For this week’s film, we were invited to the launch of Saturday Gathering West as part of our year long campaign to celebrate all that we are and all that we do here in the Diocese of Leeds.
After four years of the Saturday Gathering, that fresh expression of church that grew out of a food bank in Halifax, the organisers, Christians Together In Calderdale, realised it had grown too big so Saturday Gathering West was set up across the other side of town, at St Hilda’s church.
That was 12 months ago –they have had their first baptism; a young man named Daniel, pictured left, who has now made the Saturday Gathering West his church – and they are confident that while there have been highs and lows, as with any new church plant, St Hilda’s is in the right place to grow and continue to reach out to the community in the area.
Chris Butler, a trustee explains: “ Since we opened we have looked at different formats to capture people’s imaginations and new ways to engage. For the past couple of months we have found that using skits along with a brief explanation works really well and we now are nick named “The Skit Church.
"And we have some amazing young upcoming worship leaders who are now sharing the leading for us along with Adam Butler, aged 15, Jemma, Danny, Rob Stradling, Jon Hurst...we've been blessed," he added.
Saturday Gathering West is run by two couples; Brian and Diane Robinson and Chris and Carol Butler. They have been committed to ensuring the future and the growth of this new church plant. Like its big sister, Saturday Gathering, it reaches out to those on the fringes of society, many of whom have experienced troubled or chaotic lives; wrestled with alcoholism, drug use or homelessness - and many of them are unchurched with little or no knowledge of Jesus and the Gospels.
Chris explains: "Brian and I have been attending a Mission shaped ministry course to look and learn all about pioneer ministry so we feel better equipped to be a part of building God's kingdom here in west Halifax."
Chris has also started the process to become an Ordained Pioneer Minster in the Church of England - and he hopes this role might lead to Pioneer minister for the Deaf.
Saturday Gathering West meets every Saturday at 7pm in St Hilda's Church, Gibraltar Road, Halifax. HX1
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SATURDAY GATHERING WEST. Saturday 21 October. 7pm. Everyone Welcome.
Watch the film here:
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Saturday Gathering is gearing up for its winter shelter
Christians Together Calderdale has run a winter homeless shelter (Inn Churches) in Halifax for four years since 2011. In 2015 the winter shelter project gave 52 people a bed during the coldest winter months of the year, out of those, it helped 49 into their own accommodation. This year, it opens on 4th January and the shelter will run until mid March and it is looking for volunteers to help across the board with jobs from befriender, to morning cook.
You can find all the volunteer opportunities for all the Saturday Gathering projects on their website here: