Here are some of our favourite highlights from The Grove, a missional community in the heart of Gurnell Grove in partnership with the Eden Network
Full of encouraging stories and testimonies, The Grove newsletter is a monthly update of what’s been happening on this missional community in West London. It’s written by Mark Tate, who leads The Grove team with his wife Laura, and we’ve shared some of our favourite stories below.
Last October we ran a bingo night as one of our pop up events. It was a popular night and a lot of fun. We shared a notice about the Alpha course and surprisingly we had a lot of interaction about faith and the course which resulted in lots of people signing up. Unfortunately Alpha did not go so well and though we had 12 people sign up we had to stop it after week five as people stopped showing! This made us ask the question - why were they happy to talk about faith at bingo but not come to Alpha?We came here to start an expression of church that people can relate to, that fits their context, that's fun, one that doesn't assume the church culture and tradition that we come from will be relevant.
With this in mind we decided to host another bingo night - a Christmas special. But this time we would introduce a short talk exploring the meaning of Christmas in the middle and then offer opportunities for prayer at the end. It worked. People engaged with the talk and people went forward for prayer.This has led us to do bingo once a month on the last Friday of the month; and it continues to grow and be a lot of fun! Each night has 6 games with a short talk in the middle and an opportunity for prayers at the end. Off the back of it we've developed different relationships that have led to residents joining our Kids Team and Heron House club team.
In March we launched The Noise on our estate - 5 days of showing God's love through practical ways! We kicked off the week with a burger bar on Sunday evening so we could eat together and let people sign up to help out and book in a car wash and window clean.We also worked with a charity called Cultivate London to install vegetable beds in the sheltered accommodation so the residents have the opportunity to grow and eat fresh vegetables. At the end of the week we had an Eden Kids' party in the community centre.We had a lovely team of 14 Texans from First Baptist George Town to help us run the week, who served their hearts out! Check out our highlight video below.