57 West: A church plant among young adults in Southend
1 Brief description of project:
To plant an emerging missional congregation with the intent of it becoming a church among young adults in Southend.
2 The need in Southend:
There is a large and concentrated population of young adults in central Southend due to:
1) The university and college;
2) The retail town centre;
3) Thriving regional night economy including many night clubs, bars and pubs;
4) The seafront.
The result is a concentration of young adults creating an exceptional situation. Church presence is weak among young adults in the town centre.
3 The dream is….
To express church by going among young adults and sharing the unchanging Gospel in new ways that helps them in responding. We desire this community to be whole-life oriented, where God’s invitation is received to live ‘life in fullness’.
4 The work so far
(during the last 12 months since starting the church plant):
5 The need for a Home Mission Grant
57 West has started to operate out of a shop we converted (see photo for before and after the renovation)
Opening 57 West during the week as a coffee and wi-fi hub for young adults
Opening 57 West on Friday and Saturday nights with volunteers and running events for students and clubbers
Forming and equipping the core team for the church plant (8 individuals in total)
Street evangelism and pastoral care for young people on the streets between 9pm to 2am
Working in partnership with the University and College chaplaincy team offering outreach events
Developing a mentoring programme for ex-offenders and victims of crime
Partnering with local Churches and community groups, including Southend night economy group
Starting a new expression of church for young adults on Sunday evenings
The minister of the church plant, Dan Pratt has been working so far on a faith-funded basis. Dan worked for 6 years with BMS World Mission, and is in his final year as a Minister-in-Training at Regent’s Park College. The Home Mission Grant is essential to the church plant as it will pay for half of the minister’s stipend as he continues in the church plant as a newly accredited minister. This will enable the work of church planting to upscale greatly.
We are grateful for God’s provision through Home Mission funding.
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