In the afternoon we meet at our Balaclava Road site at 16:00.
‘We also have communion once a month. It’s important that those who come along to ‘The Well’ learn the language of church so they can feel part of the Body of Christ and be comfortable in any mainstream congregation.
‘Four years on and we’ve seen people become Christians and get baptised. Some have made the transition to Sunday morning services, others see ‘The Well’ as their church and some still just come for the food and the company.’
‘The Well’ has also given a small group within the existing Surbiton congregation an opportunity to serve. However, it’s messy and inconsistent, Jacky says. ‘Some Sunday afternoons six people turn up, others 60! Like the parable of the sower, some seed grows and flourishes, some fall away but it is seen by all as a place of safety. ‘Spin offs have included a community choir and a project to provide for those who’ve been homeless and are moving into more permanent accommodation, with pans, plates, cutlery etc.
We now run a lunch club, tots and carers and are a distribution point for food bank. ‘We also host an employment course called ‘Ignition‘ which is a Churches Together in Surbiton initiative. Everything we do as church, we ask how are we going to connect with those outside in the wider community?’ Another successful innovation at the YMCA has been the ‘Life Journeys’ course. Again it was born of a question. Why do people become homeless in the first place? Jacky continues: ‘By tracking back I could see that the root was nearly always bereavement or abuse.
‘Life Journeys’ takes people away to a professionally run retreat centre to explore these underlining issues through discussion and creativity, with the option to join in with worship and prayer. No-one is forced to do the Christian bit, but we’ve seen transformation in the people who’ve attended and 60 per cent have gone on to become Christians.’ So what about Jacky’s plans for the future? ‘The challenge for me is always having enough mature Christians to disciple the new believers. I would like to see more members of my congregation grow in confidence to take on this task of discipleship. ‘I also hope to raise enough funds to refurbish our church building and employ a missions worker so we can use our building to reach and support those at the edges of the community every day of the week.’
15.30 Doors open. The church is setup like a cafe and refreshments are available. Games and crafts are also available, including pool and table football.
16.30-17.00: Optional Bible Study or Art/Music/Drama activity
17.00-17.30: Warm home made meal.
All of the above is provided free of charge. If you want to make a donation then there is an offering box on the table where refreshments are served from. (possible online giving?)
The Well at Surbiton New Life - where everyone is welcome.