Church Growth Trust works with assemblies and churches to help independent churches secure their future at the heart of their communities. It wants to see church buildings being used for their original vision and made fit for their God-given purpose. Here are some of the stories of trustees who took the bold step of passing on their buildings to Church Growth Trust (CGT) to allow other churches to continue the Lord’s work in their communities.
On the edge of the Peak District sits the town of Marple. Largely affluent and serving as a commuter hub for Manchester, there are still needs in the community which are being served at Connect, a town centre hub. Neville Phillips is the Property Manager at All Saints Church. “We were contacted by CGT in 2015 to ask if we’d like to take over the former Marple Independent Evangelical Church building on a two-year lease. Six years later, we are still here! Our church, All Saints, sits up on the hill and we’d been praying for a central presence in the town. We run Connect as a drop-in, offering tea, coffee, cakes and a safe, welcoming place to chat and build relationships.”
While on the face of it, Marple is a prosperous community, there are challenging pockets of poverty and isolation, and the pandemic has driven up unemployment figures. Connect runs the Pantry, a foodbank which has been a godsend for many local people who have lost their jobs. “We run the Pantry from Connect and every Saturday morning, a team gives out around 40 bags of food to whoever needs it and also goes out into the community delivering bags of food, as they feel guided, to individuals and families; which in turn provides an opportunity to offer hope and friendship.