Lubbesthorpe Pioneering Ministry - Leicestershire


PIONEERING THROUGH PRAYER IN LUBBESTHORPE 

It seems incredible, but I am approaching the end of my first three years in Lubbesthorpe! As I write, the diggers have moved in next to us and we are preparing for The Hub to be relocated. The school is due to open in September and The Hub’s new home position will be right next door looking onto the developing Village Square. The school have designated a part of their building for Community use which will be called ‘Warren Lane Community Centre’. They have asked if we would like to operate it, so we are now blessed with two spaces. They have been so taken with the community feel of Lubbesthorpe, they wanted to help it continue, which is great for us and our expanding relationship with them.

It’s certainly been a busy few months and I’m so grateful for God’s provision as we try to keep up with this rapidly expanding community which never stays the same! Claire Sutcliffe, from the Methodist Circuit, has joined me for a few hours a week to help with young families work and will work with the school. Tracy Gaskin a Community Development Officer from Blaby District Council is also here 2 days a week picking up some of the more council focused work. The Parish Council have now been established and are just beginning to find their feet.

Our Brewed Awakening Coffee and Cake morning is now weekly on Saturdays, offering a great opportunity for any residents to drop in and ask questions or just get to know people. The Toddler Group has expanded to an additional stay and play session on a Thursday morning. We’ve enjoyed an Easter Fair, Egg Hunt and the walking group and book club continue to thrive.

Our Summer Community Fair was postponed until September due to the lovely rain!! We have also been busy growing strawberries, potatoes, lettuce, onions and wild flowers in the Hub garden. In June, we ran a Listening Week to hear from our community. This has given us an idea of what we will be doing in the Autumn and how to use The Hub and our new school community space moving forward. Tracy and Claire are running ‘Fun Fest’ during August for 2 days a week in The Hub. With funding from Barnardo’s and LCC it is a 4 hour kids holiday session each Tuesday and Friday with lunch.

We have around 20 children plus parents at each session and it’s all free thanks to the funding. We have a regular rhythm of prayer, worship and bible study established in different guises where we connect with around 10 Lubbesthorpe households. Some are regular church goers, others have never connected with church and some are re-discovering their faith. Our Tuesday night Heart and Soul gathering meets fortnightly and underpins all our work with prayer and theological reflection.

We have just finished looking at what scripture says about community and are now moving onto the theme of hospitality. On alternate Tuesdays, a small number meet together for prayer. In June we started Mossy Church! Meeting monthly, this is kind of a mash-up of Messy Church and Forest Church with an emphasis on community and creation. Ideally, we meet outside but have wet weather contingency! We had 5 families the first week and they all returned in July with along with a new family.

Our first theme was Abraham and Sarah’s big move with den building. We made bee homes and an insect hotel as well as made and cooked pizza (we found a great portable pizza oven!). The second gathering was about being a good neighbour and due to very heavy rain we were inside this time! There was clay modelling, we made rocky road, ate hot dogs and the story was told with lego in the sandpit, which the kids all got involved with. I mustn’t forget the donkey crafts, though one or two did look more like unicorns 😊 We have a good mix of 50% unchurched and churched people who attend. We are also in the process of becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with Christian Trustees who are Lubbesthorpe residents. Over the coming months Churches Together will pass over the running of the group to this new organisation.

The denominational financial contributions will start to decrease, and we will increase other funding streams. We are in the process of negotiating funding with two local partners and are also earning an income through community donations and hire of The Hub. The ethos of being an ecumenical project that is focused on community development will remain and we are encouraging pioneering ways of being church. We are around 300 houses into 4250 so we know the only way we will remain a visible and viable Christian presence here is to kingdom build in partnership with those who seek the common good of the community. I am very grateful for those of you who continue to pray for us. Here are some prayer pointers: 

As The Hub moves, that we will settle quickly and we will be able to focus in on the right things as led by the Spirit

Give thanks for the new Warren Lane Community Centre in the school and as we move there, that it will quickly become home.

  • For stability in the continually changing landscape around us.
  • For Mossy Church and our working out of what church looks like here. Give thanks for those who are exploring faith for the first time or are returning to it. Pray they will recognise the work of the Spirit in their lives. •
  • For new partner organisations and our relationship with them. 
  • For the new school as they open in September. 
  • For the village square as plans are put into place for its development with shops, doctors and probably a care home. Give thanks we have a prime location of The Hub amongst all of this.

Thanks again for all your support, do drop by on a Saturday morning to Brewed Awakening in The Hub to say hi!

Grace and Peace, Sue