In early 2016, after meeting with the elders/trustees of Bury Street Chapel, Church Growth Trust (CGT) General Manager Giles Arnold contacted several local evangelical churches to see if they would be interested in working with the assembly to revitalise the work from the chapel.
The property, now owned by CGT, is tenanted by a church plant out of Enfield Evangelical Free Church (EEFC) integrated with the existing brethren assembly and called Bury Street Community Church. CGT is allowing the new church to have a tenancy of the chapel at a very low rent, which means their resources are focussed on the mission rather than the building.
The assistant pastor at EEFC, Dougie Affleck was appointed as part-time pastor. He recalls, ‘We encouraged people who lived locally and who attended our partnership churches to prayerfully consider if they would like to be involved in Bury Street Community Church. Altogether 18 adults and a number of children and young people have agreed to come on board. Over a period of about six months we agreed with the current elders to change the name to Bury Street Community Church from September 2017 and to operate as an FIEC church.’
Dougie adds, ‘There are thousands of people who live within a 10-minute walk that don’t know Jesus and His salvation. We aim to do something about that. To do so we need to GO to the community and we need to GROW in our love for Him.’
CCT’s new Property Manager John Duffield carried out a condition survey to make the church aware of the current issues with the property and he will keep in regular touch to help them with building issues as they arise.
John states: ‘CGT has been able to advise on the asbestos management plan for the property, disabled access provision and on ideas for changing the heating system. CGT will also be able to advise on any changes proposed for the internal layout of the building etc.’.
The new church also has ambitions to move east of the A10 where there is a substantial area of housing and no churches. They are also contemplating trying to persuade London City Mission to work in the area and to partner with them in this.
‘It is reassuring for the church to know we can call on sympathetic experts in property matters and that CGT have a heart to work in partnership with us,’ says Dougie.