This was the third newsletter, sent out on 16th February. To receive future newsletters click here.
It has been too long and there is so much good to report back on since I last wrote a newsletter.
Our family is well, and we now have a little girl called Isla, born in June last year. Seth is a complete delight. Sie is still on maternity leave and using her time so well, balancing motherhood with all the extra work involved in being a pastor’s wife. It’s hard to imagine how we’ll cope when she’s back at work, but God has always given us grace.
Grace London is in good shape, I believe. We have continued to grow since I last wrote. This means we also now have five Life Groups (our midweek home groups), which is so wonderful. I honestly wasn’t sure we’d get this far this quickly.
Perhaps the biggest step forward has been the establishment of our new leadership team. The aim is that those of us on the team are tracking towards eldership, figuring out if that is the call on each of our lives, and beginning to take on load of responsibility in church work. You can read a little more here. One of the things most close to my heart has been the desire to see guys trained up, and the potential to send others to plant churches. It feels like having a leadership team is a big step towards that.
We miss the pub where we began, but it was getting a bit claustrophobic in there, and not at all ideal for the kids. God opened the door to a perfect next venue. It’s a small theatre in a railway arch next-door to Waterloo Station. It seats up to 100, and it has given us space to grow, and to start a crèche.
Chloe performing at our one-year church anniversary party for Grace, and a shot outside the door to our new venue at Waterloo East Theatre.
After running two Alpha Courses we decided to take a break. That has given us a chance to launch a new initiative called ‘Salt’. Salt is a single-article magazine published weekly online and in print with the aim of provoking readers to think about faith, and with the hope of developing a committed readership who are engaging seriously with the ideas we’re sharing. The name ‘Salt’ calls to mind the words of Jesus: ‘You are the salt of the earth…’ It also captures a number of key features: strong opinion and truth telling; liberal distribution or sprinkling; good writing that is appetising; provoking a thirst for more. We are aiming to print 1000 each week with a fresh article each time, and put it on the website to share via social media. So far we’ve had a number of really interesting conversations.
I mentioned that we were looking at joining Advance. This is now official, and it feels like a match arranged by God. There is strong sense of kindred spirit with this movement, which exists to plant churches and strengthen existing ones.
Brandon getting his fingers warmed up on those frets before leading us in worship, and Rhys showing us how the Welsh pour milk.
Our prayers keep being answered. Last time I wrote I asked you to pray for a new venue—and we have that, and we’re quickly filling it! And we were asking God for strong finances, and we have been surprised that, despite our church being predominantly young and with relatively few strong earners, things are looking healthy which frees us to start thinking bigger (e.g. interns, employees, evangelism initiatives, etc.).
All-in-all, I look back on the past 17 months since we began and wonder at God’s grace in helping us to get this far.
The first ever batch of the Salt publication, ready for distribution, and some of the shiny, happy people holding hands at Grace—Irina, Suzie, Chloe, and Kayode.
It feels as though we are gathering some good momentum, but there are some very specific things we need or would like from God.
- Ask that we’d see people crossing the line of faith and joining the church through baptism;
- That the new leadership team will grow in love and maturity, and submission to God’s will;
- A new venue for the Autumn (or earlier) that will allow us to continue growing;
- The ongoing strength of our finances as we start to stretch the budget with new initiatives.
As I’ve said in the past, there are also some long-term prayers. First, that we would become a church-planting church (for which we need people, leaders, and finance). Second, that we would be able to own a space in Waterloo to call our own, and use throughout the week.
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,