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Durham Diocese students vow to use their faith to inspire social change

The Diocese of Durham has celebrated students completing its first ever ‘Action Course’, which encourages Christians to use their faith to inspire real social change in their communities.

The course is designed to empower participants to take responsibility for their actions, to grow in confidence, put faith into action, and deliver meaningful change locally through identifying ways in which they can help transform lives and improve their communities.

The ‘Action Course’ has been added to the national Myriad ‘toolbox’, and will aid the Diocese in achieving its aim of establishing 100 new church communities by 2029.

Over the course of ten sessions, participants will explore their abilities and community strengths, and their aims for the future. Upon graduation, they receive a mapped out set of actions as they commit themselves to inspiring positive change.

The first cohort of 20 participants from Sunderland, Thornley and Murton celebrated their graduation on Saturday at Carnival House in Sunderland. 

The Bishop of Jarrow, the Right Reverend Sarah Clark presented certificates and each group shared ideas for a range of community, social, and faith-based activities to put their plans into action. 

The Reverend Canon David Tomlinson, the course author, thanked everyone for their commitment to the course. He said: “The level of dedication that our first 20 participants have shown to achieve real social change is a promising glimpse into the future in our Diocese and how we, as Christians, can help transform our communities for the better.

 “Their hard work and tenacity, powered by their faith, will guarantee the strengthening of our communities, and I am extremely excited to see them commit themselves to using their faith to improve people’s lives.

“As Christian people, Jesus told us to shine, to blaze like a city on a hill, to be transformative. Participants will be inspired by these words as they think about the way in which social action is a vehicle for the gospel, and how faith sharing is a natural part of any authentic Christian activity.”

First published on: 24th January 2022
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