Gloucester Centre of Mission

Gloucester City and the Forest of Dean

Find out about the Gloucester Centre of Mission here

Gloucester & Forest Centre of Mission brings Church Army’s vision of taking hope, hand-in-hand with action, to the places that need it most. This centre of mission is doing just that in two locations within the Diocese of Gloucester.

On one side of the city is Matson; a community on the edge of Gloucester, bordered by countryside with some areas of significant deprivation. On the other side of the city is Coleford; a small market town in the Forest of Dean.

Update: 20 September 2022

In July 2019, Andy and Emma Wilson, along with their daughter, moved to Gloucester to establish a Centre of Mission that would be part of bringing the light of hope to some of the social and economic needs faced by people in the area of Matson.

Launching a Centre of Mission in a new place always starts with getting to know the local people and the local area. They first concentrated on building good relations with neighbours and the wider community – initially through cups of tea, conversations, meals and usual intentional social activity. They often worked from an existing community hub where, with local partners, they set up a pay-as-you-can community freezer. But it wasn’t long before the coronavirus pandemic changed life as we know it and soon the country was in lockdown. The Centre of Mission moved as much activity as possible online in a big way to maintain relationships and to help to build community. This was particularly crucial in Matson; a neighbourhood where many feel isolated and excluded. Andy broadcasted five days a week on Facebook Live, hosting social chats, quizzes, prayer times and, progressively discussions around faith.

Three years on and a community has developed around Andy & Emma:

  • Share Matson is a community which consists of around 25 people who are journeying with the Gloucester Centre of Mission by eating together and exploring faith, and in some cases studying the Bible together.
  • Long Table Matson, a community café established and run by Emma and a team on a pay-as-you-can basis. This has become a space where clothes swaps and a range of other community activities happen regularly.
  • Craft Church has been developing since Easter with some seven or eight key families, none of whom have any real church background.

All of this has helped against the background of a culture of isolation and lack of security around Matson. Some people have become close and then drawn back, and others have joined. But at the heart of it is a community of people who are taking small steps together along the journey of following Jesus, and of building trust and relationship within their neighbourhood.

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Type of Work

Church Planting /
Fresh Expressions

Church groups

Building Community

Food distribution

Schools work

Evangelists & Leaders

Andy Wilson

Connect with Gloucester & Forest Centre of Mission

Partnerships

Diocese of Gloucester

The Diocese of Gloucester is a Church of England community in and around Gloucestershire, committed to sharing the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that people may know life in all its fullness.

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