The Presidents of Churches Together in England, meeting at Jesus House in north London, signed a declaration endorsing HOPE, giving us the backing of all the major denominations. The declaration described HOPE as ‘a gift’ to the nation’s churches and a launch-pad for united action.
Yemi Adedeji was appointed Associate Director of HOPE to build strategic links with the Black Majority Churches. Phil Timson as appointed Youth Director to work with youth agencies and denominations, co-ordinating HOPE’s youth strategy.
An unprecedented HOPE Forum brought together more than 70 leaders from many different denominations, ethnicities and traditions of church at Jesus House in north London. Bishop Graham Cray and Pastor Agu Irukwu spoke, highlighting the need for churches to be seen to work together in unity.
The Hope Revolution Textify campaign helped young people talk about their faith with their friends.
HOPE began a partnership with Sports Chaplaincy UK and encouraged chaplains to hold football stadium carol events at Christmas.
Expressions of HOPE began springing up across the country. Preston launched HOPE with a city-wide gathering of leaders to celebrate what came out of HOPE 08, and explore ways for churches to work together under the HOPE banner.
Churches across Swansea joined together to provide rough sleepers with a hot meal and a bed each night during the winter with Swansea HOPE coordinating the project .
HOPE Cambridge brought together several youth agencies for a youth mission training event. Young people spent six days sleeping, eating, worshipping and serving the community together in Cambridge.
Young people in Cardiff and other parts of South Wales took part in IgniteHOPE, making a difference through acts of kindness. The weekend ended with an evangelistic concert.
A HOPE Frome coffee van initiative has reduced anti-social behaviour so much that Somerset Police asked for a similar scheme in Glastonbury. Freebies, fairy lights and a chill-out gazebo where passers-by can chat with volunteers are HOPE Frome attractions. HOPE Frome volunteers also supported the annual Frome Festival setting up and dismantling marquees, gazebos and tables, litter-picking and an Information/Lost Child point. The volunteers were well known for their fluorescent HOPE jackets.
More than 190 volunteers invested 2,500 volunteer hours as part of HOPE Brighton ’11, brightening up homes, schools and community centres. There were also street dance workshops, shows, football tournaments, food provision and a positive atmosphere. Members of Holland Road Baptist Church and the One Church, Brighton joined with a group from Wales, a group from Brazil to be part of the HOPE Brighton mission week.
The Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Olympic Torch Relay and the 2012 Olympic Games in London were key calendar moments when churches worked together to bless their communities.
HOPE provided free resources – our gift to the Church
Thousands of churches hosted street parties
750,000 specially-printed New Testaments were given away
HOPE’s Diamond Jubilee Grace was prayed as neighbours sat down to eat together
Special events were held in churches, care homes and schools using HOPE’s ideas
Churches were active at the heart of their communities as 8.5 million people shared a Big Jubilee Lunch together – Big Lunch asked HOPE to get churches involved.
Thousands of people signed a Big Thank You message to the Queen – every church or agency involved received a special thank you card from Her Majesty
HOPE’s Diamond Jubilee Souvenir mini-magazine was published as a giveaway to help explain the Christian symbolism at the heart of the monarchy.
Dozens of cities and counties piloted mission programmes, preparing for 2014 and a whole year of mission. Young people started training in Mission Academies and HOPE worked with youth ministries to mobilise more than 30,000 young people to pray and fast for the UK.
A new resource book called HOPE for Harvest was published to help urban and rural churches to make more of Harvest as a mission moment in the church calendar. With a preface from HRH Prince Charles, HOPE for Harvest included contributions from Pastor Agu Irukwu, Abbot Christopher Jamison, Rachel Jordan, Revd Joanne Cox and Mark Greene, plus a four-week Bible Study and dozens of ideas and practical mission examples.
HOPE Revolution Mission Academies were launched to see young people develop a lifestyle of mission, applying it to their lives, their school, and local context. The first 16 areas to sign up and train leaders for these learning communities were Chelmsford, Rugby, Norwich, Leicestershire East, Leicestershire West, Newham, London East, Canterbury, Hitchin, Cornwall, Cardiff, York, the Wirral, Salford, Manchester and Stafford.
At Christmas HOPE worked with 13 different football clubs, Sports Chaplains and local churches inviting fans to sing carols in their local stadium on turf where they feel most at home.
