We hope you are feeling encouraged in this new season of work.
Even though there are challenges ahead it does feel we’ve turned a corner, slowly and steadily entering a recovery phase aware of the new opportunities, signs of growth and enjoying the freedom to meet people without the restrictions we have had to live with.
It is an understatement to say that the last 18 months have been a time of huge change and transition in peoples’ work lives. For Ministry2Business it meant a number of changes from how we hosted events, to connecting with people and our involvement at Canada House’s co-working space. The co-working community at Canada House was dispersed as people switched to home working. Positively, the co-working members’ businesses are still going well. Kelsall Architects have even established their own co-working called Mustard at their restored heritage building in Stockport. We pray that Naomi and Paul enjoy every success in their new location. Since April 2020 pastoral support and care for those who needed it was provided with a combination of phone calls, emails, zoom chats and walks with coffee!
M2B was able to host our invitational events online some of those are available to watch on youtube. This year we’ve hosted Lunchtime Alpha, Christianity Explored, The Generosity Project and The God At Work course using zoom and encouragingly it has connected us with a range of people. For some of the guests it was the first time they’d explored the big questions of life and Jesus’ good news. We know of at least one person from the Lunchtime Alpha course who has made a new commitment to follow Jesus Christ and is enjoying their new found faith.
In the context of the massive changes and financial challenges the pandemic has brought, in April, Manchester Diocese notified M2B that the funding for Pete’s role as Business Vicar was ending.
In the period of discernment and prayer that followed Pete was presented with another ministry opportunity – Interim Senior Pastor at Grace Church Manchester – which he has accepted. Grace Church Manchester is an independent church based in South Manchester, which Pete has been connected with for a number of years. A small number of the church family have been involved with M2B as well.
We are thankful for the partnership we’ve had with Manchester Diocese since July 2012 which has enabled a positive and creative engagement with the city centre business community. The Bishop of Manchester was involved with The Open to Question dinner with Prof. John Lennox and the inaugural CEO Sleepout which M2B helped arrange at Lancashire County Cricket’s Old Trafford Stadium.
We are also very grateful for all the support, work, prayers and financial partnership many of you have given over the past 9 years towards this work. Your generosity and courage to be ambassadors for Christ in your workplaces is deeply humbling and inspiring. For every invitation you’ve offered whether it was the Lunchtime Carol Service, a Faith At Work event, Endeavour Central, a Reason For God dinner, through to your faithful private prayers for your workplace or simply answering a colleagues question about your faith – thank you. However small it might have seemed at the time, it all counts in God’s Kingdom. The apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian Christians remain true for us today: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6
What happens next?
Following discussions with Derrick Watson (founder of M2B) and the Trustees, it has been decided that Ministry2Business will operationally cease at the end of October. The remaining funds will be applied, over the next 12 – 18 months, to support mission initiatives which we believe will have an effective impact in the areas of the workplace and evangelism. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit raises up a new generation of business people and professionals with a gospel vision to engage with Manchester’s business community and advance the gospel here for God’s glory.
Yours in Christ,
Derrick Watson, Hannah Khan, Keith Nelson,
Pete Horlock and Simon Leighton.