Well it was the first anniversary of Springfield@Roundshaw congregation yesterday. It was lovely to celebrate with them and to enjoy all that has happened in the past year. It has been wonderful to see the way that people have pulled together and have built a warm, vibrant community.
Springfield@Roundshaw launched publicly last year on the 17th October (having had a trial run the previous week). Some 25 people (including children) went from the Springfield Wallington Girls congregation to launch a new cafe style church congregation in St Paul’s, Roundshaw. It now averages about 35-40 people a week with a good number of families joining the congregation from the local estate. Indeed, two people who have only joined in the past year are already on the Church Council!!
In the past year we have seen strong growth in the number of people joining the community, especially of those who live in the community of Roundshaw. It has been exciting to see the first Baptism held there and to see the first couple married, Cecil and Pauline. It’s wonderful to see the signs of ministry growing and flourishing. We have also, recently, started to have monthly communion services there whilst keeping to the cafe style services.
There is so much that Sue, Jean and the others are looking to do in the future and especially to reach out to the local community. The danger for any congregation is that it is very easy to create a safe environment for people to come to. Springfield was set up to do things differently and Springfield@Roundshaw is aiming new ventures over the course of the next year or so to reach deeper into the community at Roundshaw. Already we are seeing signs of this with one cell group meeting in the Phoenix centre cafe. There is something prophetic about meeting in public in the heart of the community that speaks of engagement with the community and being part of the community of Roundshaw. That is besides the other community events that Springfield@Roundshaw is regularly getting involved in.
It has been a very exciting year and a wonderful anniversary to celebrate and I look forward to celebrating many more.
None of this would have been possible without the very generous welcome of Mother Angela and the members of St Paul’s Church in Roundshaw. It has been great to partner with them for the sake of God’s Kingdom on Roundshaw and the strong partnership that we have forged with them appears to be bearing fruit for both congregations with both growing in the past year.
OK, so where do we plant next?!?