Changes and Blessings at West View Baptist Church
West View Baptist Church called Tim Hyde to be their part-time minister back in 2011, enabled by a grant from Home Mission. Situated in the middle of an estate to the north of Hartlepool, we have seen many changes and blessings since 2011.
For one, the world has started making Hartlepool and West View their home! There is a growing Asylum seeker community in the town and many families have recently moved into West View as they have been granted refugee status. In the last three years our congregation demographic has changed dramatically as we have been enriched by new families from places like Philippines and Nigeria joining us. The highlight of 2013 was an International Feast we held at our little church as gesture to try and offer a welcome to newcomers in our community. We were overwhelmed by the response - 200 people turned up!
A real blessing to us also, is the growing number of children and young people who are part of our congregation. There have been some times when nearly half the congregation is under 16. We have a great team that work with them in Young Church on Sundays and at other times. As a consequence the kids seem to enjoy being with their friends at church!
But we have also been challenged by the ageing population in the community around the church, and have been running a Holiday at Home for the over fifties, for the last 3 years. This has been a great success in building relationships with others in the community as well as offering a place of fun and friendship.
We are so grateful for the support of the Baptist family through Home Mission which has been a real encouragement and a catalyst in helping us to try new things and see God at work.
Tim Hyde (Minister of West View Baptist Church, Hartlepool)
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