Some Things To Pray About – April 2023

There are some key things coming up at Welcome Church that we would love you to know about and to pray about:

The Welcome Kids Weekend Away

This weekend (28th – 30th April) is the Welcome Kids Weekend Away . This year they will be at Walton Firs Activity Centre in Cobham. This is the first time we’re using this new venue and we’re hoping for a fantastic weekend of fun, games, activities, worship and teaching. The theme of the weekend is “Get to know God”.

60 children from school years 3 to 6 will be attending, along with 25 leaders. Here are some things to please pray for:

  • Pray for good weather because lots of outside events are planned
  • Pray that the children stay safe and have a good time
  • Pray that they meet with God and that their faith in him grows
  • Pray for the leaders who are giving up their weekend to serve this event
  • Pray that everyone gets some sleep

Don’t forget: Welcome Kids will still be running on Sunday morning to serve all the children who are not at the weekend away

The Alpha Course

Our next Alpha Course starts on Wednesday 10th May. Each week Alpha creates a brilliant opportunity for people to explore the key questions of faith over a nice meal. Obviously we love it when people invite friends to Alpha, and you are welcome to attend yourself too – just let us know.

Please pray:

  • For people in your life who you would love a chance to invite to Alpha
  • For lots of people to accept invitations
  • For people to meet with God and grow in their faith
  • For the course leaders and table hosts
  • For all the practical details, including the meals

If you want more details about this Alpha Course or want to sign up please click here

Some other prayer requests

Our main prayer requests are around Alpha and the Welcome Kids Weekend Away, but if you have time to pray for more then the please consider the following:

  • Compassion UK are with us this Sunday (30th April). Please pray that lots of children are sponsored and set free from poverty
  • Our ‘Freedom In Christ’ course starts on Thursday 11th May. It’s not too late to sign up for this. Please pray for people to encounter Jesus and find new joy and freedom in their relationship with God
  • Mike Deavin and myself are meeting with the architect of our building later this week to talk about future possibilities that could give us more space. Please pray for wisdom as we meet

Compassion at Welcome Church: an update

As a church we launched a partnership with Compassion UK in 2019, focussing on Togo in Western Africa.

As a bit of background, Togo is one of the least developed countries in the world and Compassion work in partnership with local churches in that country to see children released from poverty in Jesus’ name. They bring a lot of this about through a sponsorship model, through which you can sponsor a child and build a relationship with them through letters, photographs and prayer, and that’s where each of us can connect personally.

Compassion are Christ centred, Church based and Child focussed – values that connect well with us at Welcome Church. Jo and I have sponsored children with them for many years now, and it’s been a joy to write letters to those children and receive updates, photos and letters in return. We’ve seen the first children we sponsored grow up from infants to young adults, and they will soon graduate from the programme.

For those who were not with us when we launched our partnership, we did two main things at that time:

Firstly, we gave people the chance to sponsor a child in Togo. Many people responded to that and 184 children are now sponsored by people who are part of Welcome Church.

Secondly, we gave 10% of our June 2019 Building Project Gift Day to a UK government backed “matched funding” initiative for Compassion to fund Child Survival Projects in Togo.

This is vital work because at present in Togo:

  • 1 in 20 babies die before their first birthday, mostly from preventable causes
  • 1 in 58 women also die due to pregnancy or childbirth

These are shocking statistics, and Compassion are working to change this through their Child Survival Projects (CSPs). These CSPs are run by local churches in Togo. They work with mothers throughout their pregnancy and for the first year of the child’s life to provide:

  • Medical support
  • Vaccinations
  • Basic provisions – including safe water, hygiene kits and nutritious food
  • Education on how to care for a child, remembering that many of the mothers are little more than children themselves
  • Skills training to teach work skills that can help them earn a living
  • Spiritual support and mentoring

We gave just over £40,000 to that appeal which, due to the matched funding initiative, was doubled to £80,000. As a result of that giving a new Child Survival Project was opened through a Togolese church called Lumiere Epserance (which means Light and Hope).

Some News and Updates

On Sunday 30th April I’ve invited Tim Robertson from Compassion to come and spend the morning with us. He’s going to speak about God’s heart for the poor and bring us the latest news and updates from the projects we’ve supported. There will also be another chance to sponsor a child in Togo if you would like to. It should be a great morning.

I’ve also received the latest written update on the Child Survival Project we funded. It’s a great report with lots of photos and a thank you letter from a mother called Evoda, who has been helped by the project. I’ve attached this report below so you can have a read. Please be encouraged to do that – it will do you good.

Welcome Church Updates – April 2023

As always there’s a lot going on at Welcome Church, so here are a few things to help you stay up to date:

This term we ran both The Bible Course and The Prayer Course

The Bible Course took place on Wednesday evenings at our building. 42 people attended, and 39 of them claimed afterwards that they had “gained more confidence in reading and understanding the Bible”. (93%. Not a bad result 🙂)

Through a combination of videos, group discussions, personal reflection and reading, the course took people through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, showing how the key events, books, and characters all fit together. HUGE THANKS to Christopher Hawes and Luqman & Kimberley Mulam for organising this course, and also to all who were involved in making it happen; we couldn’t have done it without you.

Here’s some feedback from course attendees:

“This course has broken the Bible into sizeable chunks and explained how the book was created. It has given me a framework of how to read the Bible”

“It was so useful to be immersed in a broad overview of the Bible. I was surprised at how much scripture we covered”

“I had a deeper revelation of Salvation through this course”

“It has improved my confidence in a tremendous way”

We ran The Prayer Course in three different groups: one in the building, one in a home and a third as a whole Lifegroup doing the course together. It was an eight-week journey through ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, including practical lessons about how to pray and tackling the questions and challenges we face. A big THANK YOU goes to Hanneke Silvester for organising this course, and also to the different group leaders for playing their part – we appreciate you all.

Here’s some feedback from course attendees:

‘The course has helped me to gain a better understanding of why we pray, its purpose and why at times our prayers are not answered.’

‘It has been so precious to learn more about how prayer can deepen my relationship with God. Some of the practical advice, like being still and pausing to rest in his presence before speaking a prayer, have been a game changer for me.’

Don’t worry if you missed out this time, we’ll run both of these courses again at a future date.

Commission Festival Deadline

We’re going to Commission Festival as a church this year and over 300 from Welcome Church are booked in. Please make sure that YOU don’t get left behind in Woking for the weekend.

For more details about the Festival click here. Prices go up after Monday 10th April, so please book in ASAP. Here’s a link to the booking page. You’ll get a 40% discount if you sign up to serve in some way, and as a bonus we’ll feed you for the weekend for free. All you’ll need is your tent, pillow and sleeping bag! Bring on the sunshine ☀️

Our Easter Plans

On Friday (7th April) we’ll mark Good Friday with a one hour meeting at 7pm. It will include worship, reflections on the crucifixion and communion. There’s no children’s work, but if you have kids who would meaningfully engage with an hour of worship, teaching and communion you’re welcome to bring them. It will also be live streamed at if you can’t get there in person.

On Sunday (9th April) we’ll celebrate Easter, and both morning meetings will include baptisms. As it stands we have 10 people being baptised, so please pray for them ahead of the day. Easter Sunday is a good opportunity to invite guests to come to church with you: they’ll hear a great Easter message, see some baptisms and find out about lives being transformed through Jesus. There will also be chocolate for everyone (!), so make sure you don’t miss out. Our Sunday livestream will run as normal, but there won’t be free chocolate on the livestream 😀

After Easter I’m taking a few days off, so I won’t write a blog next week. If I don’t get to speak to you personally, I hope you have a great Easter.