One of things often said at Christ Church Manchester is 'Be a Student; Plant a Church'. In this episode of the podcast, we speak to Heather Chiles, who is doing just that, about her experience of planting a church in Manchester City Centre.
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What is Your Life Situation at the Moment?
- Final year student at the university of Manchester.
- Has been living in Manchester for four years, with a gap of a Semester studying in Canada.
How Did You Come to Be Involved in a Church Plant?
- At Christ Church Manchester, you tend to get involved in lots of things very quickly.
- Whilst away in Canada, there was talk of a new plant in the City Centre - some of Heather's friends were getting involved so she emailed and offered to help.
How Have You Found It?
- Grown to love it more than she expected.
- Initially didn't feel very equipped or confident.
- The approach at Christ Church Manchester is to have an over-arching vision but then let people have a go.
- Heather and one other were leading it and could figure it out as they went along - they started by doing the book 'Total Church' and took it from there.
- It's a lesson in trusting God that this is his work and he is doing it.
What Is Involved Week by Week?
- There is a small group that meets in Costa each week to drinnk coffee, chat and do a Bible Study.
- There has been a flow of people - some come every week and others more sporadically.
- There are also socials at one home in the City Centre.
- Doing a prayer walk, outdoor worship night and an open-mic.
What Have Been One or Two of the Highlights For You?
- She loves it all.
- The City Centre is a diverse interesting place to plant a church into.
- It's been exciting to see people coming along - particularly those who haven't been invited but have found it on their own.
- It has been great to see the different passions that different people bring into the church.
- Building a family with a bunch of strangers!
What Has Been the Biggest Challenge?
- There is a challenge to find the time to give your all to it in the middle of everything else that is going on with essays, etc.
What Are Some of the Unique Things About Church Planting as a Student?
- Lots of flexibility to meet up with people and hang out.
- It has been great to step out and have a go at this stage where you are still figuring out what God wants you to do with the rest of your life.
- It opens your eyes to your own giftings and how you work with others.
What Would You Say to Other Students About Church Planting?
- It's worth having a go.
- Heather wouldn't have expected to be doing it because she didn't feel confident, but God supplies all the needs and paves the way.
- It's a fun experience.
- It's an exciting time because there is big vision for the future, and every little win is like oxygen to the flame.
- Have a go!
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