Oh I do like to be Beside the Seaside...!
A TWUK Workshop at Storyhouse Cafe, Crosby, Liverpool
When I think of Liverpool, I (Ros) think Beatles, football, cathedrals; I don't think seaside; but it was great to get some fresh air and find a friend.
It is wonderful to work alongside our committed workplace mission-filled Transform Work UK ambassadors, and Steve, with support from his wife Jan, is no exception!! Steve is based in Crosby and supports, connects and equips Christian Workplace Groups in the Liverpool area.
Steve organised a workplace seminar at Storyhouse Café in Crosby. It was a great venue for our afternoon session. Around 24 people attended, with about a third from Steve’s own church. It was exciting to meet others who had come from further afield, having seen the advert on Eventbrite. By the time everyone arrived, they had connected with Steve and were given a very warm welcome and a Storyhouse beverage.
Steve and Ros gave the presentation jointly. Ros started with the vision to see our nation flourish as Christians live for Jesus everyday. For many of us, that’s at work. Steve shared material from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity on the 6 ’M’s of fruitfulness stressing how individual Christians can make a difference in their place of work. He also described the benefits a group of Christians can bring in being a Christian presence in their organisation.
Good News Stories from the Workplace
During a Transform Work UK event, we always like to share testimonies of what the Lord is doing in other organisations to raise faith. There is nothing like hearing first hand testimonies!
Praying Health Visitors
It was wonderful to hear from Helen, who had experienced the power of praying with other colleagues from work and with a local church. Health visitor numbers were being cut as funding was reduced, but this didn’t deter Helen and her team. They shared needs with members of the church, prayed for months and, amazingly, their NHS trust ended up with more health visitors than any other at the time! Isn’t God faithful! Your workplace-related prayers make a difference!
Christians Impacting their Workplace
Steve interviewed Richard Denno, who, along with colleague Mark Farnworth from NSG Pilkington, told how their Christian Group had developed links with management and of the impact the Group was having on their organisation.
Support for Faith in the Civil Service
At the start of the seminar, Ros asked people what they were celebrating and what their workplace challenges were as Christians. Before the meeting, one couple in particular who worked as civil servants for national government were very downbeat and felt they were not able to live as Christians at work. (I wonder if this is your experience. If so please get in touch.)
However, after the seminar this couple thanked Ros, as they had no idea that the Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, John Manzoni, was encouraging people of faith at work to be supported, and that that included Christianity! “Recognising, acknowledging, and accepting the importance of faith, religion and belief, even if it is not important to you directly, is a key element of an inclusive workplace. I would like to encourage leaders everywhere to acknowledge and welcome the importance of faith, religion and belief as a part of our inclusive workforce in addition to all other protected characteristics (such as disability, gender)."
It was a privilege to pray with them, agreeing to allow the Lord to use them for His glory in their workplace. We wait to hear about the fruit.
Santander Group Reaches Out
Another excellent conversation took place with a worker from Santander. He meets together with 2 others at work to pray and study the Bible. After the talk, and hearing testimonies from others in similar positions, he felt challenged about his group. Could they be more inclusive and visible? Could they reach out to the organisation as a whole? How could this happen? It would mean a change to the vision and perhaps activities of the group. Again, it was a privilege to pray with this leader and we look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit will work in and through him to reach many. If you work in Santander please get in touch; we’d love to connect you!
A few more testimonies from the afternoon workshop to encourage you…
The Lord dropped a good idea into the heart of another delegate who invigilates exams at a local school. He got in touch with the Deputy Head the next day and suggested saying a prayer before each exam. What a bold request! The Deputy Head, who happened to be a Christian, agreed! A great example of teamwork!
A man came along with his wife. He’s a self-employed builder and wasn’t expecting to really be impacted by the talk. However, after hearing testimonies of groups using WhatsApp to keep in touch (because work-life balance has changed - home working is more common, lunch breaks are getting shorter) he went away with the idea of setting up a WhatsApp group for Christian builders, to support and connect in prayer. If you are a Christian builder, please get in touch with us.
There are many more stories that are developing now as a result of that one workshop. We are thankful to Steve for organising such an event and we thank God for what He is doing in the secret place in the Liverpool area. If you would like one of our Transform Work UK team to come and visit your church please do get in touch.