Jesus: The message of hope in the heart of Vauxhall. That's the tag line for Hope Church Vauxhall, and it's the message that we want to share in our neighbourhood.
I joined The Globe Church with my husband Toby last September. We had just graduated from university and had moved to London to start work. Our home is in the Vauxhall Gardens Estate, and I teach in a local primary school here - so when we heard that there was plans to plant a church 30 seconds from our front door we were both excited to be part of the work here.
Hope Church was planted this September! It is right in the heart of this part of Vauxhall, but while we're a new church, the work here isn't new at all. Hope Church is built on top of the work of many people who have come before us. London City Mission have this building at 105 Tyers Street for decades, and they've been sending missionaries to Vauxhall, faithfully doing outreach from the centre into this area of London, sharing the gospel over breakfasts and lunches, during a game of football and through children's and youth work. Hope Church continues this in a partnership with London City Mission, to support their activities here to see the Hope of Christ shared in Vauxhall.
While we're just 2.5 miles away from The Globe Church, the feel of Hope Church is very different. Hope Church is a local Church which seeks to reach people in the immediate area, especially those living on the Vauxhall Gardens Estate. Very few come from outside Vauxhall. Vauxhall itself is made up of people from all ages and backgrounds, so weekly events vary including a Spanish Bible study, breakfast club alongside a food bank, children’s groups, football for young men on the estate, and a mums and toddlers group. A number of the people who come to Hope have been met through door-knocking and relationships built over a long period of time.
During our Sunday services we've been reading Philippians and learning about the ‘proper joy’ of following Christ. It's been amazing to see this lived out in the lives of Church family in spite some of the pain and hurt that people are going through. There are so many encouragement; it's been wonderful to get to know a man in our home group, who has come each week with many questions about Jesus. Another highlight was enjoying a roast dinner at the home of a new believer in the Church. People seem to have heard about or noticed the new Church (especially thanks to the bold painting on the side of the Church building) and this has led to some conversations with neighbours and colleagues about what we’re doing, including my school caretaker who was just passing by on a Sunday!
In the coming days would you please pray for Hope Church? Please pray:
- For people who’ve visited Hope Church, particularly local people who we have good relationships with through the work of the centre.
- That people who come through the door once would come back twice and become part of our Church family.
- That Hope Church would be all about Christ, to have proper joy in him, that we would consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ (Philippians 3v8).
- That we would imitate Christ in our relationships with one another, that we would consider others greater than ourselves and serve each other humbly.
- As we prepare for Christmas and look forward to sharing this message of hope in the heart of Vauxhall.