harm than Good") about what the Chaplaincy has learnt since it's conception in 2003. It will be a must read for all people who offer pastoral care. Available for purchase though bookshops and on-line, details can be found on https://spckpublishing.co.uk/who-cares-about-hiv. In addition copies may be purchased at a discount for £10.00 (including postage)directly from the London HIV Chaplaincy by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coexist House - Climate Change among the Religions

Climate Change among the Religions: A Forum for Engagement 

Thursday 16th January – Friday 17th January 2020

In Partnership with Coexist House, St George’s House and the Lincoln Theological Institute, the M B Reckitt Trust is helping to fund a forum of mutual learning between and among religious traditions on the climate crisis which faces us all. The aim is to inspire fresh and advanced thinking, to bring about action from religious communities and institutions to make a profound contribution to change - personal, communal, social, national and global.

For news please see the website.

Article 26, a Project of the Helena Kennedy Foundation - Qualifying Opportunities & Quantifying Demand

"Since 2005, the Article 26 project has been at the forefront of a campaign to support the access, participation and success in higher education (HE) for people who have fled persecution and sought asylum in the UK. These students face multiple challenges accessing HE, including financial barriers (many people are not entitled to student finance), navigating the HE applications system, meeting the language requirements, trying to ensure prior qualifications and experience gained outside of the UK are recognised by universities, as well as dealing with the wider health and social consequences of displacement. 

Article 26 works with universities across the UK to create, establish and sustain scholarships for people who have sought asylum. The aim of the 'Qualifying Opportunities & Quantifying Demand' project, is to return to the roots of the project and the opportunities, which were initially created within faith based higher education institutions. Qualitative research methods will be used to map the inception, development and significant growth of scholarships for these students across the UK and explore the commitment and potential threats to their continuity. The quantifying aspect of this work will endeavour to establish the extent of the demand for these scholarships across the UK, challenges in collecting and collating existing data and develop an alternative methodology to record this information in the future." For further information, please see our website.

The Feast – 'Game Changers' Project

 

The Feast is a unique and innovative, Christian, youth work charity, that has been bringing young people of different faiths and cultures together since 2009 in Birmingham, Bradford, Luton and London. The Feast seeks to transform young people and communities of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds by affirming the positive role faith has in shaping their identity, and equipping them to find new ways to live well with people who are different to them. 

The M.B. Reckitt Trust grant will allow The Feast to measure the impact and demonstrate the worth of its ‘Game Changers’ project with the view that it can hopefully be shared and replicated across the UK. This project specifically focuses on young people in some of the most challenging and socially-divided, urban locations. The project integrates The Feast’s three flagship programmes; Developing Identity, Youth Encounters and Local Youth Leadership to support core groups of young people (11-18 years), who are initially resistant to interacting with those different from themselves and helping them become 'Game Changers' in their various communities. By working through the levels of personal resilience (Developing Identity), interpersonal peace (Youth Encounters) and community resilience (Local Youth Leadership), the young people will be supported to model how to live well with different neighbours, thereby challenging the often-dominant narrative of intolerance and divisiveness in those neighbourhoods. For news and updates please see the website.

The Centre for Theology & Community – Going Deeper: Engaging Pentecostal and Catholic Churches in Organising

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MB Reckitt Trust has supported a number of pieces of work by CTC which have focused on particular social issues. In each case, the Centre has both produced accessible, high-impact reports (such as God and the Moneylenders and From Houses to Homes) and helped churches to organise with others to achieve specific, measurable changes in policy. 

The Trust is supporting the Centre in establishing two programmes – the William Seymour Programme for Pentecostal and Baptist Black Majority churches, and the Cardinal Manning Programme for Roman Catholic churches – to encourage deeper engagement from these traditions in community organising with other denominations and faiths for the common good. For news and updates, please see our website.

Church Action on Poverty - Church of the Poor?

Drawing on inspiration from the World Council of Churches’ ‘Mission from the Margins’ programme, our ‘Church of the Poor?’ project promotes mission, theological activity and social action with people who have been pushed to the margins of society by poverty. They are not outsiders. All belong to the body of Christ, are part of the church. ‘Church of the Poor?’ facilitates theological reflection based on their experience and visions of world, with the hope that their contributions may help the churches to transform themselves into sanctuaries of love, justice and peace.

We look to support and build churches that: are interested in building the kingdom, not growing the church; listen attentively to voices from the margins and work to be visibly present to the community around them (especially ‘those who don’t sit in the pews on Sundays’); expect to be challenged and changed by their neighbours, especially by people on the margins; put an emphasis on sharing food and hospitality; and are hungry and thirsty for justice.

With support from the MB Reckitt Trust, we are building regional ‘communities of praxis’ to link together and support churches that are interested in taking this journey together. We are producing resources to help them reflect theologically on their mission and their experiences. And we are amplifying their voices and sharing their stories, so that we can challenge UK church institutions to place a greater priority on the poorest communities in their mission, ministry and decision-making.  Website.

Later named the "Church on the Margins"  this project produced a useful down-loadable resource document for the United Reformed Church and all churches to be found at New reality, same Mission - join the conversation (urc.org.uk)

Stonewall – Faith Role Models Programme

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people report feeling alienated from their faith, with some having experienced rejection by some religious groups, leading to many being disconnected from their roots and heritage. This can result in LGBT people often finding it impossible to reconcile their sexuality with their faith, feeling they need to choose one over the other.

Thanks to funding from the MB Reckitt Trust, Stonewall will run a Faith Role Models Programme for 24 LGBT faith and communities leaders to encourage them to think about their LGBT identities and how they can play an active role in furthering equality within their own communities.

The course is designed to create lasting change for both the individual attendees and for those they work with, providing them with the confidence and tools to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and to create inclusive environments for LGBT people of faith.

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