When we moved from one Sunday congregation to two at Bearwood Chapel, we expressed a hope that this would lead to multiple congregations as we began looking for opportunities to plant at other times within the Chapel and other places around the Sandwell and Black Country Area.I personally expressed a desire that within 5 years we would be able to start some form of Gospel work on the Bristnall Estate. This is the estate where we live, it’s a traditional council estate, primarily white working class but with increasing numbers of people moving in from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Many of the homes are rented with a significant amount of social housing but also a good mix of owner occupied accommodation.
We didn’t (and if we are honest still don’t) know precisely what form such a Gospel work might take, whether for example this would lead eventually to a fully-fledged church pant. What we did know was that there wasn’t really a focused Gospel witness onto the estate and we wanted to see that changed. We want people living in the Bristnall area to have every opportunity to hear the Good News about Jesus.
This is a little update on how things are developing. Over the past few years, our aim has been to build up contact on the estate. Part of that comes from simply living here and getting to know neighbours, say hello to people in the street and build up friendships. We also have held a couple of Carol Services in the local community centre and started delivering newsletters locally.
This summer, we’ve decided to try and step things up a bit and focus on doing some door to door work in the area. Yesterday a team went out armed with newsletters. Our aim on the doors was not to get into lengthy arguments. Rather, we simply introduced ourselves, explained that we were bringing the newsletter along and wanted to give it to them personally. The newsletter included a short Gospel article as well as information about clubs and activities. We also publicised our two courses, First Look and Rooted.
We were really encouraged by the response. Only a few people politely said that they didn’t want the newsletter. Most people who were in readily accepted it and said they would read it. This led in a few cases to conversations about them and also who we were and what we did. Getting out and about on the estate gave us a little insight into the great challenges that many people locally face and encouraged us to pray for people.
Personally, I’m praying that through consistent contact, we’ll build up links with one or two households and find some friendly people willing to start looking at the Bible with us using the First Look Course. It would be wonderful if this resulted in a few people putting their trust in Jesus and then beginning to gather as a gospel community on the estate.
Please join with us in praying for the Bristnall area.
You can find out more about our desire to see a network of Gospel churches planted across Sandwell and the Black Country here.
If you want to find out more about how you could get involved in this Gospel work, please get in touch using our Contact Form.
 This was back in 2012.