Action Zones 

Hope08 begins a year of high points in Norfolk

Hope08 has started its role in supporting the work o109603f churches across the UK including those in Norwich and Norfolk. Local organiser, Mark Tuma, explains what it’s all about and your key role in it.

Churches across the country are constantly at work serving and communicating with the 58 million residents and many visitors to the United Kingdom.
Hope08 is here to support and grow this work, by facilitating intensified, united, focused prayer and a year of activities, communicating the Gospel through words and actions, creating a lasting legacy of both physical and spiritual change in the lives of communities and individuals.
Hope is about:
  • Supporting local churches across the UK in their commitment to serve and witness to their communities
  • Encouraging collaboration between churches and agencies in reaching out to their communities
  • Resourcing and training local churches to develop their ability to engage with their communities on a long term basis
  • Impacting Individuals and communities with the Gospel through words and actions during 2008.
Over the last year people across Norwich, Norfolk and the nation have been busy praying, planning and preparing for Hope08 and the chance to do more to reach our communities. Even if this is the first you have heard of Hope08 it's not too late to engage and plan how you can bring Hope in 2008.
Five High Points
Hope08 is a framework which gives you, your church and your area a chance to structure new initiatives to serve and reach your community through five 'high points':
1. Fresh Hope (January) - Engage with the hopes of people around you.
2. The Big Hope (Easter) - Make the central festival of Christianity accessible to everyone.
3. Hope on the Streets (May Bank Holiday / Pentecost) - Serve others and meet their needs.
4. Hope Explored (September) - Give opportunities for people to discover more about Christ.
5. The Gift of Hope (Christmas) - Creatively approach the festive season.
For each high point, Hope08 challenges you to think about how you could bring transformation in your areas of influence, whether that is work, school, social groups, clubs or communities. There's a raft of resources to help you, ranging from creative arts groups to the Hope Manual, a 160-page book packed with ideas.
You might be asking why we need something like Hope08? Well, 250,000 people live in and around Norwich, and 239,000 of those do not call themselves Christians. We are faced with an urgent challenge to be creative, to pioneer, to go further in our mission with the Gospel, and we can make 2008 a year where all of us resolve to discover what it really means to be a Christian in this society at this time.
One of the exciting things is that in 2007 all sorts of people from politicians to church leaders to chief constables and more grasped the potential for what could happen if the whole church decides to engage with the whole community for a whole year. There's an air of anticipation and excitement from those who are looking on at Hope08 and what could happen, let's not disappoint them!
Local Expressions
Over the last year people around the area have been talking and thinking about what can be done to engage with their communities. Here's just one example from Lakenham and Tuckswood.
During the week of January 7 members of Lakenham & Tuckswood Churches Together have been in the local chip shops (Long John Hill and Tuckswood Green) and Post Offices (Queens Road and Tuckswood Green) to ask people about their hopes for the coming year.
Using a Hope08 display, the volunteers have been asking members of the public to share their hopes for their community and their personal lives in 2008.
Already the idea has generated very positive conversations with the owners of the different premises, and they have begun to share their hope for the future. Early conversations have included hopes for a greater sense of freedom, trust and security in the community.
At the end of the week the responses will be gathered together and publicly displayed to stimulate more thought, discussion and opportunity.
This is just one of the creative ideas being generated by the Church across Norfolk to go further in 2008, and you can see more by keeping an eye on

Network Norwich will also be keeping you up to date with Hope08 locally throughout the year, so watch this space.


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