A post of Special Category Minister was created in Sept 2009 in order for the church to get full time ministry despite its size. On taking up the post it became apparent that the agenda should be to build a church, build a congregation and build community.
The Elephant and Castle is located in zone 1 London, the name coming from the pub in the middle of a busy 5 road intersection, one mile from Westminster, Waterloo, London and Tower Bridges
Crossway URC was on the Heygate Estate, an area of 1200 homes built in 1960s to replace existing dilapidated housing stock; an area often found at the top of depravation indices.
Here’s the back of the church before the homes were demolished, replete in urban art adorning the brickwork and bins. The estate became a favourite for film makers and the church was used as the actor’s ‘green’ room for The Bill, Law and Order, Luther, Attack on the Block and of course…..
Harry Brown. Michael Caine became patron of the Crossway in 2011
By 2013 the developers had moved in and started the demolition
Crossway is the last building standing and will be replaced in 2016 by a new construction 400 meters away on the neighbouring Newington Estate.
So what about Crossway….
The strength of Crossway is the 8 congregations that combined bring approximately 350 worshippers onto the premises. There are 80 congregations within one mile of the church and there is always need for space. How can the United Reformed Church with little capacity engage in mission. By working with the building users
The constituent congregations have agreed to abide by a Charter of Missional Intent that sets out how, together, the centre users can be involved in collective and collaborative mission.
It is hoped that as a result all congregations will have the opportunity to be involved in mission despite their size, ethnic particularity or theological basis.
The document was prepared by all the church leaders based on guiding principles of sharing, proclaiming….
… being one in the Lord and prayer.
Almost, and with a lots of work, good will and God’s will we hope so!
Crossway: the Church in Regeneration
IT JUST WORKS!
Windermere November 2015
20 average congregation
12 countries, 3 continents
35 average age
5 elders appointed 2013
0 secretary, 0 treasurer
8 congregations using the building
• Zone 1 Central London
• Freehold owner of the building
• Over 100 years of presence
• The DNA of the church being a mission station
• The speed of decision making
• Lack of capacity
• Not committed to weekday gathering
• Reliance on minister led authority
• Increasing population from 40K to 80K
• Over 20% churchgoing at weekends
• Ever changing immigrant communities
• Rich picking from Synod finance
• Fallen below the tipping point
A CHARTER OF MISSIONAL INTENT
• We, the undersigned churches, will organise
programmes to benefit the community.
• Our motives will be evangelistic, seeking to show, by our
actions, the love of God through the example of Jesus’
self-giving deeds by the power of the Holy Spirit.
• We will be open and inclusive, giving all the churches of
the Centre the option to participate and share in the
• We will cooperate with all the churches of the
Centre, where our fundamental beliefs accord and
where practical, to avoid duplicating mission and
outreach initiatives for the Glory of God.
Wherever possible, we will promote and advertise
mission and outreach programmes as initiated by the
congregations that use Crossway Christian Centre .
“Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he
and his neighbour nearest to his house are to take one
according to the number of persons in them; according
to what each man should eat, you are to divide the
lamb.” Exodus 12:4
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I
commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age." Matthew 28:19
“(you) Gentiles are not foreigners or strangers any longer;
you are now citizens together with God's people and
members of the family of God. You, too, are built upon
the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, the
cornerstone being Christ Jesus himself. He is the one who
holds the whole building together and makes it grow into a
sacred temple dedicated to the Lord. In union with him
you too are being built together with all the others into a
place where God lives through his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19 –
'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into
exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare
you will have welfare.’ Jeremiah 29:7