humbler church Bigger God w/c Monday 16th May 2022

Monday 16th May 2022 | Church History Course with Ruth Gouldbourne

There is no meeting today, but register here for next weeks session on Monday 23rd May 2022.

This course provides an introduction to and an overview of church history. If we are to see a humbler Church and a bigger God, we need to deal with the history of the Church to understand where we are now, and why?

Please note: If you've already registered for this course, we're going to need you to re-register as we have a spring clean of attendees! Please email Shaun if you had already registered, but can't re-register! 

19:45 (BST) | Register here.

Tuesday 17th May 2022 | HeartEdge Wessex Day

Venue: Christchurch Priory

HeartEdge is a movement of churches and organisations growing commercial and cultural activity, compassionate response to need and congregational life.

As an ecumenical network, a HeartEdge Day brings together people to share ideas and experience, do theology and develop their church and community. The day in Christchurch is an opportunity to do theology, make useful connections and develop your own ideas for work locally. `

"The HeartEdge Day is a great takeaway - we came as a group and learnt loads. Some we will implement immediately - other ideas we'll be working on...." Feedback Newcastle Day

"Brilliant encouraging, useful day... We'll be joining..." Feedback Bristol Day

The day includes input from Sam Wells plus local practitioners - experts by experience - sharing their insights about assets and obstacles. This is about what works - and why, and the learning from when things don't work out. The day is organised and programmed locally, by practitioners who know about issues, challenges and opportunities in Wessex. All participants focus on learning and sharing ideas and experience that are transferable. It makes the day useful!

What is HeartEdge?

A movement of churches developing 4Cs:

Commerce: Generating finance via enterprise, creatively extending mission.
Culture: Art, music, performance re-imagining the Christian narrative for the present.
Congregation: Inclusive liturgy, worship and common life.
Compassion: Empowering congregations to address social need.
HeartEdge supports churches in reimagining themselves and society. This is about churches engaging in commerce, culture, compassion or congregational life – our 4Cs – investing in two, three or all four at the same time. We work with churches moving beyond conventional notions of church, being open to partnership and collaboration with others in the wider world.

HeartEdge is all about sharing, connecting, finding support and developing, at the heart and on the edge. People, organisations and churches join, identify gaps in their resource and find new ways of being.

Initiated by the congregation at St Martin-in-the-Fields in 2017, HeartEdge is a movement for renewal, fuelled by people and churches sharing their assets, experience, resource and need.

We are developing in the UK, US, the Netherlands and wherever it is needed.

Want to know more ? Visit

10:00am (BST) | Register here.

Also on Tuesday | Sermon Preparation with Sam Wells and Sally Hitchiner

16:30 (BST) | Livestreamed here.

Wednesday 18th May 2022 | Community of Practitioners workshop

Email our Sheppard Scholar, Shaun on to register and receive a Zoom link! 

We're reading Sam's book, Improvisation and are currently enjoying chapter seven! 

Sam's book 'Improvisation' can be bought here.

16:00 (BST) | Zoom Meeting

MAY | Theology Reading Group 

Sunday 29th May 2022

Join Revd Dr Sam Wells for our termly theology reading group, hosted by HeartEdge in collaboration with St Martin-in-the-Fields. Sam will lead the discussion and ask participants to share their thoughts and reflections on the book.

The book chosen for this Theology Reading Group is Thomas Traherne, 'Centuries of Meditations'. There are many editions, so be sure to check the edition you’re ordering, as some are much better than others.

19:00 (BST) | Register here

JULY | Mission Summer School
4 - 8 July 2022

Check out the website here: 
Register at

Engage more deeply with the theology of mission and explore how it relates to your own practice

The HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology Mission Summer School returns online this summer.  This year the summer school will focus on Being With and reflecting on being with God, being with ourselves, being with God together, being with near and distant neighbours and being with creation.  

With a mix of teaching, workshops, case studies and interviews the summer school will take a different theme each day.  There will be opportunities to learn and reflect on mission post pandemic, disability and inclusion in our churches, the connections between local mission and global mission and how we can have a bigger impact in caring for creation.  There will be talks from Sam Wells, Richard Carter, Sally Hitchiner, David Kalete, Fiona MacMillan, Kyama Mugambi, Sanjee Perera, Ruth Valerio, and a series of case study workshops from churches, organisations, groups and individuals to explore the themes in practice.

