Churches celebrate as 'Believe in Hull' launchedrichard frith believe in hull

The Church of England Bishop of Hull, Rt Rev Richard Frith, is launching with the help of the Archbishop of York, a two week initiative involving many of the church denominations across the city.

The following text is from the local newspaper Hull Daily Mail for October 2nd 2013:

Yes, I believe in Hull. You will be seeing the words "Believe in Hull" across the city at the beginning of October, because I'm not the only one who believes in Hull. Churches of all sorts are getting together to say how much this city means to them. "Believe in Hull" will be running from Tomorrow to October 13, and there will be events all over the city that all are welcome to attend.

I've said that I love Hull, and I do. This love, though, needs to be expressed in practical action. The churches involved with "Believe in Hull" have been working on a major piece of research with Search (Social and Economic Action Resource of Churches), to examine what sort of community action projects are run by churches, and how they help people in Hull. Like most cities, Hull faces enormous challenges and there are many needs.

We've discovered that at least 10,000 people attend or are supported by these social action projects each week.

More than 280 projects were recorded in the survey, ranging from Anlaby Park Methodist Church's work in prisons to Community Money Advice, St John Newland's debt counselling service.

Approximately 1,800 people volunteer with Christian community action initiatives across Hull, and each of the initiatives lasts for three hours on average per week. That adds up to 280,800 hours a year of practical Christian help given to communities across the city.

Christian groups also work in partnership with other community groups to provide these services. Princes Avenue Methodist Church works with the Red Cross, the Police and the City Council in its Open Doors Project, and Hull Churches Home from Hospital Service works with the NHS and shares resources with Macmillan Cancer Support.

These Christian projects are not static – many have plans for future activities, including work with ex-offenders and those involved in substance abuse.

At its heart Christianity is about God's love for humanity. God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus Christ to live among us, to be crucified and resurrected to defeat sin and death. We believe that God loves us and that we are in turn to be loving in response.

Love of God; love of neighbour: that's it in a nutshell, and the two belong together.

"Believe in Hull" is about both love of God and love of neighbour, and this is being especially focused on the first two weeks of October.

Archbishop Sentamu is coming to launch "Believe in Hull" at a special celebration to be held at Holy Trinity Church in Hull tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Then there will be all sorts of other events, from a men's health night at Holy Trinity Church on Friday, to a women's pampering night at Hull Community Church on October 4, to a Mass for all involved in education in Hull at St Charles Borromeo Chruch on Thursday, October 10, and much more. We're ending with another big celebration at 7.30pm on Sunday, October 13, at Jubilee Central Hall with Andy Hawthorne OBE – ex fashion designer, pop musician and social reformer.

It's wonderful to see so many different churches getting involved: Roman Catholics, Methodists, United Reformed Church, Amazing Grace Chapel, Baptists, Vineyard, Church of England, Community Church, Jubilee, New Life, Pentecostal. We believe in Hull, and we want others to do so too. I believe in Hull – do you?

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