Taking every opportunity to share the Gospel

One of Church Growth Trust’s properties, Highfields Christian Centre in Stafford, was occupied by a church pastored by Neville Brownsey since 1984.  Located in the middle of a large housing estate, the fellowship went out into their community, sharing the Good News and holding regular services.  By 2015, Neville began to feel that it was time to hand over the building.  In 2017, the fellowship approached Steve Uppal, the leader of All Nations Church in nearby Wolverhampton.  “We felt that his ethos was the same as ours, to stand on the Scriptures and give the Holy Spirit His rightful place.  They began renting the building in August 2018.  Ian and Fran Hancock moved to Stafford in July 2020 to lead the church, renamed Life Church.  Church Growth Trust were so helpful throughout the whole process.  Their regular visits before and after the handover were a huge source of encouragement.  I praise God that our building, which has been used for worship and the glorification of God for over 60 years, is still in use.  The Highfields Estate is growing, with a further 1,600 houses being built in the next few years, and it is so good to see the new church taking every opportunity to share the Gospel.”

Ian was happily settled in Stourbridge as an assistant pastor at another All Nations campus when he felt God calling him to Stafford.  “The children were doing well at their school; we had a large support network of family and friends, and I had no desire to move to Stafford!  I said no to God several times, but eventually, we stepped out in faith.  We moved two years ago in the middle of the pandemic just after the birth of our third child.  To be honest, we felt like missionaries arriving in India.  Everything was unfamiliar.”

God had a plan.  The local Girl Guides group had met at the school next door for many years, but when that changed, the church was able to give them a new home.  The Guides have fundraised money for new tables and a new cooker, and they work in partnership with the church. Ian continues, “We want to show our community that church isn’t just for Sundays.  We plan to open a community hub.  We’re putting in a new kitchen and working to make the building fit for purpose and to model Jesus to our neighbourhood.  John Duffield and Giles Arnold at CGT have been extremely supportive since we moved in.  The property should be used for the good of others and we’re looking forward to the next stage in the journey.”