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Updated Feb 2013

Our vision for the 21st century – A street level church

Over the past two years the church membership has embarked on a Vision Project to renew the church’s building and its Christian links with the wider community.  A clear brief has been written to regenerate the building and to make the church more welcoming and of greater use to the community it serves.  Prayer has been at the heart of the project from its inception.

 

A brief background

Over the years there have been many conversations concerning the improvement of the Church fabric to bring it up to date for the 21st century.  There has been much personal and corporate prayer regarding  our vision for the future.  In an attempt to let the public know that we’re here, we began opening the Church on some Saturdays and weekdays.  It attracted a steady trickle of people but it also became a venue where church folk began sharing thoughts and dreams and ideas.

 

In March 2006 some of us spent a morning praying around the Church which is built on three levels.  It was an enriching experience as we found ourselves singing in the galleries and sharing thoughts and prayers and scripture.  A few months on the time between Ascension and Pentecost was set aside as a special time of prayer to seek God’s guidance as to how his Church both the people and the building, could best be used to share the Gospel.  We began on the evening of Ascension Day with a walk, and a stop en route for worship and some light refreshment.   On the following days leading up to Pentecost the Church was open for an hour each day.   In September 2006 the Church meeting agreed to ask Sue Wilkinson (Stewardship Advocate for Lancashire District) to lead a mission/vision workshop in January 2007.

 

Many exciting things have happened in between but January 2007 saw all the various strands coming together.  The mission/vision workshop was a source of inspiration.  Also in January, following a meeting with Nigel Rix, a regeneration practitioner, the minister, secretary and treasurer met to outline a vision of the ‘Street Level Church.’  Subsequently, Nigel presented a Consultancy Proposal to work with the Church as a facilitator and advisor to consider how the building could be reshaped in line with our vision for Christian worship and witness.  The vision and proposal were approved by the elders and  presented to the Church the following month following Sunday worship.  

 

A ‘Seeing Together’ event was held at the end of April led by Sue Wilkinson with a parallel event for the young people led by Leo Roberts, the youth and children’s work officer.  Every member, adherent and friend of the Church received a personal invitation in order to ensure that everyone who wished could be involved.  The day created considerable interest in the future life of our Church and at the end of the day a paper was circulated suggesting many ways in which people might help support the Church move forward.   There was a good response with people committing to financial support, fundraising and prayer.  People also committed to serving on the Project Committee, preparing café worship and working for an Eco friendly Church.

 

Renewing the roof of the Church is the first phase in order for the vision to proceed.  The Whizz Kids were quick to respond with their ‘Raise the Roof’ appeal in September.  To date the fund stands at more than £87.000 pounds.  Prayer continues to be at the heart of the project.

 

Now in 2009 we are almost ready to begin the journey.

Street Level Church