Growing well

We have two new projects coming on line for Streetspace in the next few weeks, and I am still following up the other 30 odd enquiries. FYT also have two new posts with the out for good project.
Out4Good Project – working with and for ex-offenders

Project Leader and Project Worker posts

With 3 years of BIG Lottery Funding Frontier Youth Trust is taking the Out4Good Project (O4G) into its next chapter by recruiting these two key positions. O4G provides a sharp and challenging picture of how young people/adults who are ‘ex-offenders’ might be enabled to make the crucial transition from incarceration to a full and meaningful life back in the community.

With several years track record of success the project team will;
Work with young adults from prisons – supporting them to ensure that they don’t return to prison.
Develop creative housing responses for those young adults
Recruit and train mentors and ensure that young adults from prisons are able to find meaningful and purposeful activity
The workers will be based from home and will work in the Colchester area

Interviews for the Project Leader Post will be: May 21st 2010
Interviews for the Project Worker Post will be: 16th or 17th June 2010
Closing date for applications: Project leader (May 7th) and Project worker (7th June)

Salaries for these posts are Project Leader (£25,134) and Project Worker (£15,300). An application form and further details can be obtained from: Frontier Youth Trust, Unit 306f, The Big Peg, 120 Vyse Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B18 6NF, Tel: 0121 687 3505. E-mail:



Dave Wiles has finished the book that he started writing 3 years ago!! It is called ‘Stories from the Edge’ – the book is an attempt to challenge, inspire and encourage people who work with other people (especially youth and community workers). It contains some of his own story and lots of the stories of people who are active in youth and community work.

More detail about the book below with some endorsements – To order a copy (£10 plus £2 p&p) please phone 0121 687 3505 or e-mail: … or you can purchase via the FYT website.

STORIES FROM THE EDGE – Over 50 encounters with young people at risk: A practical resource for youth workers

By: Dave Wiles, CEO, Frontier Youth Trust

Foreword by: Adrian and Bridget Plass

These true stories are instructive, inspiring, arresting and shocking. Meet the 16-year-old on probation, who is on suicide watch; mediate between a rebellious youngster and his too-strict dad; listen to a 21-year-old girl, with two children in care, who works the street to pay for the heroin her father deals. Each chapter follows a particular theme, such as ‘Dads and Lads’ or ‘Youth Culture and Gangs’, and ends with points for discussion.

“Stories from the Edge shows us where God’s Kingdom can truly be found …This is invaluable for those who are engaged in ‘frontier’ youth work.” – Nick Shepherd, Centre for Youth Ministry

“Thank God for Dave Wiles, a bruised human being who understands through troubles in his own life and through his involvement in the battered lives of others, that Christianity is a messy business.” – Adrian and Bridget Plass, in their foreword

“Dave not only practises what he talks about, his own story shows the impact that can be made. A moving, challenging and motivating read.” – Tim Evans, Worth Unlimited

“Be warned – this book doesn’t hold back; it is not a gentle read! Instead, it is full of tough stories and the reality of the lives of young people on the edge. The brilliance of the book is in the questions – challenging the assumptions we have when working with young people and encouraging us to be people of grace and hope.” – Jill Rowe, Oasis

“An amazing collection of stories … A refreshingly honest and down to earth read for anyone who shares Jesus’ heart for people on the margins.” – Gavin Calver, Youth for Christ

“Everyone loves a good story and this book is packed with them – stories that challenge, inspire, shock and pull the rug from under your feet. It had me gripped.” – Jonny Baker, Church Mission Society

Illustrated by Jon Birch, www.


I have been reflecting around the issue of Flow and christology recently. Jonny pointed me to this great article “God inside out – towards a mission theology of the Holy Spirit”. It challenges the adage that the father sends the son – the Father and son send the spirit – and the trinity sends the church and unpacks the centrality of the spirit.

The article started me thinking about the Trinity as an echo. For a while now I have had the vague idea of church being an echo of the trinity of coming from God and continuing in the unfolding revelation of God. (if the spirit sends the church what does this say about the divine nature of the church).

The reduction of G-d to the trinity is problematic and avoids the transcendent nature of G-d beyond our understandings (not mention the other characteristics of God within the biblical narrative that do not readily fit the Father Son Spirit image).

G-d echos through the creation, all our images and encounters are echos of G-d that we are swept up with (missio dei) and join the echo of G-d towards the fulfillment of creation. The power of the echo can transcend the blocks of institutions and break beyond the walls of our imaginings, it calls us forward, beyond and out of what we know, to be more and less (at times) of what we are, towards unity as the bride of christ.

Unprepared a way to prepare for mission?

Officially StreetSpace starts this week as a national project. It is with some trepidation that I left the securer role of my split post with BCYM to take on the task of developing 36 new Streetspace/ Church on the edge projects. Whilst my funding is reasonably secure for the next two years, beyond that depends on the take up. I always found risk easier and certainly more fun when I was younger and never know quite what to think when people say they need this or that to get going. My first role was nonsalaried and I lived in a shed for a year responding to a need I identified in my dissertation – Was I naive, or am I now just old? Trying to follow what God is already doing – to an extent feels less risky and is very reassuring when stepping out. Perhaps this is the difference – the see a need meet a need demands a different kind of step to the one I am currently taking.
So what should my preparations be? I have spent the last few months positioning the project between the missional intentions of the churches/localities and the funding streams available. Knocking the paperwork into shape and setting up the first few months meetings. Even though it has been clear to see God in the process so far I still feel unprepared.

My role is about finding what God is already doing and helping others sniff this out in their localities. Using Streetspace positioning where needed or coaching others to develop their missional instincts. The meet the need see the need and where I am perhaps aren’t that different – both are off the map, where the easy to spot pathways are nowhere to be seen, where following the spirit moment by moment is the only way to go. This openness and freedom can be daunting but is the heart of mission so my preparations are to, forget the maps, ditch the compass and to travel Light and remain unprepared otherwise I am likely to miss out the Missio-dei.