Back in May we changed our name to Welcome Church. That change is part of our new approach to connecting with the people of Woking.
This September we have an awesome event planned to tell the town all about it: the Welcome Woking Fun Day, on Saturday 22nd September, 11am – 3pm in Woking Park.
This is a free event that has something for everyone: a petting zoo, live music, ice creams, BBQ, tea & scones, face painting, bouncy castle and youth zone … and it’s all free!
For our church this event may be the biggest opportunity in our history to connect en masse with Woking, to bless people in an extravagant way, and to introduce them to Welcome Church.
For the people of Woking this is a great chance to have a great day out with their family for free, and to experience God’s lavish and extravagant love first hand through Welcome Church.
There are three things that Welcome Church people can do to help publicise the event:
- Deliver flyers: we have 30,000 flyers to deliver and lots of this is happening through our Life Groups. You can find out how you can be involved with that through your Life Group leaders, or you can contact the church office directly
- Invite friends: a personal invitation is a great way to encourage people to come along and enjoy themselves, and this may be the easiest thing you ever get to invite people to, so do let your friends, neighbours and colleagues know about it
- Share the event on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – share the event and invite people who live nearby to come along. here is a link to the Facebook event. You can click ‘Going’ and share it as well.
Together, let’s try to invite the whole town to this event!
People can say a yes or a no; our job is simply to make the invite. And let’s pray that God would draw many to come along and have fun with us … and some may even begin a journey towards encountering Jesus.
People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. Let’s show the people of Woking our love, care and generosity.
Last night (Tuesday 4th Sept) I had the joy of sitting in the viewing gallery at Woking Borough Council as the Planning Committee gave their unanimous approval to our new building plans for Welcome Church.
This is going to be a huge blessing: to us as a church, to the local area and also to the town more widely. We are so grateful both to God and to Woking Council.
There were lots of positive comments made by councillors at the meeting …
- About the design: “This will provide a state of the art facility”
- About the process: “They have worked hard to consult the neighbours”
- About the impact: “This will be good for the town and the local area”
And there were also many positive comments made about us as a church, accompanied by positive comments about us coming to the end of a long road with this final (and “much appreciated”) application for development of our site.
We have a lot to be thankful for
Let’s remember to give thanks to God, and also to thank the planning officers and the councillors who gave their time and effort to consider our application.
And let’s remember what we heard on Sunday morning during the worship time: “God did not give us an amazing site in the middle of town so that we can stand still”. We have so much ahead of us to do as we serve the town where God has placed us; the best days are not behind us!
We now have some key steps to take:
- We need to finalise the finer points of the design
- We need to raise the rest of the finance
- We need to sign contracts with the developers
- We need to prepare ourselves … including putting some things in storage, throwing some things away, working out what it means for how we work and what’s in the diary during the building process
Early warning: one of the first things to go will be our current car park … but we will make sure to communicate well ahead of time.
A bird’s eye view of our plans
We have done amazingly well with raising finance for this project so far. We now need to do the last bit, so there will be Gift Days for this on Sundays 4th and 18th November. Look out for information about that over the next few weeks, and do be praying and preparing your heart for what God may be leading you to do.
It’s actually a double celebration for Jo and I this week. Not only was planning permission granted, but we also passed our first anniversary at Welcome Church on Saturday (1st Sept).
Thanks for all the friendship, support and prayers along the way. We love this church and it’s a joy to be here with you.