10 July 2010
An expanding church brings Christ “to the centre of town life”
If you walk through the sleepy Somerset town of Midsomer Norton, it's hard to miss the banner over the Town Hall entrance: "Café 3.16". While it started of as unknown, many people have become familiar with the concept.
Welton Baptist Church, which is already well known locally for the summer Nfest youth event, Christmas pantomimes, an open air high street passion play, a mums & toddlers group, high street Christmas carols and much more, has recently celebrated one year of Café 3.16, a popular youth café.
Two years ago, at the "Nfest" weeklong church community summer event, a youth café was held which supported an indoor skate park. This was a tremendous success, but leader Sally Evans wasn't satisfied. Impacting these young people for just a week a year didn't work - few, if any, engaged long term with the church's youth work programme. A vision to turn this into a long term ministry was realised when Café 3.16 opened after school for two afternoons a week, and soon after a Friday night slot was added.
With a clear vision towards becoming involved in the day to day life of the community, Welton Baptist Church is supporting local leaders who want to see the love of God rolled out, not just talked about. They see the church as a partner in community events, allowing Christ to be at the centre of town life.
Building on this vision, the next step is to recruit a full time Outreach Worker and part time Children's Worker to drive forward an agenda to serve the local community.
Jonathan Cooper, member of the church leadership team said, "At a time when community services are getting cut and people are struggling, this is the very time people need to see the relevance and impact of their local church. We want people at every age and stage to know the life-changing good news of Jesus".
Welton Baptist Church meets every Sunday at 10.30am at Norton Hill School and 6.00pm at the chapel in West Road Welton.