Launching Hope Church

Over the past two weeks we’ve had a series of events launching Hope Church. First, we hosted a civic reception and invited community and civic leaders to a lunchtime presentation on our church. The town mayor was present, local councillors and other key partners were present. Our aim was to build goodwill and awareness of the work of the church in the local community. Secondly, we hosted two events for the local community and invited a magician, Steve Price, to entertain us. Both events were well intended and it was…

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Buildings can distract you

The church merger continues to progress. Legal documents have been signed and in the coming few days all assets, liabilities and so on will be transferred from two charities into one new one Hope Church Shrewsbury. For the past seven years or so North Shrewsbury Community Church has been nomadic, of no permanent abode. We’ve been mostly using this school as our home but have used at least five other buildings in that time and have used two different office units. The Grange Free Church owns two buildings and it’s…

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The new name

Back in June I talked about the church merger and the process we used to choose a new name for the church. I deliberately didn’t mention the name. But it’s about time I did. Hope Church. So there you go. It’s not original but that wasn’t one of the criteria so I’m not bothered about that. There are plenty of Hope Churches in the nation but none in our town. It’s unique where it matters most, in our local area. Hope more than adequately expresses the call of God on…

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Borderlands

I’ve spent the last few days in the hills of mid-Wales at Cefn Lea. The sun shone and it was beautiful. More inspiring than the surroundings was the opportunity to bask in the grace of God to His people. Just great. We gathered with hundreds of our brothers and sisters from churches in Whitchurch, Wrexham, Telford, Rugeley, Stafford and Shrewsbury. We were superbly led in worship by Phatfish (and at the time of writing, the very pregnant Lou Fellingham) and in the leadership from Jeremy & Anne Simpkins and Julian…

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Church merger: Questions we're asking

So where are we up to in this church merger business? Well the good news is that recently the members of The Grange Free Church voted unanimously to merge with North Shrewsbury Community Church. That’s the easy bit done and now the hard work really begins! The reality is that deciding to walk down a particular path is a far cry from making the journey a successful and there’s a lot of hard work ahead. However we’re excited by this and believe this vote is just further confirmation that this…

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Why merge?

Recently I announced that our church might be involved in a merger. In one of the comments Peter Kirk asked a series of good questions. His question was essentially ‘why?’ with the following queries. Is it because one of the churches is nearly dying and has become unviable? Is it because the two churches are located right on top of one another and so working with the same target group? Is it because Shrewsbury already has too many good live churches? Is it because of some doctrine that big churches…

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How do you merge a church?

It’s a question I’m going to have find out the answer to because it’s a question I’m now facing. The Grange Free Church have approached North Shrewsbury Community Church about the possibility of combining forces. This is both exciting and daunting. Here are just some of the questions I’m considering, feel free to chip in with your thoughts. There are legal issues. Two existing trusts and charities need uniting. This will be complicated and possibly time consuming. It may also be the least of my worries. There are relational issues.…

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Talking food

If, like me, you happen to have a few key issues that stand out above others (justice, generosity, simpler living etc…) the danger is that you become a bit of an ethical bore continually banging the same tired old drum. I’ve tried very hard not to force the issue on the rest of the church from the pulpit (we don’t actually have a pulpit but you know what I mean). So it was a huge encouragement to learn that one of our Life Groups have taken it upon themselves to…

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