What was HOPE 2018?
In a nutshell, HOPE 2018 was a year of mission which saw churches all over the country uniting with neighbouring churches to reach their friends and families - their communities with the love of Jesus.
'HOPE' originally started in the early noughties by 3 friends: Roy Crowne,(pictured right) Mike Pilavachi and Andy Hawthorne who asked each other a simple question:
"Is it possible to mobilise the whole church for a whole year of mission in words and action?"
From that meeting ideas began to form and 'Hope08' was born under the newly created 'HOPE Together' team brand. As they began to talk about it as they spoke around the country, over 1500 areas committed to 2008 being a year of mission - in words and action!
The initial Hope08 was such a success that it was planned for repeat again in 2014 to a greater fanfare. However, Roy and the HOPE team have never wanted it to be about them but rather God winning the hearts of communities of people across the country. "It's never been about HOPE doing everything. We are a catalyst and we've been blessed with God's favour." says Roy.
Backed By All Major Denominations:
In fact HOPE received the backing from the leadership structure of every major denomination and the Evangelical Alliance in the UK. The board of HOPE Directors is made up (written 2017) of a small group of well known leaders including: Steve Clifford (former General Director of the Evangelical Alliance), Andy Hawthorne (Message Trust), Mike Pilavachi (Soul Survivor) and Roy Crowne. These people are highly respected for their vision, outlook and mission.
Building upon HOPE 2014
In 2014 churches across the UK started to work together for HOPE2014. At the time many churches nationwide hung the same HOPE banner outside their buildings declaring their unity and commitment to work together for the good of the local community.
Locally, the New Forest was impacted by the Local Evangelical Alliance: LEAF promoting HOPE 2014. LEAF encouraged 50 churches to commit to working together for the good of their local communities with many different events and outreaches taking place throughout the year. In close association with Moorlands College a summer week of mission was planned with hundreds of students working with local churches to bless the communities around the forest.
In Ringwood LEAF inspired around a dozen churches to work together and put on the first Ringwood Family Fun day with support from the local council. Over 4,000 people attended the FREE event! This is now a bi-annually event by the Churches Together in Ringwood and has support from local people, businesses and the Council!
The HOPE 2018 Launch
The launch event for HOPE took place at Lambeth Palace on 12th October 2016.
The Archbishop of Canterbury: Justin Welby (pictured left) praised HOPE Together for its clear mission to get churches working together for the good of all, for unity and for the communities in which the churches are built. Speaking in the Great Hall within the Palace to church leaders and HOPE Practitioners from around the UK, he said:
"We exist as God’s people to enable the world to meet Jesus Christ and then make up their minds. We can't force conversion but we can bring people face to face with Christ... and HOPE give us the tools for it; the stimulation, the resources. That's why I like HOPE, that's why churches like HOPE."