WHEN PASTOR JIM BEVERIDGE FOUND A COPY OF HEART OF SUSSEX at Crowhurst Christian Healing Centre, his first thought was that it would be perfect for his church’s monthly outreach morning.
That’s when his flock from Herstmonceux Free Church decamps from its usual home, the listed Chapel built in 1811, to Herstmonceux Village Hall, where they host “Squeeze”, an open morning for the local community. Offering free continental breakfast, crafts, a “Thought for the Day” and an opportunity to meet and chat with others, it’s called “Squeeze” because, says Jim, “We’re squeezing new life into Sunday!”
Usually attended by 40-50 people, “Squeeze” is less threatening than a church service and locals drop in any time between 9 and 1pm.
Jim’s five minute talk, “a modern parable” is then printed in the local church magazine.
“The Lord gives the theme and we’ve seen a number of people come through to a living faith and some have joined our church,” he explains. “We’ve been going for six years and Fiona Castle (widow of Roy, the popular entertainer) came to one of the early ones.”
Other activities on offer are carpet bowls and “speed talking”, when participants sit at long tables and have five minutes to share something spiritual with the person opposite. “People like to chat,” says Jim, “and our Speed talking helps focus on the spiritual and relationship side of life.”
So when Jim saw HEART OF SUSSEX he realised it would go well alongside the “Good News” Christian testimony paper they already use and the secular papers put out for visitors. After ordering 20 copies especially for the March “Squeeze”, Jim stood up and introduced the paper to the 35 visitors. “It was the first time some of them had seen it and they received it warmly.”
HEART will now be a regular fixture at the outreach event and Jim is happy to invite others to visit on the first Sunday of the month (except August) at Herstmonceux village hall .
“If anyone wants to ‘taste and see’ and take bits of our meeting for new or existing outreach then just turn up to a warm welcome!”
Pastor Jim is not alone. The Church in the Wood, St Leonard’s on Sea, is also using HEART OF SUSSEX for an outreach. To use HEART OF SUSSEX for YOUR outreach, just order a few extra copies and we can mail or courier them to you within two days at a very reasonable price.
Tel: 01903 209383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
HEART of Hastings and St Leonard’s
Thanks to Katie Harrison of His Place Community Church for providing photos and news from Hastings and St Leonard’s. Some of the information can be found in the local Unity News produced by Hastings and St Leonard’s Churches Together.