Celebrating One Hundred
This year is FIEC’s 100th birthday!
At a meeting in November 1922, led by Edward Joshua Poole-Connor, ten churches and seven mission halls agreed to form an “association of mutual helpfulness” with doctrinal orthodoxy as its foundation and a gospel vision at its heart.
Since then, the Independent churches that make up the fellowship have committed themselves to this same vision: ultimately to reach the nation where we are located with the great news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For example, the 1972 National Rally of FIEC Youth, pictured above in Trafalgar Square.
When FIEC was re-imagined just over ten years ago, we reinforced our commitment to this same vision with our Go Into prayer cards – a set of resources to encourage churches to think about unreached places throughout the UK. That set helped increase the visibility and commitment to church planting; something that has been reflected in the growth of FIEC churches over the last decade.
Now, to celebrate our centenary, we want to encourage churches to think ahead for gospel mission and work together to bring the glorious gospel to those who desperately need to hear it.
Tell us about your mission
To do this, we’re inviting you – the churches that make up FIEC – to tell us about what you are doing to reach Britain for Christ, about some of the innovative things you’re doing, or exciting things you’re planning.
We’re going to gather one hundred of these together and launch them as part of a prayer guide, to be launched at our Leaders’ Conference in Blackpool (7-9 November 2022).
To celebrate our centenary, we want to encourage churches to think ahead for gospel mission and work together to bring the glorious gospel to those who desperately need to hear it.
This will be a great way to work together as a Fellowship: you'll be able to pray for mission around the country; others will be praying for mission in your local church; you'll be able to build meaningful connections with churches who are doing similar work, and you'll be serving other churches by giving them ideas for their own mission.
The projects might be:
- the appointment of a new member of staff to reach a particular group of people;
- a new community outreach programme that is just getting going;
- a building development that will enable the gospel message to be proclaimed;
- a new initiative in a larger church;
- a step of faith in a smaller church;
- a longer-term project building on A Passion for Life;
- a one-off opportunity that’s opening up.
It’s up to you – tell us what you’re doing and what you long to do. As long as it’s about your church’s mission, we want to hear about it.
Funding for your mission
Every project needs prayer but some need funding too. You will notice there is a tick box on the submission form labelled ‘do you want to apply for funding?’ In God’s providence, we have £500,000 to distribute to support some of these gospel projects and we will send through application material for your project if you tick this box.
The money has come from other churches – either those who have generously supported this idea or from church closures which have released funds. There is still time to add to the sum, and we’d love to hear from you if your church would like to support others in the network in this way.
Obviously, we cannot support every project, but it seems to us that a great way to mark our 100th birthday is to look forward and move forward with gospel intention; this is a time to give thanks, but we must not get lost in the past. Instead, it is a time to be hopeful about the future.
Please get in touch using the submission form. You will be encouraged to know that 600 plus other churches in the fellowship are standing with you in your gospel endeavours.
Our closing date for gathering projects is Friday 15 July 2022, and we’re excited about reading all that the Lord has laid on your heart for this season ahead.