By Paul Wilson, Roc’s Co-ordinator in the South-east
Over 80 people gathered for the Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) South East Conference, hosted by All Saints Church, Lindfield.
ROC brings together churches and key agencies in partnership working and apart from the many churches represented, there was an impressive array of partners including Sussex, Kent and Metropolitan Police, as well as West Sussex County Council.
Debra Green OBE, ROC’s founder, shared some amazing stories, not least how through a remarkable answer to prayer, ROC was given ‘The Fuse’ its new HQ in Manchester, a virtually brand new £5m building, rent and rate free!
ROC works through partner churches, helping them engage with and understand what can often be challenging issues. So we were delighted to welcome Superintendent David Smart, Deputy National Co-coordinator for ‘Prevent,’ a key element of the Government’s anti-terrorism strategy, who explained how the Church can help tackle radicalisation.
David explained that radicalisation can start with young people becoming disaffected and alienated from their community and as they lose their way, becoming radicalised. Citing several examples from across the South-east, he said that the first step in preventing it is to show churches, particularly those working with young people, that it’s an issue that can affect all communities.
It was inspiring to hear from ROC project leaders about their work, which included ROC Family Mentoring in Littlehampton, ROC Street Chaplaincy in Brighton or the ROC Cafe project with young people in Kent, all great examples of church in action.
If you would like to know more about ROC and how you and your church could get involved, contact Paul Wilson direct: firstname.lastname@example.org