THE website that announces a new evening service at Christ
Church, Spitalfields, highlights the fact that, despite church
growth in London, less than one per cent of East Enders attend a
weekly church gathering.
The invitation to "be part of the change" is a call to join a
congregation that comprises members from Christ Church; Holy
Trinity, Brompton, with St Paul's, Onslow Square, and St
Augustine's, South Kensington (HTB); and St Paul's, Shadwell (a
church-plant of HTB).
The partnership has been welcomed by the congregation of Christ
Church, the Rector, the Revd Andrew Rider, said on Monday.
"The PCC is excited about people coming to join us who have some
real growth experience," he said. "In the past ten years, we've
seen a fair amount of growth in the church, but it really should be
much bigger than it is, given its position and that God has been
very generous to us, and all the building works that have been
done. . . , we have to push through that boundary and be
On Tuesday, the Revd Phil Williams, Assistant Curate of Holy
Trinity, Brompton, who will be a co-leader of the evening service,
with the Revd Darren Wolf, said that the partnership had emerged
from friendship. Both he and Mr Wolf have lived and worked in the
East End. He said that half the population of the parish was under
29, including 2000 students.
"We want to engage with younger people in the area, including
the student demographic, and that is something that HTB and its
network churches have got great experience of doing," he said.
"There is a lot of good news about church growth in London, but
there is a lot of work to be done in east London."
Christ Church's existing congregation numbers 130. Mr Rider
expects that it will grow to 400 to 500 in the next two to three
years, and is praying for growth beyond that. A launch service will
take place on 14 September.
Last week, Mr Williams was commissioned by the Bishop of London,
the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, at Focus, an annual summer holiday
organised by Holy Trinity. Its other church-plants and partnerships
include a church-plant in Kuala Lumpur, to be led by an Assistant
Curate of Holy Trinity, the Revd Miles Toumlin.