Moving Church

Blog by Andy Brownlee

Moving Church

So, you’ve planted a church

You’ve gathered some people and hired a venue for your Sunday services, they even let you put a permanent sign outside.

The church grows, things go well.

Then one day comes THAT conversation: The owner of your venue tells you that they’re selling up, and you need to find a new place to meet.

So, what do you do? Well, honestly, worry (a little, I’m only human) and then pray…a lot.

That’s the situation I found myself in at CCM:Withington a few months ago. But after a lot of prayer (and even some fasting) and lots of phone calls to venues in the area, God (and I really do believe it was God) provided us with a new place to have our Sunday services: Ladybarn Community Centre.

It started on a cold dark evening not long ago. Myself and a friend stood outside the locked front gates of Ladybarn Community Centre, the centre was deserted, the shutters down and the street was empty. We laid hands on the gates and prayed that God would give us this venue. I then dialed the number on the Centre’s noticeboard and to my surprise someone answered! I asked the lady on the other end of the phone if we could hire the community centre for church. I’ll never forget what she said. She said: ‘you’ve got through to the right person, yes you can.’ After being rejected by around 40 other venues previously to this, let me tell you those were sweet words to hear!

And the rest they say is history.

Next month we will move to Ladybarn Community centre as our new home and it’s fair to say we’re really excited!

Though the move is bittersweet.

For these last 4 years, since CCM:Withington began, we’ve been meeting at Manchester Bridge Club, which has been fantastic. God has really blessed us as a church during this time, and we’ve grown from the 15 of us who planted it to over 70 now. It’s been a fun journey. So, it’s with a tinge of sadness that we leave the Bridge club and what’s more it will be the end of an era for a building that has hosted 3 churches previous to us (Grace Church, Kings and Ivy). But despite the sadness at leaving the bridge club we’re really excited to see what new things God has in store for us in Ladybarn.

I really do believe God is in this move to Ladybarn and has a bigger purpose for it. I’m excited about the new ministry opportunities that are already opening up for us and am looking forward to connecting with lots of people from the area. We’ve already ran some Community events in the centre and have more planned. We really want to serve the community of Ladybarn, be a blessing to it and be a witness to the good news of Jesus in this area.

Why not pop along and see us sometime!

If you are interested in coming along to one of our services we’d love to meet you. Our last service at the Bridge club will be on Sunday 23rd September at 10:30am and our first service in Ladybarn (Ladybarn Community Centre, Royle St, Manchester M14 6RN) will be on Sunday 30rd September at 10:30am.

Andy Brownlee

Andy Brownlee

Site Leader - CCM:Withington

Andy is part of the the Christ Church Manchester leadership team and is the site leader of CCM:Withington. He also runs the CCM training academy, including the School of Theology and the Gap Year program.