Each day will have a similar pattern with talks and case studies in the morning, and a session to take the themes further in the afternoon.  The afternoon sessions include a panel discussion, an interview, an introduction to the new Being With course soon to be launched, and space for small group reflection.

The mission summer school is a partnership between HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology which provides in-depth and experiential engagement with the theology and practice of mission.  It is aimed at practitioners who want to engage more deeply with the theology of mission and to explore how it relates to their own practice. For those already studying it provides an opportunity to be immersed in the theology and practice of mission. 

Here's some of what last year's students said about the Summer School:

'Having a whole week with a community of practitioners is very helpful. Key has been the sense of 'belonging' and underpinning of Scripture, and prayer. Worth every penny and more!!!' 
'This was a wonderful week to take part in.' 
'Such a rich and diverse program, it will continue to give for a long time yet.' 
'It was excellent - thank you. lots of different ways to engage.' 
'... challenging, nourishing and thought-provoking. Good learning should leave you with lots of question. It did. I have also made new links with people.' 
'I really enjoyed the diversity of voices that came through during the summer school.' 
'It was really good. I loved the virtual visits. They were all amazing.' 
'I enjoyed all of it - and thought it actually worked well on zoom.' Registration

£80 – Mission summer school (Monday – Friday, 9.30 am – 4.00 pm, Wednesday evening Keynote address)


Input structured around the six dimensions of Being With – God, Ourselves, God Together, Near Neighbours, Far Neighbours, Creation.
A mix of teaching and conversation with leading scholars and practitioners including James Butler, Richard Carter, Sally Hitchiner, David Kalete, Fiona MacMillan, Kyama Mugambi, Catherine Morgan Hickey, Sanjee Perera, Ruth Valerio, and Sam Wells, among others.

Group exercises to engage with the themes and issues presented.
Encounters with churches, organisations and projects (HeartEdge and Fresh Expressions) to get a hands-on feel for how it works out in practice including: Ascension Church Hulme, Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin Johannesburg, Milton Keynes Christian Foundation, St James Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westray & Papay Parish Kirks, and Young Christian Climate Network, among others.

SEPTEMBER | humbler church Bigger God conference
Tuesday 27 & Wednesday 28 September 2022

Venue: Ascension Church, Hulme Manchester 

This September HeartEdge welcomes Scottish hymn writer and Church of Scotland minister John Bell, Anglican priest, poet and feminist theologian Rachel Mann, Global South theologian Anderson Jeremiah and many other exciting contributors, for a two-day conference: “humbler church, Bigger God” – a gathering of the HeartEdge community in Manchester (27 & 28 September 2022).

The programme also includes Andrew Graystone, Grace Thomas, Molly Boot, Kathy Versfeld, Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams and of course, our own Sam Wells. There will be many other contributors, and every participant brings their own insights and perspective.

On the Tuesday evening the Conference will include, in partnership with the Church Times and SCM press, the annual Theology Slam.

The HeartEdge Conference is a practical, two-day intensive of ideas, theology and connecting. It includes workshops on enterprise and commerce, launching cultural projects, developing congregations and sustaining community response, plus time to make connections and find encouragements. This two-day intensive will pack in lots and prioritise practical input and resources.

Some of the sessions will happen in other community venues in Hulme or around the City Centre.

Further information is available from:

Ticket Prices:

Early Bird £110 (before 30 June)
Full price £150
Under 25 £75
Day rate:

Early Bird £55 (before 30 June)
Full price £75
Under 25 £35
For tickets go to: 

We don’t want ticket prices to be a barrier to anyone coming so get in touch if you think they may be.

For those wanting accommodation for the conference, Luther King House is offering rooms at the reduced rate of £40 a night single (£50 a night double or twin) including breakfast. Limited availability. To book, email or call 0161 224 6404 and quote ‘HeartEdge Conference’.

Published by

Shaun O'Brien

Date published

13th May 2022

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