A new Bond is in the final stages of development by a partnership of churches and Christian organisations seeking to raise £2 million of social investment to support the mission of the church in some of the most deprived communities in London.
The Bond was initially developed by the Parish of St Paul’s Shadwell and the Contextual Theology Centre. They are now working with the wider Diocese and the Eden Network, supported by Affordable Christian Housing. All of these organisations are helping to grow churches and transform communities in the most deprived parts of London. The Bond will enable them to purchase and provide affordable rented housing for some of their Christian workers in these neighbourhoods.
Investors will be able to invest for up to five years in return for a fixed rate of interest of up to 2%. We will be offering a financial return, but the main benefit will be the social return from partners who are seeking to transform communities in London. This is the first Missional Housing Bond of its kind, but we hope it will be the first of many.
The Bond has the full support of the Bishop of London:
“Provision of housing for front-line workers is vital if we are to respond creatively to our calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ in this world city. It is my hope and prayer that you will join us as fellow partners in the Gospel by providing financial support for this venture.”
Overcoming a common challenge
We have a common challenge – trying to serve our local communities but unable to find affordable rented homes for our workers and teams. Housing in even the most deprived areas of London is expensive. This is a wider social problem but is now also an obstacle to the Church’s mission. Being able to provide decent local rented homes – at below-market rents – to workers involved in church mission will help us to recruit and keep those involved in vital work. It will also enable these workers to live together in community.
Partners working together
We are a group of churches and Christian organisations who are working together to serve deprived communities in London. Our aim is that this first Missional Housing Bond will provide rented homes for workers involved in mission. The Eden Network brings together small teams of Christians to live on estates to support the local church long-term. St Paul’s Shadwell and the Contextual Theology Centre recruit interns for year-long placements in churches in east London. The Diocese of London works across the whole diocese in supporting mission and ministry and developing and training new clergy.
How you can support this
When the Bond is issued, investments from £5,000 or above will be sought – from individuals, churches and Christian organisations. A fixed rate of interest will be being offered over fixed terms. The proposed London Missional Housing Bond will be operated by Affordable Christian Housing, a Christian housing association with over 20 years’ experience in providing affordable housing to key Christian workers. It is registered with the Financial Services Authority and has charitable status. It is planning to issue the bond on behalf of the partnership from January 2013, in the hope of purchasing the first houses in the summer of 2013. The bond will be in the form of fixed term, fixed interest unsecured loan stock. This kind of investment is not suitable for all, and we recommend you seek independent financial advice if you are in any doubt. We are not able to offer financial advice.
For those wishing to support this work in other ways, we will also be happy to accept charitable gift-aid donations and can discuss equity-loans with anyone considering a large investment.
Please give prayerful consideration to partnering with us, so that together we might see the Kingdom come in our capital city, the ‘crossroads of the world’.
The launch details are being finalised, if you would like to register your interest to ensure that you receive further information about the launch of the Bond, please e-mail Mary Nada: mary.nada (Email: mary.nada [at] london.anglican.org).