There have been recent reports in the news of a retired evangelical congregational minister who has been buying chapels in the Welsh valleys that have been considered redundant and in some cases are semi-derelict. The Reverend Robert Stivey is passionate about restoring these places of worship and seeing them again used as vibrant centres of Gospel outreach to their local communities.
As Church Growth Trust share a similar passion for keeping church buildings in Gospel use and safeguarding them for the future, Giles Arnold, CGT’s Chief Executive, met with Robert Stivey and his son Dan to explore how CGT can help. As Giles Arnold states: “Robert and Dan Stivey have a major challenge ahead of them. Some of the chapels are huge with 1,000 seats, some are Listed and cannot be altered and others are in need of major repairs to make them usable. But our God is able! It is exciting to be working with them to help them in practical ways. Particularly as we share a similar vision.”
Church Growth Trust has advised on charity matters, particularly in terms of making sure that the properties are held for charitable purposes in the future. Giles Arnold has also been able to give a number of contacts of churches and organisations that are wanting to evangelise, plant churches and make use of buildings in South Wales. “It has been a privilege to help in a small way and we hope that we will be able to work more closely with Robert and Dan Stivey in the future. We are certainly praying for them to see the fulfilment of their vision and to see these amazing chapels being used again for Gospel work and to see transformation of the needy communities in which they are located.”