Inspired to be creative in starting a new worshipping community
Inspire church is a new ‘Fresh Expression’ initiative that has recently started meeting as a worshipping community in the Old Street area.
The Old Street roundabout has received quite a lot of press over the past couple of years because of its label as ‘Silicon Roundabout’; a technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) hub in the heart of London. The TMT sector is the fastest growing area in the economy and as a result there are many people pouring into Old Street as evidenced by large housing investment. In the past ten years the area has grown in population by 50% to over 15,000 people, and it is still growing with several high rises to be completed along City road in the next twelve months.
But this is only one side of Old Street. 63% of the local population also live in social housing where unemployment is high and there are 1300 families, many with no member of their household being tertiary educated.
These twin aspects of Old Street present challenges but also great opportunities. So together with the Revd David Allen of St. Clements Kings Square, and the Revd Katharine Rumens of St. Giles Cripplegate Inspire church has been starting to think through how it can build on the existing work of the parish churches here and work together in serving the area. With careful guidance and support from David and Katharine we have started connecting with key community partners and piloting some schemes in the area, in particular delivering sports programmes in the local primary school, which has proved a great way to get to know local families. On Saturday 7 December we also assembled three professional photographers and their lighting and camera equipment to give 48 free photo portraits for Christmas as part of our ‘Help-Portrait’ event.
So, as Inspire church seeks to establish ourselves as a new worshipping community, for us the vision of Capital 2020 is much more than a good strap-line (though not less than that!). It is a pretty good description of three core values that are shaping the scope and nature of our mission, as we daily think through how best to engage creatively, listen compassionately and share the Good News of Jesus confidently in Old Street.
Written by Pete Nichols from Inspire Church, east London.