Mission and ministry in deprived areas
From CofE Diocese of Bristol
The Diocese of Bristol provides ministry that serves and reaches out to some of the most deprived areas of the country in both Bristol and Swindon.
Here are some insights about church on the Penhill and Pinehurst estates in Swindon.
Simon Halls, minister on the Pinehill estate observes, "The reality is that in an area like ours, it's not that there are a unique set of problems. It's just the density of the need that goes on, so every day we hear story after story of people that are just struggling in life. This kind of big dream of society of their ambitions that are just not working out, that life is letting them down."
He adds "The difference is Christ. The difference is Jesus. In terms of how He made a difference was that He didn't come just to make a project, to tick a box. It was about whole life. And for us actually, that's been about serving people in the community. We're not going anywhere. We're going to carry on. And the reality is for many organizations, when the funding dries up, they're gone. When the targets change, they're gone. The Church of Jesus Christ stays and commits in doing things. So, it makes a real difference."
Patrick Mukholi, minister at Penhill reports, "A lot of work that we've been doing here would be enabling people, not just with the prayer, but with the leadership. With even getting the confidence to go out and get a job. And I'm trying to explain to them the church is not as people perceive it, the place for holy people. It is because we know who we are. We go there for healing 'cause we are sinners, and people find their feet or leave some of the destructive habits they were involved in and change for the better. That's really exciting."
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