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We are excited to see the wholehearted endorsement of the report ‘Setting God’s People Free’ by the Church of England Synod. With its emphasis on equipping all God’s people for life, mission and ministry in the world, the report highlights the opportunities and challenges of training God’s people to live in their role as both the gathered and sent church.
As an organisation that has a rich history in offering well-designed courses to enable Christians engage with the Bible through individual and facilitated group study, GOLD Project is in a position to enable churches, parishes, deaneries and dioceses to respond to many of the challenges identified in ‘Setting God’s People Free’. In line with ‘Setting God’s People Free’, we believe that engaging with the Bible is an essential part of all Christian discipleship as we learn what it means to follow Christ in our world. Our courses give Christians from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop a biblical and theological framework with which to respond to the challenges of daily ministry and mission in a fast-changing and complex world within the setting of a small learning group.
With its mix of private study and corporate engagement GOLD meshes well with the recognition of the report that to be set free lay Christians need a stronger and more confident understanding of their faith and also to be engaged corporately with other Christians in this development.
There are many resources available, both Christian and secular, to provide people with the skills they need for their work in society. There are also many resources that engage with the Bible at the level of personal devotion. However, there are few resources available that enable Christians to engage with deeper questions that arise from an in-depth study of scripture. Our courses have a long track record of giving students the confidence in sensitively handling scripture in family, workplace and society as well as in the ministries associated with the gathered church. Resourced by theological educators from various theological institutions as well as those involved in the life and ministry of the local church, our courses have stood the test of time and have also constantly developed to include insights from the latest biblical scholarship.
Our courses have been used over many years by Christians involved in all forms of work: from university educators to taxi drivers; from lawyers to gardeners; from doctors and nurses to locksmiths. People have gone on from our courses to become Sunday school teachers, worship leaders, licensed lay ministers, prison chaplains and ordained clergy. Many of our students have also continued to live and serve in the secular world.
Our newly formed partnership with Bible Society gives us a platform to grow and develop our courses in a new way and with new vigour.
"For me the experience has helped hugely both in terms of my work as a church intercessor and as a Christian attempting to cope with the complex secular world alongside my own crop of weaknesses. I feel heartened and strengthened, firmer in my faith and more at peace with myself. " - Colin Bailey