Our diocese expresses our faith in God through work in high profile topical issue areas such as community engagement, social and environmental justice. We work closely with and develop relationships with partner networks to discern and develop new audiences for future engagement.
'The team has a range of expertise, as well as being linked into a wider network of diverse, knowledgeable, and passionate people. We aim to be a resource for deaneries, parishes, and the general community to help them fulfil their mission to work towards a sustainable and flourishing future. To this end we will increasingly shape our work in response to diocesan and Church of England priorities and in partnership with other agencies.' The Rev’d Dr Jonathan Arnold, Executive Director of The Social Justice Network.
Please click on a blue heading to see our projects and partnerships:
- Social Justice Network
- Overseas partnership Links
- Interfaith Work
- Chaplains and Bishop's Advisers
The Social Justice Network is an independent charity within our diocese that brings people together to share best practice and build capacity. Issues of low income, debt, lack of skills, poor mental health and isolation are complex and closely interlinking, trapping communities and individuals in a web of poverty. Our vision is to see all churches, in every community, coming together to tackle these issues through action, prayer and giving. We aim to deliver through innovative partnerships with other charities, voluntary organisations and local authorities.
Ignite is a Fresh Expressions form of church which comprises of 8 plants across our diocese and in Guernsey. It is a combination of community outreach and weekly evening events which present the Gospel in a friendly and interactive way and enables people not engaging with traditional church, to meet Jesus and have their lives transformed. Ignite Enablers work alongside people and seek to meet their needs contextually and appropriately, while presenting the Gospel in a relational way.
The format for an Ignite evening is low-key friendship-based evangelism and is often described as a Christian version of BBC’s ‘The One Show’ in its style of presentation. There is a mix of interactive discussions, table group activities, and multi-media audio and visual clips, as well as occasional short talks and opportunities to pray. This offers people the opportunity to engage their thoughts, and helps them to consider their relationship with God through Jesus. In this way, we hope to see people grow:
- as valued and accepted people in society
- by deepening their knowledge of God and how he is available to them
- as Christians – through making a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ when the time is right.
The Revd Carol Smith
We have a number of international links with overseas mission partners in Madagascar, Germany, Arras and Bec and work closely with them to ensure that knowledge and good practice is gathered and shared.
The overseas working group encourage others to engage in prayerful or practical support for partners and promote campaigns or appeals that come from our partner organisations.
The student population at Kent University is internationally and culturally diverse, with approximately 23% of students from outside the UK; a high proportion of the UK students from Inner, South and East London; and about 30% - across the board - identifying as BAME. Chaplaincy identity and services are delivered through a multifaith team, and interfaith planning/events are done jointly.
Our diocese has a team of honorary Bishop's Advisers who provide insight into the This includes advisers on
- rural affairs,
- black, Asian and minority ethnic affairs and
- GTR (Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities).
Anglican Chaplain and Dean of Chaplains, University of Kent – The Revd Dr Stephen Laird
This is a team of chaplains from across the world faiths and Christian denominations. There is a strong emphasis on offering worship on campus, as well as community-building and pastoral care.
Kent Community Safety and Coordinator with Kent fire & Rescue Service
Projects cover a range of community safety issues e.g. gangs, stalking, protecting vulnerable people.
Chaplain to the Port of Dover – David Slater
The ecumenical chaplaincy team is primarily for port workers (all companies) and passengers. Support is also given to the RNLI Lifeboat team and visiting seafarers. The chaplaincy is highly regarded across the port community and the Dover Harbour Board awarded the Lead Chaplain their ‘Meritorious Service Award’ for getting the chaplaincy up and running. The Lead chaplain is the accredited chaplain for Mission to Seafarers and the Sailors Society, and is the local representative for both missions on the Merchant Navy Welfare Boards Port Welfare Committee for London & South East.
Eurotunnel Chaplaincy – David Slater
There is effectively only one chaplain allowed on site. Pastoral support and visits are available to all passengers and staff. At times of high tensions, the company is happy to circulate the chaplain’s details to all staff.
Chaplain to Romani, Gypsy, and Traveller Communities – The Revd Martin Burrell
Our diocese is home to several thousand Travellers whose ancestors first came to these shores about 400 years ago. They are full UK citizens, though continue to live at the very margins of society. In more recent times many Roma from Eastern Europe have migrated west in search of work and a better education for their children. Many of these families have settled in the UK and made this their home. Whilst Gypsies, Travellers and Roma are not a single homogenous group, they all continue to suffer discrimination from the mainstream community wherever they go. When the General Synod of the Church of England debated these matters in February 2019 the overwhelming view was that we needed to do three specific things: actively challenge discrimination and racism in all its guises, press for the creation of more Traveller sites, and appoint chaplains to work with Travellers and Roma in every diocese of the land.
Our hope is to build our own chaplaincy team in the diocese as we work together to advance God’s kingdom on earth.