Hope in Challenging Times

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Hope in South London

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

In South London, there’s an estate called St Helier. The homes there are divided into terraced houses and low-rise apartments. It’s home to about 10,000 people, most of whom have little or no connection to the Church, or to God. The area has high levels of deprivation, unemployment, single parents, isolated elderly people; obesity and mobility issues are rife. The local church on the St Helier estate was struggling and its congregation was dropping each year. Then, in 2021, something changed.

A partnership between Church Army and the Diocese of Southwark saw the birth of St Helier Centre of Mission; a community project based on the estate to meet the spiritual, social and health needs of the people living there.

Mobility and obesity are significant issues amongst people of all ages on the estate and so in partnership with Sport England the team have launched weekly Zumba classes. A monthly addiction recovery group is also running. Every week the team run two free coffee mornings, where partners from the local council and NHS also attend to give free health and financial advice.

A monthly Messy Church and weekly youth group for 10-14 year olds are reaching out to children, young people and their families, and following an Alpha Course, a new worshipping community has been launched with 14 new believers being baptised or reaffirming vows. God is truly on the move through the St Helier Centre of Mission.

“St Peters and God has changed us all in some way. The Alpha course opened a new world to us and created a church family bond I didn’t think possible.”

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Church Army can plant centres of mission like the one in St Helier in areas of desperate need all over the UK and Ireland.

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