Sandy Millar helps Who Cares team say thanks
An evening of thanksgiving for the Who Cares? mission was held on February 7. Special guest Sandy Millar spoke about the unanimity of spirit needed to continue the work.
The Who Cares? mission has seen 60 churches come together across Norfolk in a mission that began by simply asking local people to share ‘what hurts the most’. They received around 20,000 responses to their one question survey.
The thanksgiving evening was held at St Thomas’ Church in Norwich and was well attended by people from Norfolk churches which have been involved in the mission, as well as some of the Newday young people who helped to complete the survey.
Rob Tervet, project lead, thanked God for all the churches that caught the vision. Rob explained how every person responds differently to the question and a common response is that people think it’s great that the church is asking this question. Many people have been moved, and many have received prayer. One person was taken aback by the questions and said, “I didn’t know that anybody cared.” Some churches knocked on every single door in their community to ask the question.
Following the listening phase, the largest single Alpha supper ever in the UK was held at the Norfolk Showground with 1,400 people attending. Hundreds of events, activities and new ideas have happened as a result of local churches responding to the concerns raised in their local areas. Norwich Youth For Christ (NYFC) surveyed 4,000 school children and the topics of bullying, relationship problems and death were raised. By way of response, an anti-bullying project has been launched and a remembrance service for pupils and their families to help deal with their grief is planned. Who Cares? has opened the doors to schools where previously NYFC has no access.
Stuart Bailey from South Park Evangelical Church spoke about Who Cares from a church perspective. He described the concept as a perfect way to reach out to the local estate of 1,000 people. The church held a holiday club and they also held discussion events to address the top five ‘hurts’. Challenging topics were covered, such as immigration. The church started regular activities, including a men’s group. People came to faith through these events, including Daniel, who spoke at the thanksgiving evening of his experience of becoming a Christian after being invited to the church. “I felt I belonged there. I knew without any shadow of a doubt that I wanted to become a Christian – and I did so that night.”
Special guest for the thanksgiving evening was Sandy Millar, previously the vicar at Holy Trinity Brompton the birth place of the Alpha Course, The Marriage Course, and one of the largest Anglican churches in the country. Sandy said that unity is a God-given thing and that unanimity of spirit comes from doing what Jesus came to do. “Christians tend to define themselves on what they believe. Non-Christians define us by what we do.”
Sandy spoke of church planting and equipping the next generation to reach the people around them with the love of Jesus. He said, “It takes a radical church to reach a radically lost world.”
The emphasis of the evening was to thank God for what has been done, although the Who Cares? leadership team were clear that this isn’t the end of the mission and are seeking what the next steps are.
Pictured above: The thanksgiving evenings. Below: Sandy Millar, image courtesy of HTB.org