One of our church communities is in Silloth, a historic town on the Solway coast. The Methodist church has had a long history in the town having more than one chapel (when Methodism was split that way) and our work there seeks to build on this strong heritage.
In 2017 there was a significant move to bring revival to the church there, exploring house church in a very different way with with members already living in the town. Through a time of discernment looking at God’s vision for the Methodist people in Silloth the image of a house came to the fore. Rather than worshipping in a house, this was a vision of a new house being the focus of our ministry within the town, a place where people could come, day in and day out, to find the love of God. At the heart of this vision was the song:
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
here the love of Christ shall end divisions.
All are welcome, all are welcome,
all are welcome in this place.
As we have sought to bring this vision to fruition we have had to overcome a number of set backs along the way, Rather than being derailed by these problems, we have sought to fulfil the vision in the current premises, importing sofas to the school room and worshipping in more relaxed style.
We continue to explore the vision for Silloth whilst continuing to run a Walking Football group in the community. Alongside this work we are also in the process of exploring what a Fresh Expression might look like there.