Peter Bates > Linking churches and communities

Linking churches and communities

This strand of my life is lived out through my involvement with St Nicholas Church, Nottingham since 1979 and on the leadership team 1984-2015. This is an Anglican Church in the city centre, consisting of people of all ages and many backgrounds who are drawn to St Nic’s by its warm welcome, vibrant worship, good teaching and its vision to make Christian disciples. Sunday services range from very relaxed, contemporary worship to more formal worship with hymns and traditional liturgy. New people are joining the church all the time and visitors are always welcomed. I have had the privilege of contributing to the preaching rota, and you can hear some of my offerings here.

There are more details on the church website.

If you’d like to visit, the church (pictured) is on Maid Marian Way, Nottingham NG1 6AE. For the nostalgic and students of social history, a small cache of old church magazines (1977-1994) is available here.

Participation in the church has given me an opportunity to work on a few issues and explore some fascinating areas, including an investigation of How to fund your overseas Field Worker.

Open Book

St Nic’s welcomes a diverse array of members into its Sunday services and fifteen midweek groups designed to connect with the wider community, including Open Book. This has been a wonderful place to test ideas about how to build community. We have about 25 members in Open Book, meeting weekly for an hour of conversation, prayer and exploration as we open our Book, the Bible. We also support other churches from time to time and partner with friends in Sierra Leone in a range of projects. During the Covid-19 pandemic we have met online rather than face to face, but our friendships and priorities have continued unabated.

Praying together

I have been intrigued by what happens when Christians meet for participative, spontaneous, spoken prayer. Lessons learnt over the past 30 years or more have been distilled into a Spoken Prayer Workshop that has been my delight to offer to a number of churches over the years. Please contact me if that might be of use to you.

Mental health and spirituality

In 2007, I published a short reflection on the similarities and differences between psychotic and charismatic experiences in a book on spirituality and mental health – download it here.

Nottingham Citizens

It has been a delight to see the development of Nottingham Citizens, a campaigning group of organisations representing many faith groups, businesses and public sector organisations who share a common goal of making the city a wonderful place to live. You can see more about this exciting national organisation here.