At the beginning of the year a group of us decided to see what happened if we opened the church every Tuesday. We had no idea who was going to come through our doors, or if our plan was of the Lord. So we waited nervously and we prayed…
Over the past year we must have had 70-80 people through our doors. On average we see 20-30 people, some of whom have started coming quite literally off the street. We are building a presence in the local community we never had before, and we are engaging in all kinds of conversations, and discovering all kinds of needs.
None of this would be possible without a fantastic team who have grown closer to each and to the Lord over the past year, and we have seen some discover gifts they never realised they had. Today they excelled themselves by cooking Christmas dinner for 29 people, and nobody went away hungry! We finished the meal with a short carol service, and, as always, we collected requests for prayer we then shared at the end of the day, at 3.30pm.
We don’t know where the Lord will take this work in 2020, but it’s already been an amazing journey. And I mustn’t forget to mention that once a month, if we weren’t busy enough, we hold a family part from 4pm to 6pm on Tuesdays, and we regularly get about 7 children, none of whom regularly come on Sunday.
So Open Church one year on is becoming our main mission and outreach here at St Barnacles. If you aren’t yet part of our story, do join us. The Lord has given us a vision for SLOW church – safe, loving, open, and welcoming to all, and you too are very welcome to be a part of it.
Open Church is now taking a two week break, but we will back on 7th January. I hope very much to see you there!