Home Mission pics

Home Mission pics

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Nature Bugs in Portishead

 This year our focus for the WEBA New Churches Initiative is the new missional community at Portishead led by Dan and Beth Doherty. Dan left his job as a full time Baptist Minister to follow a call to build Christian community in this area of rapid population growth on the Somerset coast. Here's an update from Beth, who has found an imaginative way to develop relationships with local families:

Having spent time over the last 6 months visiting many toddler groups here in Portishead I felt that there was a gap in the market so to speak for a different kind of group that would focus more on getting pre school children playing and interacting outdoors, rather than in an indoor setting. 

As we live close to Portbury Wharf nature reserve I thought I'd approach Avon Wildlife Trust to ask permission to start a walking group on the site, involving parents and toddlers in both the immediate vicinity and wider town. Having got a brilliant response from local families ‘Portbury Wharf Nature Bugs’ took off back in March with over thirty families booked on to do monthly nature walks and activities during term times. Our first few sessions have all gone really well so far and everyone involved has responded with wonderful feedback.

I feel that as a free provision for families, the group will be an extension of our friendship as church planters to the community and it’s a great way to meet regularly with families in a new context exploring our local surroundings. 

It has been widely recognised that spending time outdoors both individually and as a family greatly enhances our sense of wellbeing. I believe it’s really important for young children to develop a sense of wonder, awe and respect for our natural world and these things together create building blocks for a happier adulthood. Please pray that ‘Nature Bugs’ continues to reach families here in Portishead over the coming months and that it may have a lasting impact for the future. Thank you.

Beth Doherty

Gifts to the WEBA New Churches Initiative will continue to help us to provide accommodation for Dan, Beth and Pippa as they continue the slow process of building Christian community. We ask each WEBA church to contribute £200 per year, or £75 for smaller churches. Individuals can also support the Initiative by setting up a standing order - contact office@webassoc.org.uk to request a form.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

5 years on for the Boultons

I've lifted today's post straight from facebook, where Rev. Alison Boulton noted that it was five years since she and her family moved into an almost empty housing development on the edge of Swindon:

5 yrs ago today I had just spent the first full day living in Wichelstowe. We lived here for the next month alone. It's strange now remembering how at night security gates were locked so that no one else could access the site! 

I have loved living here for the last 5 years and seeing a new community emerge. I looked back over some photos today and it was great to see Wichelstowe children I knew in the early days looking so young and sweet! 

It's been lovely to reflect on the last 5 years - on all the community activities, the new community groups and the birth of a church.
It has been great to meet so many new people and make new friends.
Thanks to everyone who have been part of this exciting journey.

Ali Boulton 

The Stowe was the first of WEBA's 'New Initiatives', and there are now several more developing around this region, including the group Dan and Beth Doherty are building in Portishead, and plans for a new expression of church in South Bristol.

We hope that our churches will continue to support these pioneers by giving both to Home Mission and the WEBA New Churches Initiative.

Home Mission: We encourage all our churches to give at least 5% of general income by standing order or by cheque to WEBA Home Mission.

New Churches Initiative: We encourage all our churches to give £200 annually (or £75 for smaller churches) - cheques payable to WEBA. Individuals can also give to the New Churches Initiative - contact office@webassoc.org.uk to request a standing order form.