After reciting Manchester’s achievement as a top European business city and his own baptism of fire into the business community, Pete Horlock shows how M2B networks in unusual places, encourages social action and evangelises in business.
Manchester Means Business
Manchester is one of the UK’s most exciting, vibrant, forward-thinking cities and is widely recognised as the most significant commercial centre outside of London, with an extremely talented and highly respected business community. 70% of graduates from Manchester’s Universities stay in the city; Generation Y clearly appreciates the benefits of choosing Manchester over London to launch their professional careers1. “[Manchester’s] increasing success over the last decade has seen the city take its place as a Top 10 European business location. KPMG‘s study of the most cost effective locations to operate a business (in cities with a population of over 2 million) ranks Manchester first among European cities.”2 In this context Ministry 2 Business (M2B) seeks to be a positive, innovative and supportive Christian influence enabling business professionals to explore God’s call on their lives and the relevance of faith to their work. Derrick Watson (co-founder of Axon Moore recruitment firm and founder of M2B), articulates our compelling vision: “to see increasing numbers of Manchester’s professionals developing a faith that is utterly relevant to their daily lives; inspiring and equipping them to make a truly transformative and vibrant contribution to their workplaces and the wider business community”. Over the eleven years since M2B was launched, this vision continues to be shared by likeminded friends, representing different churches, working in different sectors, and united by a desire to live out Jesus’ gospel where God has called them to work.
Out Of The Comfort Zone
In July 2012 I was commissioned by the Bishop of Manchester as the first business community missioner (or ‘business vicar’) working in partnership with M2B. Being thrown in at the deep end engaging with professionals and business leaders on their turf was way out of my comfort zone and something I hadn’t prepared for at theological college or during my curacy. Five and a half years into this role and it remains a steep learning curve! But the unique combination of a supportive diocese, the dynamic and strategic leadership of active trustees and a growing core of Christians in the business community have proved a fruitful collaboration. Without the initial encouragement from Rev. Rob Hinton (former Business Vicar in Leeds), and ongoing mentoring from Derrick Watson, I know I would have retreated
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