New chapter for church in the pub
A Torquay church’s outreach work has been boosted after it secures greater use of the pub where it worships
The Willows Community Church (Baptist) meets for worship in the Willow Tree Public House every Sunday morning. The pub is the only building in the Willows open to the public, meaning until now the outreach work of the church, especially children’s and young people’s work, has been forced to happen outside of the area.
Now that looks set to change, as it appears the brewery has consented to lease the pub’s unused annexe to the Council for community use. Previously the annexe was a Wacky Warehouse, and minister Bruce Porter has tried unsuccessfully over the years to gain use of it.
He said, ‘With the annexe becoming available, we are looking at providing a weekly luncheon club, a parent and toddlers group, a drop in centre and renewed children’s and youth work.
‘The services will probably continue in the pub because, as it is open for breakfasts, when we meet it has proved to be an effective witness to many of the customers.'
With this change Bruce has also decided, instead of being part-time minister to Dartmouth Baptist Church and part-time to the Willows Community Church, to become full-time minister of the Willows from July.
He added, ‘Please pray for us as we look forward to a new chapter in the life of the church.’
The Willows Community Church started meeting as a plant from Barton Baptist Church in 2005. Bruce was inducted formally as the minister in April 2011 and the church was recognised as a Baptist church in its own right at the Assembly in 2011.