Transforming Lives Together (TLT) is a Joint Venture between the Diocese of Chester and the Church Urban Fund. We are part of a network of over twenty Joint Ventures across England.

TLT is a local advocate for social justice and equality. Our main aim is to encourage churches to increase their engagement with their local communities, particularly around issues of food poverty, and loneliness and isolation. We want to see churches being a central part of spiritual and social transformation in the places we live.

We work with churches of all denominations and also support the building of relationships with voluntary, faith and statutory sectors. We have worked with Methodist churches on the Wirral for some time.

Four churches are ‘Places of Welcome’. This is a national network of churches and other organisations which provide a weekly welcome to people from all backgrounds and ages to come together to meet, chat, and enjoy simple refreshments. Here’s just one example:

We met a lady who was struggling with her home circumstances, was very distressed, anxious and lacking in confidence. Our Place of Welcome gave her somewhere that was easy to drop into without needing to belong in any formal way or have to do anything other than sit and have a drink. It provided her with a time and place that she could meet with those giving her support in any way and was a relaxed atmosphere in which to get to know people.

To cut a very long story short, she now attends church regularly, is a volunteer within our Charity Shop and at our ‘Knit & Natter’ group, the monthly Messy Church – and anything else that needs an extra pair of hands! She is now confident and much happier and, whilst not all of her personal problems have gone away, she knows she has friends she can turn to. A church member recently helped her secure a part-time job which is another hurdle crossed. She will admit that, had she not got to know us, she ‘probably wouldn’t be here’.

For more information please have a look at our web page https://www.tltogether.org.uk/places-of-welcome

‘Filling the Gap’is a network of churches delivering food and activities during the school holidays, enabling children and families to eat healthy food and play together. See more at  https://www.tltogether.org.uk/holiday-gap

Know your church, know your neighbourhood

We have also been working with several Methodist churches to support them in a 5 session programme called ‘Know Your Church, Know Your Neighbourhood’. This is a facilitated process to help churches think about themselves in relation to the wider community they seek to serve and to make prayerful and informed decisions about their mission in their local area​.

If you would like to know more about any of our work, please contact Wendy Robertson wendy.robertson@tltogether.org.uk.