THE Church in Wales is pressing ahead with plans to launch its first resource church in St Andrew and St Teilo, Cathays, in Cardiff, next month, despite opposition from the existing congregation.
In a virtual service in May, a group of 40 people from Harbour Church, in Portsmouth — a plant of Holy Trinity, Brompton (HTB), in London — were commissioned by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, to set up the new Citizen Church in St Andrew and St Teilo. The building is currently being renovated for the relaunch.
The decision had been finalised by the Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt Revd June Osborne, in March last year. A petition led by members of the original university church congregation to “Save St Telio’s” from an “Evangelical takeover” accrued 1931 signatures (News, 22 March 2019), but the associated Facebook page has since been taken down.
The Citizen Church-planting team includes ten worshippers from the area, others relocating from London, and 17 who are to relocate from Harbour Church.
Harbour Church was planted in a refurbished former department store in 2016 by the congregation of St Peter’s, Brighton — also an HTB church-plant (News, 2 September 2016). Within two years, its congregation outgrew the building and spread to three other churches in the area: St George’s, Portsea, for the main morning service; St Alban’s, Copnor, for the afternoon family service; and All Saints’, Portsea, for the evening student service.
One of the original church-planters from St Peter’s, Bethany Pearson, who has been recommended for ordination training, is among those relocating to Cardiff. “It’s exciting to feel called to go to a place where there are 80,000 students, where we can create a new church all over again, and where I’ll be part of the staff team. I’ll be training while working at Citizen Church for the next three years.”
Citizen Church will be led by the Revd Ryan Forey, who is currently the Assistant Curate of Harbour Church. Bishop Foster said: “Harbour and Portsmouth diocese are delighted to gift Ryan and a team to Cardiff. Christians believe in sending people from one place to another to do God’s work — we are an ‘apostolic’ Church. And it is the mark of a church to be ready to gift and send out people to do mission, in their local setting and beyond.”
Citizen Church and Hope Street, a Christian centre in Wrexham, north Wales, boosted by a £1.9-million grant from the Church in Wales’s evangelism funds, will be the first churches that the HTB network have planted in Wales (News, 19 July 2019).