A Space to Create
Fleet Meadow Baptist Church in Didcot is following a missional call to engage with people in their local community
A church encouraging people to encounter God through creation and creativity
Home Mission supports Fleet Meadow Baptist Church who are following a missional call to engage with people in their local community. They are loving their community in various ways and have recently stepped out into a new venture – A Space to Create. Minister Ann Fradgley tells their story.
In 2014 Fleet Meadow Baptist Church followed God’s prompt and gained an allotment plot on the allotments that are situated adjacent to the hall we meet in. Over the past few years we have been trying to be faithful to God’s call to be 'his presence' there.
God brought Jennifer, Mike and I together and A Space to Create was born out of a joint passion for art and a recognition that many people will never step foot into a church building and are unlikely to pick up a Bible and initially encounter God through the written word. (Increasingly on the allotment, it has become apparent that many who profess to have no faith are experiencing God through creation).
The group is intended to be flexible and organic in its growth for people of all faiths and none.
Like a seed that grows into a mighty tree, this project started off as a seed planted in our hearts by the grace of God. We believe this project is inspired by God to enable those involved to build friendships, share a space to enjoy experimenting with art and to be able to learn from each other along the way. This is not a technical art class but we hope that people will be open to trying new things and share their skills.
A Space to Create is about allowing God’s Spirit to flow and let him do the work in all of us – creating a natural response in each person. That response at this stage (or in fact any stage) may not use religious language and it is for us to be at peace with the ways in which God will work.
Rather like the fruit, vegetables, plants, shrubs and flowers on the allotment - each grow and respond in marvellously different ways. And yet we know each have been fed through the same sun, water and soil.
In essence it is:
A space to create
A space to contemplate
A place to congregate
‘A Space to Create’ is literal in both a physical and spiritual way and we will all grow in wonderfully different ways. When we step back we will see it as a garden where God will have co-created with us to make something beautiful.
As the group leaders, Mike, Jennifer and I hope and pray that as A Space to Create evolves we will be able to reach out to the wider community to help people (of all ages) creatively engage in art.
As we have bounced ideas around we have each been led to the dream of reaching out into clubs and schools to help them explore what Didcot, their town, means to them. The ultimate hope is to facilitate a community art exhibition in the Cornerstone art space in town: An exhibition that will allow space for community engagement and contemplation.
We also hope to hold occasional evening sessions of A Space to Create in the same facility too.
Through providing this space, in whatever context it evolves into, we pray that many will have an experience of God's presence through exploring their own creativity.
The project meets twice a month at lunch times and is only in its infancy but already we are seeing people from outside the church engage with it. We are committed to following where God leads us, wherever that may take us.
We believe that A Space to Create has the potential to engage with many in our community and in turn will be a springboard for people to encounter the Living God through God’s creative Spirit.
Ann Fradgley - Minister of Fleet Meadow Baptist Church
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