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SEBANorthfleet North

 
  • Bringing God's love to the community in an underprivileged area, in practical and spiritual ways

  • Developing trust within the community, and being welcomed as friends instead of with suspicion


BePartNorthfleet North is situated on the North of Kent on the River Thames very close to Bluewater shopping centre. It is a small forgotten village on the outskirts of Gravesend with little Christian influence as the local C of E church is a 10 min walk away.  It is an underprivileged area with all the problems associated with a poor, deprived and forgotten population, crime, drugs, violence etc. The area is divided into three zones which the residents are very territorial about and it is very unusual for a resident from one zone to venture into another.  This means that this area is split, to some extent.

NorthfleetNorthBoardParkI have been working in this community for the past five years with a small team of people.  We bring God’s love to this community in practical as well as spiritual ways, building good relationships as we go. Currently we run a kids' church that is attended by between 15-20 kids every fortnight, an adults' church which has a solid core group of eight, a youth group of between six to eight young people, a men’s group of four men and we also run CAP courses on a one to one basis in conjunction with the local food bank. I also am well known in the community and spend time visiting many locals for coffee and chat.

Since this work started in the area there have been many changes as to how we are perceived. We are no longer looked at with suspicion as another group of do-gooders who will leave after a few months, but we are welcomed as friends and members of this community.  People who can be trusted and will try and help, whatever the problems are, even if that is only being a listening ear.  As a result this area, that when I first started my ministry had a feeling of depression and hopelessness, now feels more optimistic and lighter, although it does still have many problems.

Things to thank God for:
  • The team of volunteers who selflessly give up their time to advance God’s kingdom in Northfleet
  • His faithfulness in creating opportunities and building bridges in this community
  • Having the free use of halls and the location of my residence which is in neutral territory.

Things to ask God for:
  • A leader for the youth group
  • The men’s group to really gel and take off this year
  • Someone technical who could set up and maintain a website/Facebook page

NorthfleetNorthChildrenPractical needs:
  • More funding as we have so much we would like to do
  • Somewhere to store all the stuff we have to sustain the children’s work
  • Free access to a Christian counsellor as many of the adults and teenagers have deep-seated problems
  • A pastoral team member
  • Someone to help with making a promotional film about the work in Northfleet

Specific goals, plans events:
  • Solid festival for kids
  • To expand kids' work to include another part of Northfleet
  • Soul Survivor for the youth
  • Summer kids' club
  • Men’s group to attend CVM’s Iron Man conference
  • Outings for adults
  • Mum’s breakfast and craft club
  • Ladies' group to start
  • Pub work to resume

How are things?
It is hard working in a pioneering situation; often there is little to show for all the hard work that is put into this area. So we do celebrate the little things. For example when a child asks a question about God or where the discussions in the adult church move to spiritual matters.  We are a close group and generally we are very happy and motivated.

Thank you so much to everyone who supports us in the vital work, whether that is financially or spiritually - you are all awesome and God’s kingdom would not be growing in this area without your loving and generous support.
 
Dawn Turner
SEBA Evangelist
 
 

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