Lenton's Lane Baptist Church
Home Mission enabling transformation in Coventry
As a small church, located on the borders of Coventry and Warwickshire, Lenton’s Lane has, until recently, fallen into disrepair and low numbers. When the previous minister retired in 2012 he had been supported on an expenses only basis and numbers had fallen to as few as six older people gathering together faithfully each week. The decision loomed large whether to close the doors on its 200 years of history.
There came an opportunity in 2013 for the Revd Matt Jeffrey, then a minister in training from Regent’s Park College, Oxford, to be placed with them for the final few months of his studies, and the church seized upon this. During these months together, the church worked tirelessly to re-establish connections with the local community, through a series of outreach events, occasional good quality children’s days, and Matt sought to reinvigorate the church to recognise the potential within.
Matt says “I saw the heart of the people of God who met there, and helped them to rediscover their potential to serve Jesus through serving the community.”
The church proceeded to call Matt as half time minister from September 2013, and there began discussions with the local Baptist Association to see if a Home Mission grant may be possible. They were thoroughly supportive throughout, and indeed after seeing the seeds of transformation, and the plans for the future, the grant was agreed to commence in January 2015, enabling the church to have a full time minister for the first time in over 20 years.
Matt continues “We know there is a great deal of work still to do; however, as a worshipping community in this small area of the city, we know we can rely upon our faithful God to support us throughout. We are looking to develop many areas, such as the building, which has fallen into some level of disrepair, and seeking to build further upon the collective momentum. Together, we are extremely grateful to Home Mission, as it supports the breadth of ministry. All areas of expectation have risen, and the numbers have followed, with around 30 people now regularly worshipping together each week, bringing together our prayers and song before God.”
The church has also reconnected with sister fellowships in the area, holding collective Remembrance Day services with Longford Baptist church. The offering this year was shared between Home Mission and ‘Help for Heroes’.
A small group has been established and meets regularly, recently completing the Life on the Frontline DVD course from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC). This was greatly received, and reaffirmed the understanding that God is interested in our whole week, not simply our Sunday morning worship.
One further area of expansion has been to start a local community forum, including support from the Police and local Councillors, to help address the wide variety of issues facing local people. This has been integral to the message that the church is seeking to support both its members and the local community in which God has placed it.
Matt concluded “I long for the coming day, where we can re-open the presently forlorn baptistry and lead local people through the waters as they commit their life to following Jesus. With our faithful God, and the Home Mission support, I know that day is coming.”
Minister, Lenton’s Lane Baptist Church
Give thanks for the Home Mission grant enabling the church to call Matt as their full time minister
For Matt and Vicki and the growing congregation as they seek God’s plans for Lenton’s Lane
For the new community forum to continue to develop its support for the local people
That the small group meeting regularly will support and challenge each another
For an opportunity to re-open to baptistry and celebrate the baptism of new Christians
For plans to develop the building which has fallen into disrepair
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