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GLIMPSES OF THE KINGDOM IN MIDDLE ENGLAND

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Wade Street Church, a URC/Baptist LEP in the centre of the small city of Lichfield, is constantly trying to reach out to the surrounding community by engaging with the life of the city and using those opportunities both to model and to proclaim the values of the Kingdom of God. WSC encourages its members to become involved in all aspects of the life of the city and has gained a reputation for its welcoming and hospitable outlook and its engagement with the many different initiatives which help to improve the life of the citizens (Foodbank, Late Night Listeners, Schools’ Work and so on).

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GLIMPSES OF THE KINGDOM IN MIDDLE ENGLAND

  1. 1. Being “a church at the heart of the city.”
  2. 2. Wade Street Church is a URC/Baptist LEP in the centre of Lichfield, a prosperous small city of 32,000 inhabitants in Staffordshire, 20 miles NE of Birmingham.
  3. 3. The church has a membership of around 170 and a regular congregation of around 180. The congregation spans a wide age range from toddler to 90+ year-olds and is based in a 200 year old listed Georgian chapel with good facilities in which many activities take place, both church-based and community- based.
  4. 4. Wade Street Church is a church where lives are being changed by God, and his people look upwards in worship forwards to growth and maturity, and outwards in care, concern and evangelism.
  5. 5. Our most significant resources are …
  6. 6. MEMBERS MISSIONAL DISCIPLES who need to be …
  7. 7. E QUIPPED NTHUSED
  8. 8. EQUIPPED by Teaching Preaching Discussion … in order to build confidence.
  9. 9. ENTHUSED through Encouragement, Developing gifts, Laughter, friendship, fun, with regular opportunities on Sundays for testimony and thanksgiving.
  10. 10. Something to aim for: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you because we have heard that God is with you.” ’ Zechariah 8:23
  11. 11. Where are you and what is going on around you?
  12. 12. The church is surrounded by retirement flats, so … we set up a weekly Lunch Club for the residents.
  13. 13. We got involved in the Lichfield Mystery Plays, 26 mediaeval plays, staged by community groups, telling the story of the Bible.
  14. 14. We take our Messy Church to the annual Bower Day Carnival, along with the Youth For Christ football cage.
  15. 15. We take part in various Christmas activities in the city – a late night Nativity around the pubs, and windows that are part of the Chamber of Trade’s “Living Advent Calendar” …
  16. 16. … and schools’ weeks in the church at Christmas and Easter.
  17. 17. We take part in the Jazz & Blues Festival by leading a “Jazz & Blues Service” as part of the Sunday programme – closing the church building and moving to the park.
  18. 18. We share our story as part of the city’s Heritage Weekend.
  19. 19. We are involved in the city’s Town Twinning events and twin with a church in Limburg, as well as conducting tri-lingual, ecumenical services in Lichfield.
  20. 20. Community groups use our buildings, including a Morris Dance side. Some of our women joined the group and now others have started attending services, too. They dance at our Carol Service.
  21. 21. From time to time we invite representatives of all the groups which use our premises to a dinner, where they can network with each other, but also hear a bit about why we do what we do.
  22. 22. This all helps to build up trust and enhances the reputation of the church as a welcoming and involved part of the community. But it doesn’t all bring instant results in terms of church attendance, commitments to Christ or spiritual revival! We also need …
  23. 23. Pray Give the very best – after all, it’s for God! Learn from your mistakes – don’t be afraid to stop stuff.
  24. 24. Our aim is to turn contacts into DISCIPLES
  25. 25. We encourage people to invite others to events at church which can provide opportunities to ask questions or take a further step towards becoming a Christian.
  26. 26. Paul Jones Jimmy Cricket Paul Kerensa Frank Williams Henry Olonga Dana Special events with a clear Christian message: Themed services, Comedy nights, Musical events and testimony evenings with “famous Christians”:

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