Network Stories of Revitalisation
We have an exciting update from churches across our network, from St Wins Totton to Nelson Street Church Rochdale!
St Wins Totton
St Wins Totton recently had Baptism Sunday, where they had the privilege of baptising 4 adults and 2 kids.
“I wanted to get baptised as I would like to feel closer to Jesus and as talking to God has made me feel happier. Learning stories about Jesus has helped me know how to treat others – God has made me a better person. I have always felt God around me and without Him I don’t know what I’d do.”
– Olivia, 9
Also, they are now running 5 small groups across Totton, Southampton & the New Forest.
St Werburgh's Derby
With a growing deaf community, St Werburgh’s Derby is hoping to host a 10 week BSL Conversation Course in the Autumn Term 2022, to enable as many members of their congregation members to learn some signs to help make their deaf members feel more at home. In June, they hosted a BSL taster session open to the whole community, to give a taste of what this course might be like.
“I’ve never learnt sign language before but the tutors were amazing at getting us to jump straight in. It was incredible, not only learning some basic signs to welcome people from the deaf community, but also understanding what a gift this could be in building an authentic community here at St Werburgh’s.”
St Swithin's Lincoln
St Swithin’s Lincoln has recently launched the Love Your Neighbour Café at the Salthouse.
Leah, the LYN Leadership Development Year student at St Swithin’s, helped take responsibility of launching the café.
It opens every Thursday morning to anyone who wants to pop in for free coffee, homemade cake, and a good chat – with their food depot team on hand to pack a food parcel if it’s needed.
Within just a few weeks, they’ve already formed new friendships as their neighbours pop in to say hi. Last week, they were able to tag the CAP Money Course onto the café; so those in need of support with money management could talk to a money coach and build their budgets in an attempt to lessen the impact of the cost of living in crisis. As the cafe goes from strength to strength, they hope to meet more of their neighbours and support those who are currently facing life challenges.
Beacon Church Blackpool
At Beacon Church Blackpool, one of the largest areas of growth has been with men from their local community – the majority of those attending were completely new to church and faith. Among those, seven men were able to join XCC (Extreme Character Challenge) and go up to Scotland for four days in April – which was invaluable.
One guy summed it up as, “the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done, but also the most spiritually & mentally challenging”.
Another man from the group, after walking up a mountain and seeing the cross, fell to his knees, burst into tears and gave his life to Jesus. He is now bringing his whole family to church every week, going to Alpha, posting on social media about it and talking to all his neighbours about Jesus and church.
St Johns Crawley
St John’s Crawley’s Bridge Cafe opened for a second morning each week hosting Crawley & Horsham’s Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club, to build on exciting relationships and form a community in their church hall.
They have also welcomed a number of Iranians who have fled their homeland for fear of persecution over their Christian faith. St John’s baptised 17 people this year, including some of those from Iran.
Nelson Street Rochdale
It’s been incredible seeing how the Youth team is expanding in Nelson Church Rochdale. This term, they hosted their first Youth Alpha with 12 young people attending and led their first service together in April with family and friends coming to support. The youth lead worship, with the band only forming in December 2021, led the service and shared the message.
Nelson Street Church Rochdale’s youth team also hosted a gig in conjunction with The Message Trust. They had 75 young people from across Rochdale at the event, with 16 putting their hand up to commit their lives to Jesus. And took 45 youth members from across Rochdale to Festival Manchester at the end of June.
Hope Street Wrexham
Hope Street Wrexham opened a speciality coffee shop, Tabernacl, in April and are opening doors to the community throughout the week.
Hope Street Wrexham also started their first Alpha course in May, where the number of attendees grew over the weeks. In addition, they started a second service, which regularly welcomes people with no church background.
B&A ran youth Alpha with 25 youth each week. Young people who have never explored faith came and got engaged, all asking brilliant questions.
Also, B&A launched their Ukraine Welcome Hub every Thursday morning, with coffee, cake and crafts for Ukrainians who’ve relocated to Bristol. They started a supper evening on Tuesdays for fellowship, with the help of Ukrainian volunteers.
Lighthouse London celebrated 50 cohorts having passed through Spear Camden. The night was filled with laughter and tears of joy, as trainees shared their stories and testimonies.
The Spear Programme is an employment support programme that helps 16-24-year-olds realise that potential, by equipping them with the confidence, motivation and the vital skills they need to succeed in long-term employment.