Throughout the year we aim to share stories about what your giving to Home Mission is achieving around the West of England.
Once a year, we’d like to give you a bigger picture. The list below covers each Home Mission grant awarded in WEBA for 2017. Please take this opportunity to pray for these very different situations, each one at a different stage on a journey of transition and transformation.
Chew Magna Baptist Church, North Somerset – CMBC leaders were part of WEBA’s first Re-Imagine Missional Learning Community. They are now intentionally working at becoming an outward-facing church – one that seeks to go to, and be alongside their neighbours in their community, showing and sharing God’s grace in words and actions. They are doing this in a variety of ways – to least in their monthly Big Get2gether and Open House Breakfast events.
The Cairn, Bristol – a new expression of church arising out of Knowle West Baptist Church is largely based in the home of Phil and Alice Lawrence. They are doing life with, and alongside their neighbours in their community – through their 2nd Sunday (monthly) Lunch, a guitar club, a Life Recovery Group, Man Friay and Fusion (men’s) events, and 1st Saturday Breakfast for local families.
The Orchard, Bristol – a new expression of church arising out of St. George Baptist Church. The church meets each Sunday for worship in a space designed to function as an attractive coffee shop throughout the week. By providing a much needed facility, and training/work opportunities, the church is forming connections with the local community and challenging their view of ‘church’.
Pill Baptist Church, North Somerset – continue to meet as three ‘expressions’ of church, the monthly Cafe Church event in the local community centre, MIller’s Close morning service and Women’s Bright Hour, who meet in the lounge of a local sheltered housing development. Please pray for the Pill BC Steering Group who have been tasked with overseeing the development of a core group of local Christians who will take ownership for engaging in God’s mission in Pill, by April 2018.
CUR:ve (Churches in Upper Rissington Valuing Everyone) – some very good work has taken place in Upper Rissington in recent years through intentional and focused sports and community work within the community. Kami Kalsi, the previous sports and community worker has recently moved to Scotland – leaving this role vacant. Please pray for wisdom for the trustees and managing group as they consider the best way forward in light of this.
Trinity Network, Bristol – in 2017, Trinity come to the end of their period of being in receipt of an HM grant. Please pray for the congregation at Amberley Road BC and Stoke Gifford BC as they seek to reach out into the respective communities, and for the minister and members this year have launched The Fuelcast, a daily video devotional resource (www.thefuelcast.com).
Stonehouse Baptist Church, Gloucestershire – are on journey of transformation, and currently engaging in three expressions of church – the BIG Breakfast, Worship & Word, and River Church. Anne and Peter Dunn are hoping to move and begin living in Stonehouse within the next month or so. We pray that this will play a major part in helping both them and the congregation to connect with and more fully reach out to their neighbours in the local community.
Stapleton Baptist Church – are seeking to get to know and engage with their neighbours through a weekly coffee morning and by Beatrice Anayo, the minister, reaching out to her neighbours in the local pub. The church continues to enjoy a good partnership with Fishponds BC and meet for worship on Sundays.
The Stowe, Swindon – planted on a brand new housing estate continues to develop from a group largely connecting with children and their not-yet Christian parents to one that is growing in spiritual depth and capacity. One of the challenges the Stowe faces is that of continuing to develop Christian community in East Wichel (the first development) and beginning to reach out to, and be present in Middle Wichel (the beginning-to-be developed 2nd development). Owen Green and Ali Boulton and the core group need wisdom to know how best to go about this.
‘Connect’, Bussage, Gloucestershire – Alisdair Longwill is seconded one day a week in his own community with the aim of developing this is low-key, highly relational missional community on the outskirts of Stroud. The group connect with neighbours through the local mid-week Community Cafe (for whom they will once again host a Christmas Party), through a recent ‘Puzzling Questions’ course, and by giving practical care and support to neighbours. They meet fortnightly as a small group ‘Connect’ in a home (seeking to connect with God, each other and with our neighbours) and as ‘Thrive’ a monthly informal worship gathering in a home – seeking to resource one another in our engaging in God’s mission to our local community.
City Road Baptist Church – led by Eric Aidoo the church continue to worship God together and seek to connect with their neigh ours. Once of the challenges City Rd faces is how best to utilise their extensive buildings. Please pray for them as they explore suitable partnerships that will help them in doing this.
Portishead – is an affluent and ever-developing community. We are grateful to Dan and Beth Doherty who have in these past few years have been seeking to connect with their neighbours in creative ways – particularly young families. We are grateful to God for the contacts they have made and for the families whose lives they have touched during these years. It has been difficult to establish a core group of people who will share the vision the Doherty’s and we have for Portishead – and we value your prayers to know how best to proceed in the future. Dan continues with Jon Thurlow (Pill BC) to host The Gathering, a monthly discipling resource held in the Marina Costa, Portishead.
In addition to these grants to churches and new missional communities, in 2017 WEBA has continued to support Mike Peat as Free Church Chaplain to Bristol University, and also made small contributions to our four regional ecumencial bodies: Together 4 Bristol, Gloucestershire Churches Together, Somerset Churches Together, and Wiltshire Churches Together.
If you’d like to see a full breakdown of grants awarded in 2017 please contact the WEBA office.