Hope Church Sutton was planted in 2013. Since then, by God's grace, Hope Church has grown to be a thriving suburban Bible-teaching church. Here, Mark Fossey (co-Senior Pastor) tells us about a new evening congregation.
How do you go about deciding on a second service in a growing church? Hope Church Sutton is an independent church that started in 2013. Like Noah’s ark, we arrived together in pairs from different churches in the Co-Mission network and over time we’ve steadily grown, including a significant graft from neighbouring Cheam Baptist Church. We felt the time was right to start a new service, but what and why?
With creative chair rearrangement, we weren’t yet filling our hall, so we didn’t need a duplicate morning service. We could do an afternoon or evening service to mop up local Christians who
have Sunday morning idols prefer a different time slot. We could plant somewhere totally different. What to do…? In the midst of praying and discussing, a prophetic voice among us felt we ought to try an outreach service for young people. Sutton town centre is on the more “affordable” end of suburban London and is fast filling with new, high-rise flats, a number of which are being or rented bought by younger people. And in God’s providence, another friendly, local church had become landlords of a disused pub in the town centre, which they had re-fitted and were renting out. At the same time, our younger adult members seemed to need a focus, something to pour their energies into. So “Real Life” Sutton was conceived.
The idea behind “Real Life” again came as a prophetic insight during discussion and prayer. The big idea is an informal evening service, in a relaxed ex-pub environment, coffee, singing, a talk with discussion around tables. The whole thing aims to ooze “real”. Real faith being lived out in a real community, asking real, honest questions about life and faith. Our instinct is that a big hole in the hearts of the people of our city is a loss of “real”. They want humble people, in a genuine community, seeking honest answers to real questions. We started meeting fortnightly in October and covet your prayers.