We want to see…
- The development of committed, authentic Christian discipleship at the heart of the life of local churches
- High-quality religious literacy, spiritual development and religious education in the life-blood of schools and colleges in the region
… so that through them, individuals and communities might better live lives which are ‘good news’ to others, and particularly amongst those experiencing disadvantage.
We seek to achieve this through three main spheres of activity:
- Christian learning, discipleship and theological education
- The churches’ work in, and contribution to, the Further Education and lifelong learning sectors
- Religious education in schools
How We Work
The Trust works primarily as a catalyst and support to organisations and individuals working at the ‘frontline’ of these three spheres. We work in partnership with local churches, schools, colleges and other groups to develop creative, innovative projects at the intersection between religion, education and society. We can help you identify needs and opportunities, to develop creative responses, to pump-prime new initiatives with grant funding, and to help evaluate the results.
We see our mission as ‘educational’ in its most expansive sense – not just in the development of ‘courses’ or ‘learning resources’ (valuable though these can be) but in supporting a variety of approaches to helping people learn. This includes research and evaluation, encouraging reflective practice, and transforming the culture/structures within which learning and growth take place.
We hope that projects we support will go on to serve as a model for the churches’ work in discipleship, education and learning not only within the region, but also nationally. But we’re also willing to take a risk on projects which are exploratory and experimental, to learn from what works and what doesn’t.
Where We Work
The Trust works in the geographical area covered by the Anglican dioceses of Birmingham, Coventry, Hereford, Lichfield and Worcester (see map).
The Trust works on a completely ecumenical basis but has particularly strong links with the Church of England: our trustees include the five diocesan bishops in the region, their nominated representatives, a representative from the St Peter’s association for former students (the ‘Old Salts’), and further trustees who are co-opted for their expertise in one of our areas of interest.
There are very few organisations like St Peter’s Saltley Trust: an endowed charity seeking to be a catalyst and a resource to the churches’ work in education within a particular region; not just dispensing grant funding but seeking to bring additional benefits by working in partnership with the organisations we support. I love the incredibly varied work that we do: as project partners, critical friends, researchers and evaluators, resource-writers, seers of visions and dreamers of dreams. I love the way that our work reinvents itself every few years as we engage with fresh project partners.
By background I’m a historian and social researcher specialising in Christianity and social change in modern/contemporary Britain, but with a range of other research interests besides.
Outside of life at the Trust you might find me playing the cornet, baking bread, reading history books, enjoying days out and lego-building with the family, volunteering for a community land trust, helping lead a church youth group, or struggling to keep pace with the list of home decorating jobs! I occasionally manage to squeeze out a blog posting at Mystic Trumpeter.
I joined Saltley Trust in October 2007 following a career in branch banking. After my son Chris was born in 1991 I then spent over 10 years working in administration in local primary schools. Married to Laurie, who has recently taken early retirement, we enjoy trips out in our 1958 MGA. We are both heavily involved worshipping and volunteering at The Cotteridge Church. Working for the Trust has opened up for me whole new areas in charity work and I enjoy working alongside and meeting people who are committed to furthering the Christian faith in schools, FE colleges and the community.
I’m really excited about the research we’re doing. The Trust is in a great position to help the region’s churches to understand the experience of discipleship in today’s changing world, and it’s a privilege to be part of that.
My own reflections can be seen, alongside news and updates, on the project blog at Watching the Flocks.
This is the first time I’ve worked in a church setting: my background is in mental health, dementia and learning disabilities. The theme of my work has always been to support individuals and communities travel together, in trust, hope and love, through the incredibly difficult challenges thrown up by these conditions. This has led me to work in various ways with volunteers, families, people with mental health conditions, and local communities. It’s this interest in ‘life in all its abundance’ (John 10.10) that has led me to want to spend time studying how Christians, who are so often at the centre of social engagement, understand their own calling, practice and growth.
Away from work, I have an interest in the practical ways in which worship and liturgy form people. I blog about this at Worship Community Formation.