A few years ago, there was a local website called “We love Bearwood” encouraging people to love and enjoy their local community around where our church is located. I realised that this kind of helped sum up my personal mission.
I want people who love Bearwood to come to know and love Jesus.
I also want people who know and love Jesus to love Bearwood.
But actually, I’m not just thinking about Bearwood. We often talk about wanting to see Bearwood and beyond transformed by the Gospel.
Bearwood is part of the Sandwell Borough which includes towns like Smethwick, Oldbury, West Bromwich and Tipton. We are nestled between Birmingham and Wolverhampton at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation. Most of this area has been affectionately known as the Black Country for many years because this is where the Industrial Revolution started.
This is an area with over half a million people living in it. This includes people from all kinds of back-grounds including white working class British and Irish, Eastern European, the Middle East and many African countries. It’s a religiously diverse area where Muslims rub shoulders with Sikhs, Hindus, Catholics and those who profess no faith.
It’s not a rich area and that means that local churches which are often small are also not awash with material resources (this is a story that you will see repeated up and down the country in our neediest inner-city areas and on our council estates).
We are not on the doorstep of any big name universities and whilst a a good number of young people do head off to University, it is probably fair to say that the majority of people have never received a degree and never expect to get one. This does not mean that they aren’t intelligent, skilled or talented though. It does mean that if we sit back and wait for the University Christian Unions and church plants amongst graduates to evangelise them then we will have a long wait.
So, we are not resource rich and we are not a big church but we do care passionately about the Gospel and we do love “Bearwood and beyond.” So, as you will see from our ActBC pages we have been active starting new congregations, getting alongside people through community initiatives, sharing the good news, training and equipping people for Gospel service.
We could sit back and settle for a comfortable existence but what pushes us on is that there are so many people around us who don’t know Jesus and haven’t had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. This is a mission field -as needy and as urgently in need for prayer and partnership as the obvious, traditional mission fields around the world.
That’s why we are asking you to partner with us, starting by praying for the work. We are aiming to send out a regular newsletter with updates, articles and prayer requests starting in the New Year. If you would like to join the mailing list, please sign up here.
Please do pray for us. And, if God might be prompting you to consider urban mission, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
 The story goes that Queen Victoria passed through by train and looking out at the sky, darkened by the smoke and soot, commented “This is such a black country.”