HOPE’s handbook HOPE – the Heartbeat of Mission was published providing tried-and-tested mission ideas to inspire and equip churches to do more together in mission in words and action. Before it was printed the Methodist churches had ordered 2,500 copies to give to leaders; they upped their order to 3,500 copies when they saw the book. Copies of the book were given to denominational leaders and 30,000 copies were circulated as churches made plans for mission together in 2014.
Ade Omooba of Christian Concern, a member of the HOPE Leadership Team, said that HOPE – The Heartbeat of Mission was an answer to prayer: ‘Everywhere I go to speak I take one with me so people can replicate the projects. There are so many mission examples in it.’
Training for 24 HOPE Revolution Mission Academies started with young people and youth leaders gathering from cities such as London, Coventry, Leeds, Peterborough, Tunbridge Wells, Newcastle and more. Local groups like Hope Cornwall receiving grants to help turn ideas into reality.
Mission Academy Live
Mission Academy Live launched in 2014 to empower young people as missional disciples within a small group context. The Mission Academy Live series of 10 innovative video-based sessions, focuses on peer-to-peer evangelism. Each session provides an understanding of today's contemporary context, with teaching, discussion, and testimony, all leading to a practical response. Through accountable relationships, this first-of-its-kind evangelism and discipleship tool encourages young people to be intentional, authentic, united and obedient to the call and command of Christ to be witnesses to show and share the love of God.
The centenary of the start of the First World War was a catalyst for churches to work together in 2014 to bring their communities together in villages, towns and cities to remember the fallen. HOPE supported local churches by equipping and encouraging them to give practical and prayerful support to their communities. HOPE brought together denominations, ministries and agencies to provide churches with ‘Greater Love’ resources, which were endorsed by HRH Prince Charles, and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
The free Greater Love booklet gave churches and communities 16 pages full of ideas for commemorating the centenary of World War 1.
A replica First World War edition of John’s Gospel was published by SGM Lifewords for use in schools and remembrance services.
CVM produced a Greater Love DVD pack with short films and interviews focusing on the sacrifice made 100 years ago and still being made by military families today.
Bible Society published Hear My Cry - an illustrated collection of Psalms, poetry, prayers and hymns for individual and community reflection during the First World War centenary commemorations
YFC produced resources to use in school assemblies, lessons and with youth groups.
A Greater Love website helped people find out more about the Christian faith.
Silent Night Carols were held in sports stadia and other community venues across the country to mark the centenary of the 1914 Christmas Truce, which featured in Sainsbury’s Christmas advertising.
As in 2008, we commissioned the research group Theos to evaluate 2014 as a year of mission. Theos published ‘A Year of Mission – an Evaluation of HOPE 2014’ which showed that HOPE 2014 had built on the success of Hope08. But it showed that we still had a way to go towards the vision: a legacy of lives and communities transformed by the gospel.
HOPE also worked with the Church of England and the Evangelical Alliance to commission the Talking Jesus research to find out what people believe about Jesus and if Christians were talking about Jesus.
In March 2015 HOPE brought church leaders together for a 24-hour prayer summit in the Lake District to launch the evaluation report and the initial findings of the Talking Jesus research. Leaders from across the denominations were shocked by the research findings and committed to renewed unity in evangelism. An oak tree was planted to mark the moment. Steve Clifford, who chairs the HOPE board, announced that HOPE would go on serving the church as a mission catalyst for another five years with 2018 as a focused year of mission.
Further, more comprehensive research was commissioned and the HOPE Vision Day in September saw the launch of the Talking Jesus report. Within a couple of days, the 15,000 free copies of the report had been snapped up as denominations distributed the findings to leaders to inform mission going forward.
The Servant Queen and the King She Serves
The 90th birthday of the Queen brought communities onto the streets to celebrate with street parties and exhibitions. HOPE, Bible Society and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity published a large-format illustrated book for churches to give away. The Queen wrote the foreword to The Servant Queen and the King She Serves and more than a million copies were ordered. Braille, large print and audio versions of The Servant Queen were available from Torch Trust.
HOPE helped churches to being communities together by providing ideas for street parties, and royal birthday-themed banners, posters and invitations, produced in partnership with CPO. We also worked with Scripture Union to publish a 12-page schools’ version of The Servant Queen.
