Watch / 4 min

Reaching new people in South Loughborough

As a new worshipping community on a brand new estate in South Loughborough, STB Grange Park is seeing amazing growth with many local people finding a welcome and a home there.

When a new housing estate in South Loughborough brought new people to the area, church leader Revd Ben Gardner and his team saw an opportunity to plant a church, even as the first bricks were being laid.

‘South Loughborough is expanding rapidly,’ explains Ben. ‘It’s a sort of commuter community where people live, eat and sleep but socialise and work somewhere else – there was a sense of “What is the identify for this community?” We wrote to the Bishop of Leicester to say, “We’ve got an idea to plant a new worshipping community on a new estate, it’s still being built but there is an opportunity to do this”.’

After what Ben describes as a nomadic beginning – the church began its meetings in a kitchen – four years on, STB Grange Park is a thriving church community with 95 – 100 people connected regularly to the church.

As well as Sunday services, a range of events have helped to connect people from the estate. The team gave out 485 hot chocolates at a ‘Big Giveaway’ event around Halloween, connecting with 600 to 700 people in the local community. Over 200 came to their outdoor carol service.

‘We’re now in conversation with other sending churches to look at where God might be calling us to, the people who God is calling us to, where there might not be any church gathering or congregation at all,’ says Ben. ‘We want to build a Christian community, that encounters Jesus, builds community to see his transformation… and to do it again.’