The winter months have zoomed past as we are now very well embedded into Woodley and getting more deeply stuck in. January, I (Kevin) was busy with interviews with the Church of England. The good news is that I passed the interviews and can now go on to be a pioneer minister in the church of England. That is IF I am selected to be a vicar at all in the next and final set of interviews (the ‘BAP’) in May! February was also a distracting month as I went away to visit my sister and relatives in New Zealand and Australia. Nicki stoically manned the fort at home, only slightly pleased in that it rained the whole time in Australia (there was the tail end of a cyclone). And yes, I did have an amazing time.
Impact is bubbling along well. We are establishing outreach with the group and going out into Reading one Tuesday evening a month to serve Hot Chocolate and food to the homeless people we find there. We have been taking sleeping bags too as we find this is a need. There are far too many people trapped on the streets through misfortune and life-controlling problems. It is really sad. One great story is from the last time we went into Reading. We were just talking to a homeless man who remembered us from the previous month when a young lady came up also offering food. She was a nineteen year old who had previously attended Sam’s school, Bulmershe. She had just started working in a café. She was horrified at how much waste went out each evening and so took it upon herself to take it to the homeless. In her own words though she had not thought this through and realised quite quickly she would have been vulnerable alone. She ended up joining us the entire evening sharing her story as she did so. At the end of the evening we headed for a cafe to get warm and do the part of BELLS we do well, Eating! She chose to join us and said “I’m not religious but I’m interested to know how you all got into it?” Each one of us shared our stories. We are hoping she will join us again!
What is BELLS, well it is actually the rhythm (or Rule) of Impact and stands for:
- Bless each other with encouragement and help
- Eat together
- Listen to God and pray
- Learn how to follow Christ
- Serve others
We aim to do this weekly as much as possible despite our diverse lives: so we Carry Out Weekly BELLS, or COW BELLS to you!
Nicki has also drawn on her contacts, made while visiting local families, by starting two groups this March. An after-school club for 7-11 year-olds on the first Wednesday of the month began well with 7 children. Four children from existing families that we have supported and three new contacts. Each session will include some aspects of messy church even though the children are all from un-churched families: games, challenges, cooking, DVD clips. In March the theme was Moses so they built pyramids and made chocolate baskets with jelly-baby Moses! In April the theme will be Easter and so will include a big Easter egg hunt and making bread!
Nicki also started a weekly mum’s group on Tuesday afternoons for mums from the local area, whether familiar with church or not. For the babies and toddlers each week there will be lots of songs, followed by a bible story and craft. Then as the children play, the mums have a discussion on a topic connected to parenting. On the first session four mums came with their children and made many suggestions for topics they would like to discuss. The next session will be on free things to do with your children in Woodley.
Both Nicki and I have worked on some more prayer initiatives too. Nicki has a team working on another prayer event similar to the 24-7 prayer week for Holy week. The plans are looking great and will inspire many to take time out to pray. I am running “Just Be”, an introductory contemplative prayer course that I first ran with Sonja in Belgium just before I left. The group in Belgium is still meeting and I hope that we will continue to meet here in Woodley too. First signs seem to show it is going well.
Family news is all positive. The twins have caught chicken pox finally and are happy and back at school again. All the kids are doing really well at their schools and pleasing their teachers (and parents) by achieving well and catching up fast. We are all happy and looking forward to Spring in our strictly pruned garden and all the bulbs to fully bloom that we planted in November.
Till next time.
The Colyers in Woodley
- God would draw mums and children to the groups, that God would particularly lead us to “people of peace” on the estate who will open doors to other families.
- Thank God for the good start but pray that we build on this being inspired and led by Him and that many more
- Mums would make it to the groups.
- Pray for Impact and the work reaching the 20’s in the area.
- Pray for all the plans leading up to Easter.
- Tuesday’s – Nicki’s Mum’s group 1pm-3pm. Impact from 8pm
- Wednesday (1st of month) – Nicki’s after-school group. 4-5pm.
- 26 March – Kevin in Harpenden for YWAM National Leaders forum
- 24 March – 5 April – Prayer Cabin event.
- 11-19 April – visiting Plymouth and Stroud
- 21 April – Fresh Expressions Partners day (Methodist Central Hall, London)
- 1-4 May – YWAM England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland gathering in Harpenden (Kevin running some Fresh Expression meetings)
- 5-7 May – Kevin’s Bishop’s Advisory Panel. This is the big one!