Growth in relationships over garden project
Boulton Lane Baptist Church in Derby has long held a dream of using a redundant piece of land for a community garden - and help has arrived in unexpected quarters. By Mike Lowe
As a Home Mission church we are very kingdom focused, always looking for where the Holy Spirit is at work in our community. For the past two years we’ve been raising £12,000 for a community garden and in that time it has been inspiring and brilliant to see God at work in three very different women.
Applying for grants for a project like a garden is a difficult and time consuming task and it was on my to-do list. I knew I needed help but I knew it wasn’t going to come from within our membership.
God answered prayer with the first young mum. With her family, they took time out with us from the Methodist church they were members, to reflect on their discipleship. Being confident with technology and on fire for the kingdom she identified the best grants to apply for in the first instance and the way I was to do it.
Then God sent the next young mum, someone who lives locally and has a passion for community and fundraising. She’s not a church goer but approached us to do a fundraising event. I suggested we partner up and fundraise together. Since 2012 it has been a partnership made in heaven where, through her passion and expertise we’ve put on the biggest and best community fundraising events probably in the church’s history.
Then God sent an atheist volunteer, passionate initially to help at our foodbank. Conversations developed and it was clear that she had the skills needed to fill out the various grant forms. She was quite happy using my Christian rhetoric on the long statements that these forms ask for! We worked brilliantly together and we recently secured all the funding needed.
The work is now in the hands of a skilled builder who has been seeking with us. He attends worship and has been on our Alpha course. We're sure God will continue to work in him as he quite literally builds a piece of God’s Kingdom.
The Revd Mike Lowe is Minister of Boulton Lane Baptist Church