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Together We Can! Radical Receptivity in Action: An Ethnography


Cathy Ross, Ripon College Cuddesdon

Initial Description

Together We Can! is a three-year intergenerational, community-building project within the Firs & Bromford neighbourhood (east Birmingham). Built on an explicit Asset Based Community Development approach, the theological outworking of TWC! informs the concept of ‘Radical Receptivity’ as expounded in the work of Al Barrett, local Parish Priest and TWC! project manager.

The theory, theology and praxis of Radical Receptivity and ABCD are relevant to the activity of local church and community projects, but also to the mission of the wider church. Whilst much is beginning to be written, by Barrett and others, on the theme of receptivity, there have – to date – been few opportunities to understand how the concept is understood and practised at a grass-roots level, or how it relates to ABCD.

The proposed project comprises a year of focused ethnographic study, using participant ob-servation of TWC! to pay particular attention to how the underlying theology is expressed in theory, espoused by participants and observed in practice. By bringing the voices of those involved in the TWC! project into conversation with the normative theology of the wider church in England, the aim is to assess the contribution that these practical insights might make to the future mission of the Church.


For more information on the project, see the Together We Can Year 3 report