St Barnabas, Grange Park, Loughborough launched


It was a day of celebration as Bishop Martyn joined with the congregation of one of our newest churches for their official launch.

St Barnabas, Grange Park, is a new church plant from two Loughborough churches; Emmanuel and Church of the Good Shepherd, which together form one of the six Resourcing Churches in our diocese.

Called the St Barnabas community, it has been meeting together since mid September. Initially they met in the home of the lead minister, Ben Gardner, when 36 people squeezed in before then meeting at Woodbrook Vale School for five weeks until the completion of their permanent home: The Arc Community Hub, Grange Park, Loughborough.

The church rents the space from the Arc for their Sunday Gathering and for other activities. The Arc is an exciting community space and was built by local residents who raised £600,0000 in addition to winning a National Lottery Grant of £500,000 to help fund the project. For more info see - http://www.grangeparkcentre.org.uk & http://thearccommunityhub.org.uk

The first Sunday Gathering in the church's new home was Sunday 10th November when 50 people came together in worship.

Numbers have already grown and the launch service saw a congregation of around 100 worshippers. Services are are informal, beginning with refreshments and include sung worship, sharing stories of what God is doing in church member’s everyday lives, prayer, and a Bible-based sermon.

The church children’s group (STB Kids) is available on the 1st, 3rd & 4th Sundays.

Oneinititative that the church has adopted is a monthy Give To Give Away Sunday. This is the only time when they take an offering. The cash collection is taken, counted and then distributed evenly back to those who have come to church for each of them to give away in the week to someone who needs it, and to show the generosity of God to others. It might be used to buy someone a coffee, pay for their weekly shop, send some flowers to someone who is going through a tough time etc. The first time they did this the church gave away over £360, the second  time over £400.

Plans are afoot in the new year for the launch of lots of other activitiy groups:

  • STB Communities (mid-week groups that have a missional focus)
  • Alpha courses, a 30 minute fun and activity packed  9am Kids Gathering aimed at young families who do not go to church and will happen twice monthly
  • An STB Youth Community starting in February

After the service Revd Ben Gardiner commented: “It has been a privilege to have Bishop Martyn launching us, alongside key supporters and local representatives, into an exciting new adventure for Jesus and His Kingdom.

"Our heart from the very beginning has been to plant and grow an authentic church that seeks to encounter Jesus, build community and see transformation in Grange Park, Loughborough and beyond.

"We cannot wait to see what God does in and through us as we reach and serve the 93% that have no or very little contact with the Gospel because that is what all this is about.”

The service was followed by a community meal.




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