Festival of Life
Roy Crowne was a regular guest at Britain’s Redeemed Christian Church of God Festival of Life prayer gatherings. These regularly bring 40,000 RCCG members together at London’s Excel Centre for a night of prayer. In 2016 the Festival host, RCCG’s General Overseer Pastor Adeboye, was presented with a copy of The Servant Queen by the Bishop of London, Rt Rev Dr Richard Chartres. Pastor Agu Irukwu of RCCG’s Jesus House told delegates at the 12-hour night of prayer how Jesus House was using the book and encouraged them to do the same in their churches.
Thy Kingdom Come
HOPE was one of the partners working with the Church of England to launch Thy Kingdom Come as churches across the country were invited by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to spend the week before Pentecost praying together.
Christmas HOPE magazines
HOPE began a partnership with Hope for Every Home to publish give-away magazines. Christmas HOPE featured celebrity cook Mary Berry on the cover. Many churches gave copies away with invitations to church services.
We began the year with a focus on prayer - Friday Focus prayers were emailed throughout January and February.
Further Talking Jesus research was commissioned to discover responses from 11-18 year olds. The results were published in 2017 showing two-thirds (67%) of non-Christian adults and 55% of non-Christian young people say they know a practising Christian; 43% of adults and 37% of young people say they believe Jesus rose from the dead; one in five non-Christian adults (19%) and one in six non-Christian young people (16%) are interested to experience or encounter Jesus after we speak to them about him. Adult practising Christians (many of whom came to faith as a child) said that the top three influences on them coming to faith were ‘growing up in a Christian family’, ‘conversations with a Christian’ and ‘attending a standard church service’. For young practising Christians the influences were ‘growing up in a Christian family’, ‘reading the Bible’ and ‘attending a standard church service’.
As a result of the findings HOPE, the Church of England and Kingsgate Community Church began work on the Talking Jesus course to equip Christians to talk effectively, naturally and confidently about their faith in Jesus.
Say, Give, Invite
HOPE encouraged churches to have something to say, something to give and an invitation to offer to people in their communities. HOPE published a second large-format illustrated book for churches to give away called Who Do You Say I Am? This was designed to help Christians put their faith into words as they gave away the book and invited friends and family members to church.
HOPE brought together the Church of England, Prison Chaplains and ministries working with prisoners and ex-prisoners to bring fresh hope to prisoners through Prison Hope. The aim was that each prison would be linked with local churches who could pray and support prison work. Prisoners were also invited to contribute to a book of stories, Bible readings and prayers called 40 Stories of Hope which was published in the run-up to Easter 2017; 15,000 copies were given away to prisoners.
At Christmas we worked again with Bible Society to produce souvenir carols booklets and with Hope for Every Home to produce a Christmas HOPE magazine, which linked with Bible Society’s giveaway children’s booklet and Greatest Journey video.
The Talking Jesus course was launched in the spring with several Church of England dioceses and different denominations giving a copy of the course to every church or parish. In the first 18 months after the launch, more than 40,000 people took part in the course.
HOPE at Easter magazine
For the first time we published a HOPE at Easter magazine with Hope for Every Home, giving churches a conversation-starter that was used to invite people to Easter services. The cover featured Prince Harry and the Invictus Games as well as his then bride-to-be Meghan Markle.
100 Days of Peace and Hope
In 2018 the country marked the centenary of the end of World War 1. Again HOPE brought together denominations, ministries and agencies to launch Remembrance100 – with 100 Days of Peace and Hope starting on 4 August 2018, 100 years on from a national day of prayer called by George V. The 100 Days ran until Armistice Day in November. Prayers and actions for peace were written by Christians from across the spectrum of churches and emailed daily to thousands of people.
HOPE also produced a pocket-sized booklet called ‘Silence’ to give to all those attending Remembrance events; 300,000 copies were ordered to give away as churches brought communities together for Remembrance Services. Many were followed by Peace Parties.
Our partnerships with Hope for Every Home and Bible Society continued providing churches with souvenir carols booklets and a giveaway Christmas HOPE magazine. The magazine featured an interview with Gary Grant of The Entertainer chain of toy shops and a nativity story using the cartoon characters which also featured in the shop displays; 10,000 families visiting the toy stores in the run-up to Christmas were given a copy of the magazine.
2020 HOPE for all
The focus for 2020 is on reaping what we’ve sown. As Jesus said, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’ Matthew 9:37-38.