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We ourselves are the comets. We are the moon and the stars. We are the fireworks in a darkened universe. To be in the presence of even the meanest, lowest, most repulsive specimen of humanity is still to be closer to God than when looking up into a starry sky or at a beautiful sunset.
Mike Mason
Practicing The Presence of People (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 1999), 15.
(Imagine) a church that is a dynamic set of relationships, friendships, and acquaintances … a medium of living relationships through which the gospel can travel.
Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2003), 42.
(But) according to the economics story … churches are to focus on efficiency, effectiveness, and organizational growth.
F.S. Michaels
Monoculture: How One Story is Changing Everything (Canada: Red Clover Press, 2011), 80.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM?

Bread of Hope was founded by five guys in 2015:

  • Johnny Douglas (then: Associate Minister, Emmanuel Church, Northwood; now: Vicar of Swanley, St Paul, and Hextable, St Peter);
  • Tim Knight (Public Sector Christian Workplace Group);
  • Mark Davies (Christian Workplace Group, BP Canary Wharf);
  • Andy Nunn (formerly, Christian Workplace Group, BarCap); and
  • Jon Horne.

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WHAT DO WE DO?

Bread of Hope provides physical food by supplying a local food bank with what it needs the most. Bread of Hope also provides spiritual food by helping people to:

  • approach their work as worship;
  • forgive others as God forgives them; and
  • witness to those around them.
Breaking Bread

WHERE DO WE DO IT?

Most of our work is done with other organisations. So we go where they are. But we also host a small meeting from 7pm to 8pm on alternate Mondays at:

All Saints House
83 Margaret Street
(Entrance via Marylebone Passage)
London W1W 8TB

Please email contact@breadofhope.org.uk for access information.

You can find us on Meetup by clicking here.

2019

9 September – Worship@Work: video 1 – The Powers;
21 October – Worship@Work: video 2 – The Sacred-Secular Divide;
4 November – Worship@Work: video 3 – Resurrection;
18 November – Forgiveness@Work: video 1 – Forgiveness Does Not Deny Time;
2 December – Godspeed (film);
16 December – Jem Bendell, ‘Doom and Bloom: Adapting to Collapse’ (discussion).

2020

We are also hosting:

  • a Forgiveness@Work seminar (based on MBA material) from 10.00 to 13.00 on Saturday 18 January. Effective work requires relationships, and effective relationships require forgiveness. Forgiveness is not making someone pay when we are wronged. It cancels the debt they owe us to right that wrong. But what does this look like at work? Does it make me a doormat? Could it really transform the workplace? Doors open at 09.30 for refreshments. Click here to find out more.
  • a Witness@Work clinic from 10.00 to 14.00 on Saturday 21 March. This clinic is designed to boost your witness at work. Continue to develop your witnessing skills as we put into practise what we learn about sharing our story. Doors open at 09.30 for refreshments.

WHY DO WE DO IT?

We believe that breaking bread together gives us a picture of the Christian life. The bread and the wine:

  • show us that human work is involved in worship; and
  • that we receive worth from God in order to give worth out; and they
  • witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

These three things further reflect the three offices of Christ: prophet, priest, and king. And we are like wax melted by his love. So as a finger leaves a fingerprint in molten wax, Jesus leaves a prophet-print, a priest-print, and a king-print in us [1 Peter 2:9]:

  • Kings represent God to the world. When we worship something, we receive our worth from that thing. We become an imprint of that thing [2 Kings 17:15; Jeremiah 2:5]. Therefore, when kings receive their worth from God, when they are faithful to revere God [Deuteronomy 17:19], they represent God as he is. Since faith is a gift from God [Ephesians 2:8-9], faith requires humility [Romans 12:3; Deuteronomy 17:20]. And since humility (“not elevating oneself”) is the flip side of generosity (“elevating others”),* kings should be generous by meeting needs [Psalm 72:12-14]. Generosity gives worth to all, which makes the world presentable to God. So worship shapes society, which is what it means for us to be priests.
  • Priests make the world presentable to God. They make the world presentable to God by loving it. This expresses their faith. ‘The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love’ [Galatians 5:6]. And they express love by blessing. This adds worth to the world. They add worth through their work, and invite worthiness in their relationships. They turn what is good into something better. They turn wilderness into garden [Genesis 1:29-30]. They create value for society.** And they help others to be worthy (or holy) before God [Romans 15:16]. So when worth is found in God, it is found to give worth out. And by giving worth out, priests are giving worth back to God. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for … the least of these … you did for me’ [Matthew 25:40; Colossians 3:23-24]. And as worth is passed round like a parcel, from God to the world and back, the world becomes presentable to God (This is how priests re-present the world to God.) And finally:
  • By speaking God’s word, prophets point to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus [Luke 24:27]. His life and death are like a parcel passed: to make this world presentable to God; to prepare this world for the next. His resurrection, then, unwraps this parcel, revealing his worth [1 Timothy 3:16]. Because of this, prophets see the whole world in resurrection light. Because of this, they point to our resurrection, when our parcels will be unwrapped. ‘Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven … There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed’ [Matthew 6:20; 10:26]. (Remember, this does not save us: Jesus does. But we are called to more than being saved.) So prophets vouch for resurrection, for worth revealed. This gives life direction. Consider these words of a grieving father:

Together these values – kingly faith (receiving worth from God); priestly love (adding worth to the world); and prophetic hope (vouching for resurrection) – give:

  • a model of whole-life discipleship; which is also
  • a glimpse of the new creation – the feast to come.

Since breaking bread together gives us a model of whole-life discipleship, our mission is to embody what breaking bread is all about, which we do by providing physical and spiritual food. And our vision is the feast to come, to which breaking bread together directs us.

* Alex Edmans, ‘Purposeful Business: The Evidence and the Implementation’, lecture delivered at The Museum of London on Wednesday 3 October, 2018.

** Julie J. Exline & Peter C. Hill (2012) Humility: A consistent and robust predictor of generosity, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7:3, 208-218, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2012.671348

HOW DO WE DO IT?

Each of these offices – prophet, priest, and king – has at least one corresponding workplace course. These courses can be tabulated as follows:

Course Office Value Benefit – objective Benefit – subjective*
Worship@Work King Faith Equality** Flourishing***
Forgiveness@Work Priest Love Worth Affection
Stress@Work
Witness@Work Prophet Hope Truth Reflection

* OECD (2013), OECD Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-being, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264191655-en, 10, 29—32.
** “Equality” is shorthand for saying that “generosity mitigates inequality”. Whereas Bread of Hope focuses on generosity, others focus on equality; for example: Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone (London: Penguin, 2009).
*** Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing (London: Penguin, 2018).

WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?

Bread of Hope subscribes to the historic creeds of the Christian Faith, such as: the Apostles’ Creed; the Nicene Creed; and the Athanasian Creed.

Bread of Hope also believes in:

  • the dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement;*
  • the sufficiency of Jesus’ life and death as a sacrifice for sin;
  • Jesus’ bodily resurrection as the first fruits of the new creation, which includes the resurrection of people ‘from every nation, tribe, people and language’ [Revelation 7:9];
  • the divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God – fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.*

* Evangelical Alliance Basis of faith.