Church Related Community Work

helping the church live out its calling

Church Related Community Work

helping the church live out its calling

What is Church Related Community Work?

Church related community work is a distinctive and recognised ministry within the United Reformed Church and CRCW’s play a vital role in the denomination’s community involvement. URC CRCW’s are called by God, professionally and theologically trained and then commissioned to help the church to live out its calling.

CRCW’s use the principles of community development to respond to and challenge the issues facing their particular neighbourhoods and communities and work alongside a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations, developing initiatives and projects to transform individuals, churches and communities.

Between them, CRCW’s enable churches to widen their mission by:

– identifying local needs and opportunities
– confronting injustice
– organising community action
– developing and supporting initiatives that improve the lives and wellbeing of local people
– and theologically reflecting upon that action

Lancashire Area

Andy works in Chorley, in the community and alongside the local church

Central Area

Mal works in Blackburn, in the community and with three local churches

South Area

Liz works in Levenshulme, in the community and alongside Inspire Church

Frequently Asked Questions

What does CRCW mean?

We get asked this a lot! It’s Church Related Community Worker.

What is a Church Related Community Worker?

The ministry of Church Related Community Work is an unusual and specialised order of ministry in the United Reformed Church. CRCW’s are trained, alongside ministers of word and sacrament, in contextual theology, and also gain a professional qualification in Community Development work. They are then called to serve in a ‘Church in Community’. Community Development workers follow a set of standardised principles ( which enable them to work alongside groups and communities to determine their needs and support them to take action. These skills, along with their theological training enable CRCW’s to support and encourage their ‘church in community’ with their community engagement, and to reflect theologically on the action they are taking, with local communities, to effect change.

Are there any CRCWs in our Synod?

Yes there are 3 CRCW’s in the North West – Mal Breeze in Blackburn, Liz Kam in Levenshulme ( can be contacted at , and Andy Littlejohns in Chorley. (Insert links to their websites)

Can my church have a CRCW?

Any church can consider the ministry of a church related community worker and whether it would benefit their Mission. CRCW development worker Steve Summers, based at Church house in London, works with interested churches to explore and prepare to become accredited ‘Churches in Community’. This process involves research into the needs of the local community in order to create a proposed church in community project, to which if accredited, a CRCW can be called.

How can I find out more?

You can explore the CRCW pages on the URC website ( You can also talk to your minister or mission enabler who can help you think through whether CRCW might be an option worth exploring. You can contact one of our Synod’s CRCW’s directly (see above). They will be happy to chat, and enjoy showing people around their churches in community to help with discerning if either a CRCW might be a good addition to a churches ministry team, or if an individual wants to find out more about becoming a CRCW.

Can I become a CRCW?

The URC is always on the look out for people who feel called to such a ministry. It is a stipendiary ministry requiring specific training, which usually takes 4 years to complete at Northern College in Manchester. You can speak to your minister, your mission enabler or contact one of the Synods CRCW’s direct to find out more (see above).

They've asked me to be a CRCW

Everything you need to know if considering working in a community work ministry

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