One of the challenges currently faced by churches where the congregation has reduced to a very small number of people is knowing how best to face the future.  Some churches in these circumstances have handed the ‘running’ of the church over to a steering group, in order to leave a legacy that will last into the future.  Several years ago the mostly elderly members of Knowle West Baptist Church found themselves considering the future.  In order to be brief, if we jump ahead to today we can celebrate that the resources from Knowle West Baptist Church have given birth to The Cairn; a new community of God’s people.  And now God is  reaching a different group of people in Knowle West.

The Cairn is the name of Phil and Alice Lawrence’s home in Knowle West – and it is the primary location for the mission life of the Cairn community.  A number of activities take place there – such as the Guitar Club (a bit like a home group with guitars where together people can explore a spiritual journey and beef up their guitar skills); Man Friday, a monthly men’s breakfast, where between 10-15 people come to talk about life, its meaning, and to have a good breakfast.  Around half of these men also connect in with Fusion, a community men’s group in Knowle West.


The life and ministry of Phil and Alice is one, that is shared with, and lived alongside the local community.  A fellow Christian is currently living in a caravan in the garden, and sharing in mission at Phil and Alice’s, and another Christian couple, Roger and Angie Allen are soon to be joining Phil and Alice, living in the house.

On Sunday mornings around a dozen people gather at Phil and Alice’s for informal worship.  Beyond this, good inter-church relationships are developing, with the setting up of a Christians Against Poverty resource in South Bristol, something Phil is involved with.

Phil believes that there is currently a spiritual openness among those they are reaching out to.  Please continue to pray for him, Alice and those who are part of the community at the Cairn.  Pray too, that those they are journeying with who are close to the kingdom would eventually come to faith in Jesus.  Please pray for wisdom and sensitivity, for Phil, Alice and others – that they would be able to help those they are journeying with to move ever closer to Jesus for his glory.

By Alisdair Longwill