BCAN (Bristol Christian
Helping Christians Respond To Social Needs
Bristol Christian Action Network ('BCAN') is a transdenominational ministry that enables churches and Christian groups respond to various social needs more effectively.
BCAN develops relationships across the historic Christian divides, and helps churches interested in serving their local community to find common ground. BCAN also works to bring together people interested in helping others with organisations that need assistance.
How did BCAN Start?
Around 1996, Sir Fred Catherwood initiated the Christian Action Network ('CAN') movement through the Evangelical Alliance, aiming to set up a CAN in each major town and city around the country. Bristol EA was one of the first to respond to Sir Fred's challenge, and formed BCAN. By the start of 2002, there were around 35 CANs at varying stages of development.
The National EA subsequently decided to refocus its work, and has now ceased its support for the local CANs, but BCAN still enjopys the full support of Bristol EA.
Who belongs to BCAN?
There is (at present! - but this may change) no formal membership, but BCAN has attracted people to its meetings from a wide range of churches, Christian organisations and projects, belonging to various traditions and denominations. Some of these are members of EA, but many are not.
Where does BCAN operate?
The network currently covers 'greater Bristol' - the city of Bristol and its immediate environs.
Who runs BCAN?
Bristol EA sponsors BCAN, but does not run it. A steering group is drawn from participating churches and organisations, and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the network.
Here are some examples of our work to date.
Views on BCAN
"There are a lot of Christian groups engaged in social action in Bristol, but we concentrate on addressing the needs we have been set up to meet: BCAN gives us a platform from which to speak as Christians working in the community, and provides a context in which we can meet to support and encourage each other."
General Manager, Crisis Centre Ministries, Bristol.
"BCAN seems exactly the right body for us to be developing the next stage of Faithworks with."
Head of Church Action at Faithworks.