A Faithful Presence
Working Together for the Common Good
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Together for the Common Good (T4CG) is a national initiative that encourages people of goodwill, especially from different Christian traditions, to work together for the common good across political and belief traditions.
Its growing network comprises people of all Christian denominations, along with other faith traditions and secular allies, and includes on-the-ground social action practitioners, clergy, lay people, political thinkers, academics, theologians, commentators and policy makers.
The project is guided by an independent, ecumenical steering group inspired by the partnership between Bishop David Sheppard, Archbishop Derek Worlock and Free Church leaders in Liverpool a generation ago. In A Faithful Presence: Working Together for the Common Good, Hilary Russell, a founder member of T4CG, explores how faith-based collaboration works best for the common good.
This is a short accessible book, written in non-technical language, designed to be of interest to practitioners, clergy and lay, especially those who create, manage and implement social justice initiatives.
It contains lots of illustrative examples of the ways in which churches are working together for the common good to strengthen civil society, through social action, service provision, community building, prayer and advocacy.
As well as making use of her other experience, Hilary draws on the findings of T4CG’s 12 month research process, which explored these issues through interviews, case study stories, opinion pieces and delegate input at T4CG’s inaugural conference.
"This wonderful book is a distillation of deep theology and practical wisdom. In direct and simple form, Hilary Russell has given us a lifetime's treasure of prayer, hard thinking, analysis and joyous struggle. It's a handbook for all Christian disciples who want to make a bigger di--fference in their communities." -- Bishop Paul Bayes, Diocese of Liverpool.
'Hilary Russell speculates that perhaps the common good is not a destination but a journey. And the path of this book, illuminated by stories of creative social action and by the equally vital glow of social justice, leads us to the way to effect change. A transformative and purposeful conversation, inclusive and in good company. That may just be the way. Read the book and be inspired - to speak.'-- Helen O'Brien, CEO of CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network)
"From ancient tithe barns to contemporary foodbanks, throughout her history, the Church has been no stranger to social action and provision. But as Hilary Russell poignantly reminds us, this is no mere response to material need, but a vital testimony to God's true purpose for humanity. From the redemptive impact of early ecumenism on a troubled city to the prophetic challenges issued in the run-up to the 2015 General Election, Professor Russell scans over a quarter of a century of Christian engagement in public life. Yet she eloquently and persuasively reminds us the way we go about this can and must be, in and of itself, a constant re-enactment of the dignity, generosity and relational interdependence that define true human identity. It is this that lies at the heart of being together for the common good." -- Phil Jump