Gwent Valley Centre of Mission

The Gwent Valley Centre of Mission is a brand new centre of mission in the Monmouth Diocese, which is committed to bringing practical and spiritual hope to the isolated communities within the Gwent valleys, and encouraging people in a journey of discipleship as new followers of Jesus. It is hoped that this new venture will bring opportunities for listening to and engaging with local residents, as we seek to share God’s love and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to people in Abertillery and the surrounding communities across the Gwent valleys. At the heart of the project is the desire to share the Good News of Jesus with others in words and actions. It is hoped that it will be a bridge between the church and the local community.
 
Hannah Seal is our newly appointed Lead Evangelist. Hannah has recently moved into the heart of Abertillery and has already started having conversations with local community members and sharing a little of what we hope may happen in the area working through the new centre of mission. Once Hannah has settled into post, a Pioneer Evangelist will be appointed to support her and the centre of mission in transforming lives and communities in the area.

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Impact 242 Cross Hands Centre of Mission

A few years ago, a former curate had a vision of hope for the people of Cross Hands, a small town in south-west Wales. This vision included a community café, a soft play area and a safe space for people who would not normally step into a church building to come and worship. From this vision came the Cross Hands Centre of Mission, with Esther Lockley as Lead Evangelist, along with Ruach Mitchell as Pioneer Evangelist.

Situated near the Black Mountains, there is no denying the surrounding natural beauty of Cross Hands. Glimpses of the mountains and valleys, a reservoir a short drive away and wonderful wildlife make it a very beautiful area to live in. The friendly community are more than ready to welcome and help. Cross Hands is the fourth most populated area in Carmarthenshire. It has a high proportion of residents under 45 and a substantial number of people without qualifications. The impact of COVID-19 has, as with most areas, hit most people here, from the young to the old. There is a sense of an even greater calling now for this centre of mission to respond to the desperate needs of the community.

Despite the pandemic stalling some plans, the team has not sat idly waiting for projects to begin. In response to the destruction of people’s livelihoods by lockdown, a response project was born to provide food packages to those most in need. The food packages have not only helped meet physical needs, but it has opened up conversations, built relationships and enabled the team to share the hope that knowing Jesus brings.

Esther and the team look forward to unveiling and pursuing the plans, dreams and projects God has given them for Cross Hands over the coming months as restrictions ease, especially the opportunity to serve the community in new ways, meeting needs, bringing hope and introducing Jesus to people.

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Impact 242 HAVERFORDWEST CENTRE OF MISSION

Mike Dare is Lead Evangelist at our Haverfordwest Centre of Mission, working alongside Pioneer Evangelist, Molly Baldwin (maternity cover). Launched in May 2016 it is based on the Merlin Bridge estate, which is a large housing estate of mostly rented council or housing association properties. In parts of the estate there is a high level of poverty, exacerbated by high levels of unemployment. Although some people have lived on the estate since it was built, there is constant movement of occupants and the area is regularly used to rehouse those who have needed additional support and are now ready to take the next step in building their independence. The centre of mission runs an afterschool and a lunchtime club (FROG) at the primary school with approximately one in three of the eligible children choosing to attend and also supports the weekly toddler group there. They also run The Bridge, a youth drop-in open twice a week. The centre of mission also works with families who need extra support and advice, as well as with the older residents, especially those who live in the supported housing complex but still feel isolated and lonely. Find out the latest update from the Centre of Mission by reading their latest newsletter.

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Impact 242 Llanelli CENTRE OF MISSION

Rob Lowe and Michelle Lloyd lead Llanelli Centre of Mission in South Wales. Llanelli and the Morfa area were once key parts of the industrial revolution, with the town playing a major role in the steel and copper industries. For almost 200 years, the steel and copper works dominated this coastline. Today, the industrial works have vanished and the area is now the third most deprived in Carmarthenshire. Statistics show a high level of unemployment and people with little disposable income. Those with jobs often only have a limited number of hours. The area also struggles with a high rate of crime and drug-related issues.

Llanelli Centre of Mission aims to reach families with the love of God. One way of doing this is through new fresh expressions of Church taking place midweek. Previously beach and Messy Church events have connected with local people from non-church backgrounds so this is something the centre of mission is looking to engage with.

Rob and Michele have also provided one-off food parcels to families struggling financially. This has also been a good way to build relationships with people and share with them the events the centre of mission is running.

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Llandaff Centre of Mission

Andy Settle leads the Llandaff Centre of Mission. It was launched in September 2015 and is based across the Deanery of Neath, working across eight parishes that form this deanery. The centre of missions’ work is inter-generational; beginning with children and young people through the school assemblies, Messy Church events and community fun days. They also set up The Lounge project, which is a weekly lunchtime club held in two local secondary schools and Chill Out, a weekly after-school club. The other focus for the centre of mission is support for the elderly, many of whom feel isolated and lonely as the sense of close community is diminishing. This includes running Connected, which is a regular drop-in for older people. Other activities that they run within the community include Prayer Breakfasts, Fellowship walks and Community Fun Days.

During the School holidays the centre of mission has been involved in delivering summer events, such family activity mornings, film show, and helping a Cardiff Senior school deliver a Summer Holiday programme. During the last three years it has also been involved in creating ‘The Pack Lunch project, working with Churches Together in Briton Ferry to make and distribute pack lunches to children and families who find the school holidays a struggle.

The centre of mission has continued to look at how they can support local churches in their evangelism and outreach and support existing fresh expressions of church, however it is fair to say that none of these projects would have been possible without a valiant band of committed volunteers that have come from within these communities. You can read an update from Llandaff Centre of Mission on the Diocese of Llandaff's website.

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Carolyn Kinsman, 09/06/2017

WREXHAM Centre of Mission 

Launched in September 2015, the Wrexham Centre of Mission is based in Caia Park in Wrexham, which is recognised by the European Community as an area of significant poverty and deprivation. Statistics reveal high levels of unemployment, limited social mobility, low levels of disposable income, a high crime rate and growing concerns about racial integration and social isolation. Josh Smith is Lead Evangelist at the centre of mission and his work is predominantly with young people. He is a school pastor at the local high school and also runs the Tin Can Youth Centre, where they have two after-school drop-in sessions and a weekly youth club. You can watch a short film about Josh's work at the Tin Can Youth Centre and their work during the COVID-19 pandemic on our films page (films by the Diocese of St Asaph and used with permission). Josh is also the Chaplain for Wrexham FC. The centre of mission also works with children and families and runs a monthly Me & My Dad Club in partnership with a local church. The children's and family work includes leading regular assemblies at the two primary schools on the estate and running holiday clubs to bring the community and the church together. The centre of mission works in partnership with the local foodbank, holiday hunger schemes to provide for children that rely on school meals and Caia Friars, who pray regularly for the area. The centre of mission also supports mission and evangelism across the whole diocese.

Support this centre of mission by donating today.

Find out about our other centres of mission in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland,  Scotland and England. 

Carolyn Kinsman, 06/06/2017