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Dear God...
“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Newbigin School for Urban Leadership

Urban Change Makers Programme

Urban Change Makers is a new emerging leaders program that focuses on working class leadership development from within urban priority areas. UCM is initiated by Newbigin School for Urban Leadership and Worth Unlimited in conjunction with local hubs who nominate and send small teams of emerging leaders to the 10 month program that includes 3 week-end residentials, coaching, best practice site visits, an investors panel and a graduation/induction.
Urban Change Makers especially focuses on those who are:
Urban (ie from urban priority neighbourhoods)

Emerging (ie, aged between 18-35 with high potential to make a difference)

Diverse (ie, not from mainstream, establishment backgrounds, paying attention to class, race and gender access and equity challenges)

Raw Talents (ie, have catalytic potential that traditional education systems will probably not bring out their best)

From 30 years of urban ministry experience (Australia, Thailand and the UK), as well as extensive workshops and interviews with experienced urban Christian leaders, Dr Ash Barker identified three ‘qualities of leadership’ (compassion, innovation, resilience) and three ‘strands of leadership practice’ (community organising, building and enterprise) and designed the programme around these.




A successful pilot program with 9 participants from 3 hubs (Winson Green, East Ham and Royal Docks) was completed in 2017-18 with all participants growing and instigating new projects in their community. In May 2018 Dr Tony Campolo and Shane Claibourne helped promote the program and recruitment of hubs and nominees in a UK tour ready for the second cohort starting in September 2018. Help from Newbigin Community Trust, Fellowship of Churches of Christ, Citizens UK, The Feast, Oasis, Community of Aiden and Hilda are important for this programme.

Hubs and participants will come from diverse churches and urban ministries around the UK (eg, Eden, Oasis, FCC, CofE, CMS, Baptists). Internationally UCM works through networks with Micah Global and the Urban Shalom Society and hopes for future UCM programmes in other countries including Thailand, Germany, USA and Australia. 

By investing in emerging leaders though Urban Change Makers we will be working ‘up stream’ with young adults in urban priority areas and helping them find their own solutions. Unleashing the assets, gifts and imaginations of these Christian young people will help these leaders solve their own community challenges in ways that are sustainable and relevant.
Investing in such leaders is especially strategic in a rapidly dividing, shifting and urbanising world. Who better to see real change from the ground up over the next few decades than these emerging leaders? Further, if their potentials are not channeled in positive ways, then serious tragedies could result for the planet, society and church.
Our next cohort consists of 16 people from hubs in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Dundee. They will begin there change makers journey begin on Saturday 28th September 2019 with graduation taking place on Saturday 27th June 2020.

For more information, please visit the website at  or contact Ash Lewis at