What’s it like…starting a church from scratch?

I remember the day last year when I realised that the ongoing pandemic restrictions would end up scrapping every one of our carefully crafted plans for outreach events in our community, where we have been working for the last three years towards starting a new church.

Focus on… France

France, the birthplace of John Calvin, saw a glorious revival in the mid-16th century with Calvin and others in Geneva training and sending thousands of pastors to evangelise and plant churches in France, and hundreds of thousands being converted.

An inconvenient conversation

I pushed our driveway gate open and groaned inwardly as I saw our elderly neighbour approaching. He is new to the area, has time on his hands and likes to talk, but I was already running late.

‘We treat, Jesus heals’

'Oh no, please not again!’ Scovia had already suffered the loss of three premature babies. ‘What if my husband gets a new wife because I failed to produce a child? Am I truly cursed as my neighbour claims? Who will care for me when I am old?’

How do you survive financially in mission?

We’d never had to ask anyone for money. Tom had been working as a teacher for 8 years. Nerys was a community mental health nurse. We were comfortable financially. We’d saved up for a mortgage and bought a house. We enjoyed being able to give to church and other ministries without having to worry, and we loved having enough to go on holiday during the summer.

Focus on…Ireland

Ireland can be a confusing place: one island, but two jurisdictions (with an invisible border); Irish (Gaelic) is the first official language yet almost no-one speaks it regularly; we are fiercely proud of our native sports (Gaelic football and hurling) but you may see more teenagers wearing Premier League football shirts.