CA In Medway
With Helen Kiralfy
Nestled in the county of Kent in south-east England, Medway is attractive to commuters due to its proximity to London but this can lead to increased house prices and rental costs having a negative impact on current residents. Medway has a population of just over 280,000 with a median age of 38. Sadly, there has been a rise in single parent households* and the community needs support. Over the past two years, more and more households have been turning to Universal Credit for support, with an astounding 163% increase in claimants. Shockingly, nearly one-third of these claimants are young adults between the ages of 18 and 24*. At our Medway Centre of Mission, Helen Kiralfy serves as the Lead Evangelist. Together, our mission is to become a beacon of light and hope to Chatham and the surrounding Medway towns – especially for those who live in areas where aspiration and security are low.
Meet Helen Kiralfy
Being part of Church Army is incredible and I have the pleasure of having worked alongside amazing evangelists who have the same passion for sharing the love of God in a practical way and drawing alongside people. I have always had a heart to help those who are suffering in some way and working at the Medway Centre of Mission allows me to do that.
Part of our calling to Medway is to parent those who haven’t been parented. Many people call my husband and I dad and mum, because our friends have not been loved but they know we love them. I believe if you come from a basis of knowing you are loved, you can achieve mighty things. But our folk haven’t had that.
Many of the young adults I work alongside are around the age of my children, in their 20’s and 30’s. I see the difference between who my children are and the life chances they’ve had, compared with the life chances others haven’t. I’ve become a lot more understanding rather than judgmental.
My passion is for the vulnerably housed, mostly in accommodation of some sort, though it is often very basic and temporary. Most of them have gone through the care system, suffer with their mental health and have issues with alcohol or drug dependency. I say to them ‘Yes your life has been rubbish so far, but it doesn’t have to be rubbish forever, how can we stop it being that?’ in particular through talking about Jesus and the difference he can make.
Last year, in September, we had ten baptisms and reaffirmations of baptismal vows, and it occurred to us that eight of them met us through initiatives run by Church Army. They wouldn’t be with us otherwise.
*According to ONS Census of 2021.
*According to the Welfare Reform Review by Kent County Council.
- Pray that all who contact the Medway Centre of Mission would feel valued and included.
- Pray for good transitions for people as the move takes place between buildings within the Centre of Mission.
- Pray for the new group for mums with children in care, that they would know how much they are loved and that labels given to them by others would not define who they are.
- Pray for all who may experience a change in their roles and that changes are fruitful and welcome.
- Pray for wisdom for staff and volunteers at the Medway Centre of Mission to know which of their ideas and initiatives are of God.