Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A familiar name and
brand return to USPG


Patrick Comerford

USPG is back. The Anglican mission agency returned to the name USPG today [Wednesday 24 August 2016].

From today, the agency no longer refers to itself as Us, but only as USPG. The long-familiar initials USPG now stand for United Society Partners in the Gospel.

From today, the website has changed over to the new brand, www.uspg.org.uk, the Twitter feed is also changing to @USPGglobal and there is a new USPG logo.

Announcing the new branding today, Janette O’Neill, Chief Executive of USPG, pointed out that it is nearly four years since the name changed our name from USPG to Us, marking a “new era with a reinvigorated desire to participate in God’s global mission.”

Last year, research was carried out to discover how the new brand had been received. “We learned that, while our partners in Britain and Ireland and around the world greatly appreciated the energy, values and practical work embodied in the Us brand, many remained saddened that we were no longer referring to the gospel in our name,” she said.

“In response, we have decided to move forward with our original name USPG, albeit it in a modernised form; the acronym USPG will now stand for United Society Partners in the Gospel. As well as reintroducing ‘gospel’ into our name, the new meaning of USPG emphasises our focus on working in partnership with the world church, while also encouraging the Anglican Churches of Britain and Ireland to participate more deeply in that partnership.”

The decision to return to the USPG brand was first announced at the USPG conference in Swanwick, Derbyshire, in June. The official change happens at the end of this month to coincide with the Greenbelt festival, where USPG has a significant presence.

Some Us materials will remain on the website for a period of time – such as PDFs of old editions of Transmission and some downloadable resources, such as Harvest.

Social media is also changing:

● Facebook becomes /USPGglobal
● Twitter becomes @USPGglobal

New resources featuring the new USPG logo include:

● Migration & Movement study guide
Transmission (Summer 2016)
● Prayer diary (Summer 2016)
● Journey With Us leaflet
● Expanding Horizons leaflet

Since last year, I have been a trustee of USPG, which is one of the oldest Anglican mission agencies. It was founded in 1701 as the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Today, USPG is a church-based charity working in direct partnership with Anglican Churches around the world.

For over 300 years, USPG has been sharing God’s love through practical action, and seeing lives transformed.

The goal is to help more and more people ‘take hold of the life that is truly life’ (I Timothy 6:19).

How USPG works looks different according to the culture and context of the church partners. In Zimbabwe, USPG initiated a national programme to tackle HIV stigma so more people will come forward to receive counselling and treatment. In Myanmar, USPG is supporting a programme to take healthcare into isolated rural communities. In South Africa, USPG has developed a programme to provide church leaders with practical development skills.

The programmes have a deep impact because they are run by local churches that are embedded in the communities they serve – communities that have often been overlooked. These programmes help people to unlock their potential and make use of the skills and resources they already have. As a result, lives are being transformed.

The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire … the venue for the USPG conference in June (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

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