Trisha's Blog

Canon Trisha Wick retired from CMS where she was a Mission Partner in South Sudan .
She is now a Pioneer Minister in Hull at the St Margarets Welcome Centre on Longhill Estate

Saturday, 12 November 2016

NEWS FROM LONGHILL FOR NOVEMBER 2016

NEWS FROM LONGHILL FOR NOVEMBER 2016
 
Greetings everyone. This month I want to share with you how we are developing church on Longhill and ask you to pray for some specific needs we have at present.
 
STRATEGY
When I began my work I did not come with a set plan of how I would develop and grow church on Longhill. I prayed that with God’s help this would emerge as I listened to, sought advice and planned with local people.  There was no Sunday service and the main service was a Holy Communion Service on a Thursday morning at 11.30 am. Attendance on average was 5 – 10 people. This service continues and has slowly been growing in numbers. Maggie Jeavons (from our mother church, St. Michael’s) and myself share the leadership of this. Most who attend usually have lunch together in our Cafe afterwards.
 
In January this year I started a ‘Christianity – What’s it all about?’ group meeting on Wednesdays from 1.30-2.30pm. We started by answering questions people were asking about Christianity. This then led into a ‘Moving On’ course. After that we studied the Book of Philippians followed by studies from the Book of Acts on ‘How can my church grow?’. We are now looking at some of the Psalms until the end of the year. In the New Year  the group has requested to do the ‘Start Course’ in order to help people summarize what they believe so they can share their faith with others. We have about 12 regular attenders at this Wednesday Group plus several more who come and go, with a few new people recently.
 
On the first Tuesday of every month we meet at 7.30pm for an hour to pray for the work on Longhill. It is good to see more people having the courage to pray out loud. We have three prayer spaces in the building where people can leave prayer requests.
 
Since I started on Longhill we have had several services in our Cafe on special festivals such as Christmas and Easter. This has now developed into a monthly Cafe Church. We did our first one at Harvest last month and expected 20-30 people and 70 turned up including about 20 children. Our next one is on November 9th when we will have a Time of Remembrance. Our Christmas Cafe Church is called ‘Christmas Chaos’ and will be on December 14th. During this we will be doing an adult nativity play which will be hilarious. I think I will be a sheep! I think Cafe Church will soon have to move into the Hall for safety reasons if we continue to get good numbers attending. Under the banner of Cafe Church I expect in the future to include some more imaginative services and maybe different ways of doing things and sharing our faith as God leads and as we sense what people on Longhill will respond to.  Many are curious about my remit to do church in a new way and that they can have a say and work with me to do it.  Exciting!
 
I have three new Recognized Parish Assistants and we have had a real burden to start a group with a Christian foundation for parents and children. I asked them to go and pray and plan and they felt God was saying we should move into a monthly ‘Messy Church’ for families in particular. We did our first one at the end of October and there were 33 of us which was encouraging. Parents must accompany their children and it was good to see all ages involved in the activities and thoroughly enjoying themselves. The leadership team has grown to seven people (without me) who plan and run it. I am supervising, advising and encouraging in these early stages. It is wonderful to see the leaders flourishing and enthusiastic as they accept this new challenge. There is some overlap with those from Messy Church who attend Cafe Church and we hope increasingly that Messy Church will feed more people into Cafe Church and other spiritual activities.
 
PLEASE PRAY:
1.   For new Christians to grow in their faith
2.   New chairs are needed for the Chapel and the Hall – pray for funding
3.   Thank God for the non church goers who are now starting to attend Cafe Church and Messy Church
4.   Pray for many more people to join our services as we reach out to people on Longhill
5.   We desperately need musicians and instruments
6.   We need people who can work amplification equipment and data projector
7.   Thank God for the leadership teams for Cafe Church and Messy Church and that these teams will grow in number (and that DBS checks are done quickly)
8.   Pray for safety in the building for everyone.
9.   With new initiatives my workload is increasing so pray for wisdom in how I use my time.  I desperately need space to think, pray and reflect and opportunities to escape from work to do this – not easy.
10. Pray for fruit from our contacts with local schools
 
God is so good and sometimes I feel He answers prayers before I even pray them! We need to pray people into Church as well as developing friendships and trust with people who enter the building for the variety of activities we provide. We want to reflect the love and care of Christ in all we do.
 
Please pray fervently for God’s church on Longhill as we seek to grow and develop it.
 
God bless
Trisha Wick

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