Medhurst Ministries is a ministry of New Life Church, Middlesbrough (North East England) that seeks to take the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the council estates across the North of England.
Why the North of England?
The North of England is made up of three regions, the North East, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. Historically the North of England was known as the "Engine Room" of the United Kingdom. Heavy industry such as ship building, coal mining and steel mills brought local employment and national wealth.
However, since the 1980's, the heavy industry has almost vanished and we have seen the majority of ship yards, steel mills and coal mines shut down. With the death of the industry came mass unemployment, from which many areas of the North of England still haven't recovered. This has led to commentators saying that "Economically, socially and politically the North is becoming another country."
There are some areas in the north of England that have recovered and are experiencing social and economic growth, but this is few and far between. Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield, says that the difference is that, in the north, there are “islands of affluence in a sea of poverty”. In the south, the sea is of affluence. And the contrast is growing.
Not only are we seeing disparity socially, economically and politically, between the north and south of England we are also seeing a spiritual gap widening. In the north, falling church attendance has seen many churches reflect the industry and die and those that are still open are struggling to attract ministers and gospel workers to the area.
This means that along with the growing financial and social poverty the North of England is suffering from a spiritual poverty, especially amongst the poor and working class on the council estates .
We believe that the only way to address this problem is through the planting and revitalisation of council estate churches across the North of England. Medhurst Ministries is a ministry of a local church, which has been developed to support, plant and revitalise other local churches through: