Welcome to church… In the pub and on the streets.

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I’ve spent the last 3 hours doing church in ways that may seem slightly unusual. Seeing as the majority of people in the UK don’t attend or wouldn’t consider going along to a church service on a Sunday morning, I dedicate one Sunday a month to bring church in public spaces. Seeking to be accessible. Up front about faith, but gentle enough for all kinds of people to freely engage.

Today’s offering was painting in the pub, having a good breakfast and simply being there for people to talk to and listen. It’s in the pub that gifts of paintings seem to connect with those around us and the actual giving of them speak of God’s grace and love. The following painting wasn’t painted this morning, but rather Friday morning, by a wonderful artist who has recently volunteered with me, however it does illustrate the free gift to those you and I may feel don’t deserve such lavish gifts…

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Here are some pictures from the morning:

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After hanging out at the pub doing some simple paintings and encouraging people, we set off to join a team led by one of my students as part of her studies towards her FDA in Theology and Evangelism, run by The Light project. Sue Wall had come up with an idea based on John 15 and the story of Jesus saying that he is the vine and we are the branches! I added to the outreach by providing lots of bunches of grapes and by painting too…
It’s so good to be out and about in public and not hidden away in a building. Don’t get me wrong, being part of church on Sunday morning is a precious part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. But it isn’t ‘church’ full stop. My hope and prayer is for thousands of groups of Christians up and down the country to set aside a few Sundays a year to go and do and be church in places where you wouldn’t expect to find church… Will you join the adventure?

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7 thoughts on “Welcome to church… In the pub and on the streets.

  1. I love this.. A great way to do church out among people.
    You already know I love painting for people at the MBS fairs. In a couple of weeks I’m going to be a part of an art outreach on the seafront in Larnaka, Cyprus. Bit nervous, but hoping it goes well. Keep going with this and keep telling people about it. It’s inspiring and it would be great to see more Christians who can draw or paint trained and released into this kind of outreach.

      • Sounds like a great idea. I started out with a weekend of prophetic art training 3 years ago. Really simple and the lady that came here from the states to do it did the training with all ages using the kind of watercolour you get in wilkos.. It was a great beginning though. I do some training of folks here, but it’s a long way for people to come!

  2. I met one of our homeless friends in Stockport town centre one day he invited me for a coffee at his “accountants” (bookies) he asked why we come out and spend time with them and why we care. I told him God called us to go out and share the love Jesus had shown us with people who feel forgotten and unloved. As a result he came to our Start Course discovering Christianity – the wonder of love and the power of grace .

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