Church, Manchester, Faith, Punk

Archive for June, 2011

A hyperlocal city church?

In my last post I discussed the emergence of hyperlocal blogs and the affect they have had on mainstream media.

At CCM we have begun to talk about how we live as a multi site church. We have considered what our philosophy of church is, we have debated many different models and slowly we have realized that we just need to embrace who we are.

We are an entrepreneurial church. We love the new and we love to dream of the future. We are also a hard working church with many fully committed volunteers who give time, energy and money way way beyond the call of duty.

We have realized that we cannot rest on our laurels and that we must keep battling to see Jesus kingdom move forward.

We feel convicted to start many sites of Christ Church Manchester across Manchester and we want to see churches planted across the North West of England.

The sites of CCM will be focused on a locality (that can be a geographic area, a people group, a cultural group or combination of all) but will play a part in the whole city. The city church will be colored by the local and vice versa.

CCM:Levenshulme has a facebook page, a venue and a time to meet! All I need now are some people…


City Wide and Hyperlocal

At CCM we have begun to talk about how we live as a multi site church. We have considered what our philosophy of church is, we have debated many different models and slowly we have realized that we just need to embrace who we are.

So we have started talking about being a church that is city wide and hyperlocal.

Describing something as hyper local seems a little counterintuitive. It would be like describing an Ant as having elephant like properties. It is an oxymoron but it is a very useful oxymoron! Let me explain what I mean. Hopefully I won’t sound like a moron trying to explain an oxymoron.

The term hyperlocal has been stolen from the world of bloggers. In recent years modern media has experienced a seismic shift from the massive to miniscule. Blogs are remarkably easy to set up and run, so a huge number of blogs have sprung up run by individuals that focus on a locality. That locality can be a geographic area, a people group, a cultural group or combination of everything; these hyperlocal blogs are heavily influencing mainstream media.

However, it is more than that. This change has seen the democratization of news and media. People are writing about what they want to read about and other people are following, sometimes in there millions. The local is affecting the international thus “Hyperlocal”.

Hyperlocal is driven by passion, it is high maintenance but costs nothing.

How does this relate to church, in particular multi site church? More tomorrow.


Two Years In

So the Simmonds family have been in Manchester for two years.

This two years has gone at lightning pace. When we turned up in Manchester we had a 1 month old baby and a toddler, now we have a child about to start full time school and a toddler who likes picking fights with people twice her size (she usually wins).

Our time so far has been a ride that we never imagined but secretly hoped for. We started a church meeting in a vodka bar with about 8 people that morphed into a fully fledged site of Christ Church Manchester. We have made a bunch of new friends and seen people added to the church. All of these experiences are deeply humbling and happen with our involvement and despite our involvement because God is bigger, cleverer and more graceful than I am.

In recent times Christ Church Manchester has been growing and taking shape across the board. So CCM:East has moved into a school in Gorton and has started seeing visitors come along as well as a number of our Gorton initiatives get moving and see some fruit. The venue move was a strategic decision that has tied the two sites together and will hopefully strengthen us to go into the next stage of CCM.

CCM:City has seen a good flow of visitors and the mission groups have gone from zero to four in less than a year. It really seems like the CCM Community has deepened and our mission has become clearer.

Over recent months we have realised that we want to be a church that is city wide and hyper local. So we want to keep planting sites of CCM across Manchester. We want to entrepreneur sites in a broad range of communities and locations so we can see the gospel taken into our city.

This is all a very long way round of telling you that we are going to start a new site based in Levenshulme.

I remember when we started the Chapel back in September 2009 I always felt slightly ridiculous describing it as a church or a church meeting because we averaged about 12 people on a Sunday night and the home group I led on a wednesday night could get 20 people, and so I nervously describe this as a “site” because currently it only exists in mine and Vicki’s imagination! Having said that, I believe that for CCM this is the right way to do things. We are going to network, innovate and cook our way to a brand new CCM site in Levenshulme. Then we shall start another one.

In the coming days, weeks and months I am going to write about our hopes, dreams and plans for the next CCM site.


Cheers Manchester

Two years ago I wrote this post. I wrote it in my kitchen in Erdington, North Birmingham. We were on the verge of leaving our home, friends and our church to move into Manchester. We are no heros but our journey over the last two years has been quite something.

The opportunities and relationships that have come our way have constantly caught me off guard. In particular some of the churches in Manchester have shown us incredible generosity and warmth. My heart is cold and cynical so I have often found myself sat in a meeting feeling humbled and unworthy.

I dont often say this sort of thing but I do wonder if God has something in mind.

There is not a great deal to say, I just wanted to share the love!