A series of training days are to be held across the UK to help prepare churches to respond to the needs of their communities in 2014.
Fusion Youth and Community (FYC) is partnering with Crossing London and HOPE 2014 to offer the training, which will offer practical ideas "with the aim of getting churches and people talking and working together to connect with their neighborhoods...as well as reaching out to those who might never consider attending church".
Under the title "Equip your Church to be at the Heart of Community", the training will give tips on how to run events and initiatives that will engage communities and help churches to be fully involved in their localities.
Representatives from Messy Church will also share how their programme can be used as a follow-up to events as a way of encouraging people "to take the first steps into church", says Europe Director for FYC Marty Woods.
The 2014 calendar already boasts many significant events, which Woods says are a fantastic opportunity for churches to step out and meet their communities. The World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, the Big Lunch in June and the 100<sup>th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One each present "a host of opportunities to reach out", he says.
"Highly practical [training] days will help churches to identify opportunities, make their choices, and be ready for action.
"We hope many hundreds of people from churches across the nation will get prepared and equipped for a year of festivals, fun and outreach."
The following training days will be held:
Merseyside – Saturday 8 February 10:30am - 4pm; WirralChristian Centre Church, Birkenhead, CH41 2UE; Cost - £18 on the door, or £15 per person pre-registered (includes lunch)
Dorset – Saturday 15 February 10:30am - 4pm; St Nicolas Church, Corfe Mullen, BH21 3LE; Free event / no lunch included
North West London – Saturday 1 March 1 10:30am - 4pm; St Michael's Church, Stonebridge, NW10; Cost - £18 on the door, or £15 per person pre-registered (includes lunch)
Hertfordshire - Saturday 8 March 9:30am - 1pm; St George's Church, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 1BY; Free event
Central London – Saturday 15 March 10:30am - 4pm; URC City Temple, Holborn Viaduct, EC1A; Cost - £18 on the door, or £15 per person pre-registered (includes lunch)
Wiltshire - Saturday 22 March 9:30am -1pm; Amesbury Baptist Church, Amesbury, SP4 7SN; Free event.
South East London – Saturday 29 March 10:30am - 4pm; New Life Centre, Croydon, CR0 1XP; Cost - £18 on the door, or £15 per person pre-registered (includes lunch)