Being geniuses, we thought it would be clever to try and plant a church in a deprived community in the middle of the pandemic. We weren’t entirely sure whether it would work and put a few red lines in place. These were:
- Having a planter
- Having a small core team
- Having a minimum of 1 year of funds
- The planter moved into the area
- A venue for the church to meet
As it stands, Stephen Watkinson is our planter. He has a small and committed core team ready to launch the church. We have received a full year of funds for the costs of the church. Stephen and his family have just moved back into the area in which we are going to plant. They have also secured a venue in which to meet from January.
We praise God for providing all these things for us. We now have a provisional launch date of 10th January, from which point Rochdale Evangelical Church will begin meeting. As ridiculous a time as it has been to plant a church, God has been very good to us and we are excited that a gospel preaching church will be planted in a needy area of Rochdale.
Of course, we are still in need of others to join the core team and for funds to continue the work. It is all very well establishing a church plant for one year, but ultimately we need a sustainable work that will continue to serve that needy area for many years to come. Likewise, it is all very well a handful of people committing to the area, but to see it reached for Christ, others will need to seriously consider moving and committing to the town and working with them.
Perhaps as we come into the Christmas season, with giving on our minds and thoughts of Jesus coming into our world to save sinners, could you consider giving to support the work of Rochdale Evangelical Church so that needy sinners can hear about this Jesus? Could you partner with them so that the people of Rochdale might have a gospel witness in their midst and access to a local church in which to be discipled? Could you consider moving to the town so that you can actively support the work of mission where few have been willing to go?
If you would like to support this work, please do get in touch using the contact form on this blog. Alternatively, go directly to the Rochdale Evangelical Church website and contact Stephen Watkinson directly. As we enter the Christmas period and remember the gift of Jesus Christ that we have received, maybe we can think seriously about how we might help others receive him in towns that have largely been forgotten?