GP Manchester is a collaboration between Green Pastures and Manchester City Mission to facilitate GP’s vision of eradication all forms of homelessness in Greater Manchester within a ten year period. Greater Manchester is strategically important, with nearly half of its neighbourhoods in the poorest 10% in the country. Nearly one in 20 people across the area live in overcrowded housing. Recent experience of the Covid 19 pandemic has shown that Greater Manchester had been particularly vulnerable, with the death rate being 25% higher than the national average. The collaboration draws on the experience of Green Pastures in releasing the church to provide housing and support for people experiencing homelessness. Manchester City Mission’s contribution comes from many years experience delivering incarnate,
compassion based evangelistic projects in the region.
Experience tells us that good foundations are essential if we are going to build something that will endure the test of time. In this case It has been important to establish our shared organisational visions, values and goals and find ways to capture these and express them in a way that accurately sets out how we might
work together. This has taken the form of a Collaborative Working Agreement, which may provide a model for future GP collaborations across the UK. The practical process of discussing strategic plans, training programmes, and job descriptions for staff, has enabled both organisations to learn about their respective cultures and has allowed good working relationships to be built.
The core purpose of both organisations is to provide a genuine opportunity for people to encounter Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Whilst the Gospel message is for people of all backgrounds, again both organisations share a special concern for the poor and marginalised, and in particular for people experiencing any kind of homelessness. We also believe in releasing the church, and her members, into their full potential as emissaries of the coming Kingdom. Because of this, we endeavour to work closely with local congregations to deliver our mutual aims. In working together we wish to demonstrate, at a practical level, the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This spiritual synergy can only ensure that more will be achieved by working together than working separately!
The first objective is to recruit, train and deploy a GP Partnership Manager for the County of Greater Manchester. The new Manager will be employed by Green Pastures but will be based with Manchester City Mission, effectively becoming part of the MCM team, drawing on the their local knowledge and building on existing relationships with local churches. The anticipated outcome of this new role is that new local partnerships will be set up, using both GP Direct and GP Partnership models.