We want people to ‘get’ the good news so we use creative ways to reach out to people, on the streets, in schools, universities, pubs and cafes and city centres… in fact wherever we have an opportunity. We believe good news needs to be understood as good news otherwise it’s no news which is bad news!
What if churches spent one Sunday a month ‘out.’ What if the majority of people that don’t attend a church service would encounter church in pubs, cafes, parks or the streets? What if morning services were used to engage with people and love people who wouldn’t consider going to Church?
Sunday Out projects have included a red carpet, a listening sofa, concerts in pubs and cafes, giveaways and painting. Simple ways to meet people and gently share something of the Christian faith with people who have yet to hear or understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
Sunday Out is something Chris leads in Peterborough once a month but is also able to help churches across the UK connect with people in their community through offering some hands on training.
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FdA in Theology & Evangelism
Light Project Peterborough lead a winter night shelter for emergency accommodation over 3 months in the winter in partnership with 7 churches and over 300 volunteers.
Serve people who are homeless
We help people who are homeless practically as well as spiritually. The Drop-In based in Chester shares the gospel by means of faith in action. It expresses faith before attempting to communicate faith. Recently it has been appropriate for some of us to share our stories with our friends and community at The Drop-In. Some of us have even been homeless before coming to faith. It has been an excellent opportunity to praise God for His faithfulness through life’s trials. Recently a homeless man asked for prayer; both he and his friend experienced the power of God. It is so exciting that The Drop-In a place where people can be fed, encouraged and even freed.
We’re always seeking to do new things to connect the message of Christianity with those who don’t have a clue about what Jesus is like. So you may find us in a café or on the streets painting or setting up art installations. Recently the Chester team set up a ‘Christ on a bike’ art installation with words of Jesus presented on the bikes. While in Peterborough a large key with hundreds of white keys with the message ‘The cross of Christ is the Key to heaven’ was set up for a week in the city Centre.
The Light Project have recently teamed up with Richard Coan, a local artist, to explore making a piece of art to express the value that God puts on people and how ordinary people might experience this.
We asked local people how they experience feeling valued. The WOA (Walk of Affirmation) is a way of expressing this in a piece of interactive art. It’s a tunnel of messages which relate how people feel valued and how God values ordinary people in ordinary life. It was installed at Holy Trinity Blacon, St Peter’s at the Cross and the Greenbelt festival.
Engage, an urban festival, has a particular focus on a summer celebration of community life with young people active in community projects. It is an opportunity for the churches of Chester to work together to change the perception of church amongst the public, while learning and growing in faith and action.
St Peters Friars
Within the new monastic stream, The Light Project has recently launched a group of modern day friars. This dispersed group meets at set times in the year to worship and support one another and organises set evangelistic events in Scotland, England and Wales. – anyone is invited to join in with us. We also run an evangelistic pilgrimage each year where we ‘go’ and take out the good news along one of the ancient pilgrimage routes.
The group is based around the verse given to the fishermen: ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’. We follow a rule of:
- Deep devotion to Jesus
- Going (being sent outwards)
- Let people know about Jesus
In Peterborough and Chester we serve as city Centre chaplains being available for those who live and work in the city. Our role is often a listening one and we occasionally offer to pray for people as part of ‘looking out’ for people.
In Peterborough the chaplaincy team meet in Weatherspoon’s most Friday mornings.
The Prodigal Collective
Led by Anina Thomas, the vision of the Prodigal Collective is to resource ex-offenders who are on faith-journeys ‘through the gate’ and to equip locally the body of Christ to accommodate such ex offenders in our area.
The need for genuine Christian help for those who are either in prison or suffering the silent sentence back home has never been greater in the UK. Government resources are stretched and undergoing great change, effecting delivery methods and desirable outcomes. Often, the greatest losers are those who “fall between the cracks” and find themselves unsupported either by family inside prison or the statutory services once released. I am very impressed by the perceptive quality of the Light project staff I have met and the commitment and enthusiasm they bring to their work with offenders.
I commend them as they seek to build bridges with families and inmates. Never has the need been greater or the Gospel more necessary in this fallen, changing world.Peter Rees
Anina and a team spend regular time with prisoners through the existing chaplaincy service and were commended recently for their work:
As managing chaplain at HMP YOI Thorn Cross in Warrington I am constantly searching for new and innovative ways of providing pastoral & resettlement support for our people. Since Anina Thomas and the prodigal Collective team have become a part of our regular Sunday worship events and faith community, there has been an added dimension of prayer & pastoral support. The Prodigal Collective have become a vital resettlement link and pastoral support for our people at Thorn Cross and I can highly recommend them to any prison chaplaincy.Shawn Verhey