Video: Beautiful Witness | 6-10

About Beautiful Witness

Beautiful Witness is a wonderful collection of 10 short films exploring what it means for people to come to faith. These films capture a variety of contexts and traditions, offering reflections and stories of those involved in a number of ministries. The Beautiful Witness project was set up by a team of practitioners and practical theologians, the hope is that it will generate critical discussion and equip the Church in its witness to God’s love in Christ.

To aid discussion around the films Church Mission Society have produced a group resource. In this resource you will find an introduction to each film, discussion questions and reflective prayer.  Many thanks go to Felicity Walters, vicar of Hadfield and vicar of Charlesworth with Gamesley, who has worked with us on producing this.

The second five videos, below, include some reflections on different aspects and dynamics of faith.

Beautiful Witness [06] – Journey

Thoughts on seeing turning points in people’s lives. Identifying important moments and steps in supporting individuals on their journey of faith towards Jesus.

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Beautiful Witness [07] – Community

Being part of the community, being visible in the community, finding ways to connect with neighbours. Being good news in the community.

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Beautiful Witness [08] – Leadership

The importance of leaders modelling the calling of the church in witness. Looking for leaders beyond the pastor teacher model and empowering members of the church to lead in mission and evangelism.

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Beautiful Witness [09] – Church

Being a welcoming and inviting church. Using festivals to connect and invite people in, and developing fresh expressions of church that connect with people and help nurture their faith.

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Beautiful Witness [10] – Children and Families

The importance of nurturing faith in childhood, cultivating spiritual development, and helping parents to support their children’s faith development.

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More about Beautiful Witness

In September 2015 a team of practitioners and practical theologians set up the Beautiful Witness project with the aim of capturing stories and reflections from those involved in ministries through which people come to faith. Filming practitioners from a variety of contexts and traditions, the Beautiful Witness videos offer reflections on ministerial practice and illustrate a breadth of understanding on witness and evangelism. We hope the project will generate critical discussion and in so doing help equip the Church in its witness to God’s love in Christ.

The project team identified people from a range of contexts and church traditions who could reflect on their own practices and on the stories of people coming to faith. During the interviews they were asked to talk about the context they are ministering in and to reflect on what they understood of the phrase ‘people coming to faith’. They were asked to share the stories of those who had come to faith and to reflect on what was happening in their context that helped facilitate this. They were also asked to talk about the relationships and connections between individuals coming to faith and the church, and the extent to which those coming to faith were integrating into a local church or Christian community.

The interviews were analysed by the project team with the themes drawn together forming the basis of the ten videos. The first five describe the general patterns seen across the different interviews. The second five videos include some reflections on different aspects and dynamics of faith.

The Beautiful Witness projected was funded through a Common Awards Seedcorn Research Grant, and by the Whitaker Fund through the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group.

These video are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives licence. You may use and share them freely but cannot adapt them without prior consent.

Project team

Laurence Keith, Research Assistant
Jamie Foreman, Dark Glass Pictures
Dr Cathy Ross, Contextual Theology Lecturer, Ripon College, Cuddesdon and MA Course Leader at Church Mission Society
Jonny Baker, Director of Mission Education, Church Mission Society
Rev Dr Beth Keith, Pioneer Curate, Sheffield Cathedral
Professor Pete Ward, Durham University

Interviewees

Tina Hodgett, Team Pilgrim, Parish of Portishead, 
Oliver Coss, Vicar, All Saints Church, Small Heath, 
Sue Butler, Pioneer Leader, Thirst, Cambridge
Ronan Walker, Prison Chaplain, Doncaster
Anna and Chris Hembury, Church Mission Society Mission Partners, Hull
Steve Dixon and Stephen Ramshaw, Church Army Evangelists, St Paul’s Community Partnership, Willington Quay, Newcastle
John and Jo Soper, Church Leaders, Exeter Network Church
Jeff Tuchings, Healing on the Streets Leader, Exeter Network Church
Azariah France Williams, Pioneer Priest, St Frances Church, Dalgarno Way, London (now Associate Priest, Teddington Parish)
Jean Elliot, Children and Families Minister, St Francis Church, Dalgarno Way, London

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    Theme
    Making disciplesEvangelismPioneering
    Audience
    IndividualSmall group
    Type
    Video

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