We began very small, with nine adults and a few babies in 2014. Since then we’ve grown as more and more people have joined us in forming a new community in our great city. The first services were held above a pub in Waterloo, and before long we outgrew the space and moved to a small theatre in a railway arch. More recently we have been meeting in a beautiful space in Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, Waterloo.
Over the course of our (relatively short) history, it has been thrilling to make new friends, see people’s lives changed in very concrete ways, and to baptise people who have made a decision to follow Jesus. In many ways, the church still feels young, but we have big ambitions to make an impact in London and further afield.
Our hope looking forward is to start many new churches, and to continue the slow and deliberate work of helping each person who comes through our doors discover more about Jesus and his amazing life, and find themselves amidst a family in the heart of the metropolis.
When the Apostle Paul planted churches he generally followed a certain pattern. He began by establishing a regular gathering of believers who called themselves disciples or Christians. Over time he would identify and train certain men to lead the church, and they would be called ‘elders’.
While we do not yet have an official team of elders, we do have a leadership team made up of five guys and led by Andrew Haslam.
Andrew studied Theology (at King’s College London and then Oak Hill Theological College) in preparation for the ministry, and worked at Westminster Chapel for seven years. He is married to Sie Yan, a medical doctor. They have a son called Seth and a daughter called Isla. He led the core team that planted Grace London.
We are in partnership with a global movement of churches called Advance. The aim of Advance is to plant and strengthen churches. In practice, this means that we partner together to help train new pastors, fund new churches, and help existing churches in whatever ways they need help.
While Advance is a relatively new movement, it sits within the broader historic tradition of Protestant Reformed churches, with a strong emphasis on Charismatic renewal.
Basically, it’s all about Jesus.
You may be a sceptic or just undecided about Jesus, so please be assured that we want you to feel completely at ease to come and be part of the church and to journey with others who are working things out just like you. But if you need a primer, here’s the short story.
Born into a poor family in an obscure village, most onlookers could not have known how much he would change the world. But the story of Jesus begins much further back in the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures, the same scrolls he would have read in synagogue as a boy, that predict his arrival on planet earth to begin a revolution. It sounds like the stuff of comics and legends, but when you read the eye-witness testimonies of his friends and followers, you know these are not myths invented by a strange sect. They have the ring of truth.
Jesus captivated and repulsed people. He performed miracles that drew crowds, then he offended them with brutal honesty and drove them away. He could have been forgotten in the annals of history as just another controversial preacher, were it not for one extraordinary event.
After Jesus reached his gruesome death by execution, his followers were dejected. The light had gone out, it seemed, and all their hopes had crashed to the ground. But three days later he began appearing to them alive from the dead. And so he sparked the movement that has now claimed more followers than any other religion or philosophy in the history of the world.
In essence what we believe is this: that Jesus is the Son of God, sent by his Father to be our hope and salvation, put to death in seeming defeat, but actually dying according to a greater plan that was designed to deal with the sickness of our sin. His resurrection from the dead marks his ultimate victory over death, and gives us the certain hope that we too can live with him forever.
While many think this is a story that lacks credibility, it has captivated hundreds of millions of people because of the compelling reality of the Bible as a book like no other, and the very real power of Jesus to work in your life today.
It has been said about the Bible that it is a book shallow enough for a child to paddle in, and deep enough for an elephant to drown in. It is massively diverse in style and content, but speaks with a single Voice on all kinds of issues that affect your everyday life.
We make it our aim to wrestle with and understand the teachings of Jesus and of the Bible, since there is a vast field of exploration into everything you can think of, from ecology to industry, life to death, money to family, church to creative arts.
We welcome you to come along and find out more.
For those who want to understand a quick summary of the core elements of the Christian faith, here is a succinct one-page summary that we would uphold passionately.