Church Ministries

Influenced by the book Everyday Church and aware of how easily Christian can burn out in church life, our ethos where possible is to give our time to involvement in organisations already running in the area rather than set up alternatives.

For example, rather than run our own Parent and Toddler group, Grace Church parents attend toddler groups in the area and enjoy getting to know the parents there. Again, rather than set up another international cafe, a number from Grace Church frequent the international cafe already run from the Saltworkz Cafe in New England Road, and befriend internationals there.

Nevertheless, where there is a need and we feel the Lord has given us time, resource and leading to initiate something, we are committed to doing so. Grace Church currently runs the following ministries: 

1] Messy Church has been our main focus for outreach since first considering the possibility of a church in Bolnore. In January 2013 we began Messy Church on the morning of the last Sunday of every month, and have been delighted to see many who might not otherwise attend church come and get to know us.

2] Visiting also takes place around Bolnore. A letter is posted to houses a week or so before we visit, and we then call round to get to know residents, chat about their previous experience of church and Christianity, and engage any interest in thinking further.

3] Take15 is an occasional outreach to shoppers run occasionally on a Saturday afternoon. We run a small cafe in the foyee of the URC building and invite folk to come in, giving a short thought on a pertinent topic on the hour every hour.

4] Men's work currently entails social events run four times a year that provide opportunity for men from Grace Church to get to know one-another but also invite friends to simply spend time with us. These usually take place just before Guest Services, so there is a natural Sunday to come to if guests express an interest

5] Simply Christianity and Christianity Explored are courses run for those who are just looking into Christianity or want to go over the basics again. These take place on an ad hoc basis according to need. However, we strongly encourage Christians to consider doing this sort of course 1:1 with a non-Christian friend. In our view, friends are much more likely to say yes to this. We will train train those who wish to do this, or if they would rather, lead the course with them and their friend.

6] 1:1s involve a Christian from the church reading a book or the Bible one-to-one with another Christian from the church (or with a non-Christian). This may be simply so they can both learn from one-another together, or may be to provide extra training or support where there is a need.

7] Community Groups are groups of up to ten people from the church who meet in homes to effectively be a community within the wider church community. Like more regular homegroups they study the Bible together, pray for and encourage one-another. But they also have a vision for being the first port of call in caring for, supporting and serving one-another's needs, and perhaps serving the area where they meet or being a means of outreach to friends. As some are unable to get to mid-week meetings every week due to shift work or commuting, we also run Virtual Community Groups who interact online and meet face to face every four to six weeks.

8] SALT is our youth ministry for those of secondary school and sixth form age. It involves meetings on tuesday nights which are fun, engaging, but also stretching, as we seek to teach our young people the faith and equip them to stand for Christ when they leave home. Various social events also take place, as does a weekend away.

9] Camps take place in the summer all over the UK for young people. A number of SALT attend Lymington or CYFA Camps, and various members of the church are involved in leading camps too. In 2015 we have also been involved in initiating a camp in the May half term for 8-14 year olds from Haywards Heath churches.

10] Music is a significant part of our life together and we are fortunate to have a number of able musicians. In addition to our Sunday band, we are keen to hear from musicians who may be interested in playing or singing pieces for special events on a less regular basis.

11] Residential homes is a ministry we are seeking to develop at the moment, aware of Christ's call to serve those who are neglected and in need. It will entail congregation members visiting a residential home to run occasional services and befriend residents.

It seems expected in the New Testament that every member of the church is involved in some ministry. So do pray about these spheres of service, and email or phone Jon where you are interested in finding out more, getting involved, or see your need of one of these ministries.