The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood.
We are about to enter potentiality one of the most exciting yet challenging seasons in our time together as a church family to date; we think God has found us a building.
Similar to our first giving campaign, “For the City,” this building isn’t for us. It won’t be a Sunday venue, we’re not relocating our kids’ ministry, we’re not in search of greater storage; our vision is to meet the needs of our neighbours.
Manchester has one of the highest levels of child poverty in the UK. Heartbreakingly, 42% of households live below the poverty line, with the area surrounding Dean Trust Ardwick being within the 0.5% most deprived in the country. Jesus called us to love our neighbours and our neighbours are in desperate need. We are surrounded by children who lack access to safe, warm homes, a stable family life or regular meals.
The only sustainable solution to poverty we know is Jesus. We long to give these children and their families not just the physical things they need to cope, but the opportunity to learn, thrive and belong.
For a few months now a number of us have been going out into the local area and asking firstly, “would you like a chocolate?” and secondly “we’re looking to love our community the way Jesus did, how can we love you, your family, your neighbourhood?”
The responses we’ve had have been overwhelmingly positive, with many people inviting us into their homes to chat and pray. We cannot wait to extend the same welcome ourselves but for that, we need a home to welcome them into.
Once a landmark in the community, the building we think God has called us to has gradually fallen into disrepair. The peeling paint, barred windows and crumbling walls speak of axed funding, stretched resources and reassigned priorities. But where the council can no longer do all they’d want to, we hope and pray they will allow us to step in. We have not forgotten this community, and more importantly neither has Jesus.
Following two days of prayer and fasting we are looking to raise £150,000 to restore not just this building, but also the fortunes of this precious group of people: Until now we’ve been working together to help meet the practical needs of local organisations, but we want to do more. Yes it might seem like a large amount of money for a still relatively young church plant, but as Paul said during our vision talk:
If Jesus’ words don’t at times make me feel uncomfortable, then I’ve probably reinvented Jesus in my own image.
We want to build a home amongst our neighbours and invite them in to be known and loved. Following the example of Jesus we want to move into this neighbourhood and bring his restoration to all we find there
This past Sunday we had our giving day but it’s not too late if you’d like to partner with us to achieve this vision. Please visit our website (manchestervineyard.org) for more details or pick up a vision booklet.
You are also really welcome to join us this coming Sunday (the 31st) when we find out how much money has been raised.