This was the second newsletter, sent out on 6th May. To receive future newsletters click here.
It's been about 8 months now.
In fact, I can track the age of the church by tracking the size of my wife's growing belly as she prepares to give birth to our second in June. And these past months have been good.
You may recall that we began meeting at the end of September 2014 and there was a lot of uncertainty. We had nine committed people, and then (in answer to prayer) Chloe showed up with her wonderful voice and heart for God and we had another worship leader. But we still were not sure if anyone would come.
Those early Sundays were nerve-wracking. I'm not sure how well I hid it, but I was not comfortable! Nevertheless, people began joining us right from day one, and now we have about forty committed people.
Our long-lost sign that went missing from the pub window on one of our first Sundays, and some communion bread with (real) wine which we take every week. None of this grape juice nonsense for us, please.
What have we been up to? Mostly the beautifully ordinary stuff of church life. We have gathered every Sunday and most Wednesdays since we began. You can listen to the archive of messages here, if you feel like it.
Along with the ordinary rhythms of church, we ran an Alpha Course in the Spring term. Most of our guests came through the Alpha website (i.e. they found us). It was a tiring but rewarding eleven weeks as we set up the hall each Monday, and brought food we had prepared that day. Our team was wonderful in their commitment and we're thinking how to improve things for next time.
A generic Sunday with me preaching (they didn't look quite so bored in real life). And the fliers for our fabulous Carol Service.
It's unlikely to get pulses racing, but after some considerable man-hours we have also become registered as our own Charitable Incorporated Organisation, with our own charity number and everything. This means that we are now just about completely independent.
Our venue, The Horse & Stables, is regularly (though not always) full on Sundays. We're praying and looking for the next venue, but we'd like it to be as close to Waterloo as possible.
Finances are in better shape than we expected, though we're still on course to run out of money at some point in our second year. By saying we're 'on course' for that, I'm not trying to imply that this is our aim! We're monitoring the money closely, and hoping and praying that as people join us they will become committed givers.
Another hugely important step for us is our intention to link with Advance. This is a family of churches that is part of the broader Newfrontiers network, and is led by PJ Smyth. By partnering with these churches we are hoping to go further and faster in training guys for ministry, and planting more churches in the years to come.
Many of our prayer requests from the first newsletter have now been answered (including that we'd have a good start, that we'd grow beyond 30, and that we'd have success in registering as a charity). Looking ahead, these are the things that I'd love you to join in praying for:
- That we'd see people crossing the line of faith & getting baptised;
- A door to open into a new and better venue that will allow us to continue growing, but will better serve our precious mums and kids;
- Strong finances so that we'll be able to rely on the giving of our people.
I continue to look ahead with two long-term hopes for us as a church: First, we hope to be a church-planting church, with a focus on planting churches in other parts of London. Second, we would love to one day own a building in South Bank where we can have a permanent presence.
Please do print this off and pray through these things whenever you think of us.
Thank you for support. It means a huge amount to us!
Grace & peace,