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Re-imagining Rural Church

New Church formed

I have been working in a (mostly) unused old church building in a small village called 'Pennymoor', near Tiverton.  Three neighbouring churches were keeping the building going by having a joint service there once a month, but it had no membership of it's own at all.

With the help and oversight of the South West Area Mission worker we started outreach activities on Saturday mornings, with art & craft, Fairtrade sales, Film shows and always Coffee/tea.  Each time the odd person or two would pop in and contacts with locals were made.

After almost 2 years when many times I wanted to give up, but God just kept saying 'Don't quit', we now have a small team of people who have become members and a Church has been started.

We all agreed to make the building more accessible so the old pews were sold and comfortable banqueting style chairs and small but sturdy tables have been purchased.  The building has been transformed.

We are open and waiting to see what God will do next!

Another church re-formed

You can read about the progress in Pennymoor in my blog entries. You can also read about the work to regenerate another church a few miles down the road if you go to the 'Teams and activities' page and then choose 'Way Village'.

New Church beginnings

The covenant service to start a new church in Pennymoor in Feb 2008

New Church

It is good to see that New Churches are opening up, with so many being sold to developers these days! People need to know God and to have some where to go to worship him with other like minded people.

Well done! And keep going forward with a strong heart for God.

Selling empty churches

You are so right.  And thanks for the encouragement.

I would like to point out that the church building we are using has not had it's own congregation for many years.  The reason that it was still available for God to redeem was because 3 other churches in the area grouped together to keep hold of the building, paying insurance, clearing up the weeds and general maintenance - only a few hundred pounds per year, spread between them, yet look at how worthwhile it was. (In the Congregational Federation all churches are independant, so it was not automatic for these churches to work together).

This is a good example of the fact that we really need to work together as churches.  We need to keep hope alive and to have faith that God will not leave Himself without a witness, maybe working in new ways, but always God.