The South Eastern Baptist Association has already responded to this once-in-a-lifetime chance to think imaginatively about the ways in which Jesus, the Gospel and Church can be presented to those who make Kent Thameside their home in the years to come. The Association’s partnership with Emmanuel Baptist Church in Gravesend means that local Baptist Christians are already working with friends in other Christian denominations, who are also up for this challenge.
It is too early to say what the end result may be in, say, twenty years from now, but it is clear that there will be more than one church or project emerging as we make sure we are in the for- front of creating effective expressions of the gospel for the unchurched people who will live in these new developments.
There are already 3 strands to this work. Cafechurch at Bluewater has been meeting in Costa for over 4 years. Fleet Alive is serving the local people of Northfleet North, an older community bordering on some of the new development areas. Ebbsfleet Valley is the largest development and our SEBA mission enabler is working hard to develop a strategy for reaching this area.
Read on to find out more!
Cafe church takes place on the 2nd Sunday of each month in the Costa Coffee outlet in Thames Upper Mall (next to Boots) between 6pm and 7pm. Each event is designed to be relaxed, fun and informal - in a style recommended by the cafechurch network and welcomed by Costa Coffee.
This area used be known as Eastern Quarry and has been earmarked for huge development which will include 6000 homes, several schools, community centres, local shops, neighbourhood and village greens and a town centre.
The KTCP is working with others to ensure that these areas become vibrant new communities where people want to live. As Christians, we believe we have something valuable to offer in terms of community development and believe that this represents opportunities for a variety of expressions of Church to emerge.
Fleet Alive is based in Northfleet North, which is on the outskirts of Gravesend and very close to several of the new housing sites. It is an older community with serious issues of social deprivation, however a group of local Christians have been meeting in the area for a number of years.
In addition to the Ebbsfleet Valley, there are other development sites in this area. These include Springhead Park, Swanscombe Penisula, Northfleet Embankment and areas around Ebbsfleet International station.
A new group for adults living the in the Northfleet North area has begun to meet fortnightly. ‘Encounters’ offers an opportunity to explore issues from a Christian perspective in a friendly and informal way. There is a children’s church meeting on the alternate Sundays in the Rainbow Centre. The children are discovering more about Jesus […]
The Castle Hill home group will be working with others to host a social this summer for the new residents of Castle Hill. It is hoped that there will be live music to accompany the light refreshments and great conversation! Face painting and fun for the younger ones too!
Penny and Lorraine will be hosting 4 coffee drop in sessions for new residents on Tuesday mornings starting at the end of June. It is hoped that many residents will come along to meet each other and find out more about the development and local area. Contact Penny by e-mail for further details.
The next Kent Mission Shaped Ministry course will begin in September. The course includes 2 full days, a residential weekend and 8 evening sessions. The evening sessions will be in 2 different venues – one of these will be Bluewater. There are more details on the page marked Training!