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There has been a lot of talk about ‘Love in Action’ recently and of course the new TRINITY Centre and CaféLife at St John’s sub Castro, so I thought it might be good to lay out here the vision, for those that haven’t yet heard it. There are three elements to it:

1: Love in Action – the mission if you like

2: The TRINITY Centre – the hub of future activity

3: CaféLife – the realisation

shutterstock_97614020Love in Action

To see lives transformed by the love of Christ we must first show that love to those around us. ‘Love in Action’ is the banner that seeks to:

  • enable our missional work locally to see this vision a reality by bringing together our outreach projects under one metaphorical banner
  • to provide support and guidance for those in local missional leadership through new ‘missional conversations’
  • to seek and enable new projects, to be a visible, active and distinctive signpost of God’s love
  • to celebrate and communicate locally all that TRINITY does in the wider community

TRINITY in it’s various forms has a long history of being a missional church that puts emphasis on looking outwards and into the surrounding town. In addition to our existing projects we want to aim to build new relationships locally, working with other churches and organisations where relevant, to make Christ’s love known more widely.  In fact this has already been begun with our recent ‘Big Conversation’ gathering people from across the town in both professional and lay capacities to look at the growing issue of food poverty locally and there are some exciting relationships being made as result of that.

The TRINITY Centre

…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16

The main purpose of all our locations must be to communicate and implement the vision to See lives transformed by the love of Christ, through all of our activities, and to let our light shine!

We do so prayerfully and faithfully, with God’s leading, prompted by the Holy Spirit, however, we must also seek to honour God in all that he has entrusted us with here at TRINITY and The TRINITY Centre needs to enable the vision effectively and creatively but also realistically.

shutterstock_195719312How will The TRINITY Centre become a reality?

The TRINITY Centre, clearly and attractively sign posted, with great accessibility, open doors, a community cafe and working space for staff, will aim to provide a new and exciting opportunity for connection into peoples day to day lives.

It will be an accessible space, centrally located – giving us greater capacity to respond to the needs in our parish and enable us to grow new community from our existing one, whilst also making it clear that our motivation in opening our doors each day is the love of Jesus. Jesus will be unashamedly and obviously placed at the centre of all we do.

We hope it will be a space where people from all walks of life can feel comfortable and at home, but also giving us an opportunity to showcase the work of our existing ministries under our Love in Action banner.

Which leads us on to…

CaféLife

shutterstock_134208818Of course a big part of the vision for the TRINITY Centre and Love in Action is ‘CafeLife’.

CafeLife’s initial aim will be to support our existing missional outreach, and work carefully towards being a 6 day a week, 9-5 working café – over the next 3 years or so. For example, it could initially be open during Lunch Bunch, for our seasonal events or during a temporary prayer space, allowing a new audience to see the church at work, whilst providing a welcoming invitation into the building too.

Situated in the new area at the back of St John’s, a glass screen will enable CafeLife to be an open and welcoming space with a homely feel where all can feel they belong. However being within the church building it also enables a connection to the church space, in an unthreatening way, especially relevant for those who might never enter a church or consider matters of faith.

CaféLife will be overseen by staff who are passionate about Jesus who have been vetted for their suitability and trained well. They will include initially a paid manager and trained barista, supplemented by volunteers. It will seek to provide an accessible menu, with good quality food and drinks at affordable prices, seeking to stick within our existing Fair Trade policy. Our aim is that eventually, any profits will support mission partners and charities whose work we can highlight in the café.

Previous and ongoing research has noted that despite the number of cafes in the town there is a need for a social space suitable for young families, with a focus on having plenty of space for buggies and prams, and for wheelchair users with excellent accessibility. As the café operation develops over the next 3-5 years, it is with these groups of people in mind that we will seek to grow both the café and ministries that might grow from it. There are many ideas that we could explore carefully such as:

  • Bringing in outside agencies to help form a community hub – eg: CAB advice, debt advice etc from professionals
  • Building a programme of café visitors and events – activities for families, themed events, live music, joining with town wider events such as Artwave, or courses like The Parenting course, Marriage course etc
  • Enabling a dementia friendly space

As you can see I hope, this is a vision, and we have a team of people working on the strategy of how this will play out, so watch this space!

 

Jules Middleton
www.pickingapplesofgold.com

 

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