Grace - 2 September
Tuesday morning I returned to St Paul's and met Anna. I hadn't seen her for ages. She took the morning off to visit St Paul's with me, and then we went to Leicester Square to see all the theatres, and had lunch. I was very glad to have been able to make time to spend with my old friends in London.
Still negotiating trains solo, I detoured past the hotel to pack, then headed off to South Ealing. Met up with others on the train, and in dribs and drabs at South Ealing station. We walked up to the church where Grace happens for a chat with Jonny Baker, who helps lead grace and works for CMS. This is a group involved in mission, and Jonny manages some Fresh Expression projects, including Mark Berry & Safe Space.
picture - jonny, rob & cheryl in church in south ealing [pic: Michelle Coram]
I like the model of leadership the Jonny and later Steve Collins talked about - I wonder if the vicar could be more actively supportive? They seem to manage, though. I've heard Steve talk before about the open invitation to anyone who wants to be involved in preparing the spaces to do so. It works for this group, possibly because of the core key people who drive it without being identified as the upfront leaders. Their drive appears to be very enabling of others - great model, which I suppose should be adapted in other settings.
I became aware of the uniqueness of each community we had met, and the need for freedom and enabling in each situation from those who have power to do that, in order for the communities to flourish. That might be what the UCA should foster - an environment of permission giving, enabling, encouraging.