The Story Behind Urban Life


Urban Life has come about as a result of a long journey of collaboration between people involved in practical incarnational mission in urban areas (especially those involved in Urban Expression teams), Bristol Baptist College and the Baptist Union of Great Britain. After a process of planning and consultation the launch of Urban Life in the summer of 2014 was made possible by a generous grant from the Baptist Union.


Urban Life was launched and is supported by a group of core partners. It is not an independent organisation but is facilitated as the core partners make their considerable experience and resources available in a joint collaboration to develop some fresh and creative initiatives. The core partners are:


8979847063_2fcf72f047_nThe steering group serves to support the strategic development of Urban Life and facilitate important links with institutions involved in mission, training and research. Individual steering group members contribute a range of expertise and insight from their own fields of knowledge that are critical for the development and delivery of innovate and credible resources.

The steering group members are:

  • Paul Cloke (University of Exeter)
  • Stephen Keyworth (Baptists Together)
  • Stuart Murray-Williams (Urban Expression)
  • Ali Boulton (Baptist Minister at The Stowe)
  • Howard Worsley (Trinity College Bristol)


We seek to work in close friendship and practical partnership with others in the challenging adventure of mission in marginal places. We are always seeking to work well with others, and currently alongside our core partners we are collaborating with

  • Crucible
  • Northern Baptist Learning Community
  • Neopolis
  • CMS Pioneer Leadership Training


mpMike Pears is the new director of Urban Life. Mike has been involved in mission in a variety of urban contexts for over thirty years. He is currently a member of a small intentional community in a marginal estate in the south of Bristol and is a tutor in urban mission at Bristol Baptist College. Mike is completing a PhD about urban deprivation and a theology of place and is involved in a number of other writing and research projects relating to urban mission issues.

Mike can be contacted at


Linking with urban areas across the UK

...Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham...