A New Building for a Cheshire Church
After outgrowing their old building, and now outgrowing their rented building, it’s time for a brand-new building for a church in central Cheshire.
The 2021 census tells us that fewer Britons than ever identify as Christian. On census day, 46.2% ticked the ‘Christianity’ box when selecting a religion – a 13% decrease on 2011’s census. According to the 2022 Talking Jesus report, only 6% of Britons are ‘practicing Christians’ who attend church regularly.
Though our news and culture may tell us that Christianity is insignificant, failing, and in decline, the experience of many churches on the ground tells a different story!
Introducing Emmanuel Church Leftwich, Northwich
Emmanuel Church has been in Northwich, Cheshire since 1882. In the late 70s, the church moved out of the town centre into Leftwich, an area of social housing to the south of the town. Though the wider area is diverse from a social-economic perspective, Leftwich itself is in the top 20% of most deprived areas nationwide and is becoming an increasingly racially diverse area too.
In 2018, the church began meeting at a local primary school to accommodate growing numbers on a Sunday morning. Since then, even this venue is no longer big enough with up to 100 in the congregation and a growing number of children.
With the old building increasingly dilapidated, the church decided that an entire new building was the best option.
Dave Hart, Pastor in Training at Emmanuel, said “We long to see this community reached for the gospel and have seen both local people and newcomers come to know the Lord in recent years.
“We pray that this new building will be a place where we are able to make more disciples of the Lord Jesus in a hospitable environment.”
The building wouldn’t only serve Sunday mornings in Leftwich but ministries through the week too. Children’s and senior’s ministries, a community choir, a food bank, and other activities all take place in a variety of rented spaces currently. Bringing them in to a central location would enable them to be done more effectively and with a more obvious connection to the church and Sunday services.
There are new ministries in the planning too, including a community café and events to help church members deepen connections with friends, family, and neighbours.
A rollercoaster building project
“The project has taken many twists and turns through which we have had many answers to prayer, often immediately after initial discouragements” David explained.
“The most recent of these was needing to re-enter negotiations after our main contractor went into administration; not ideal mid-way through such a project and after a significant price inflation.
“Nevertheless, the Lord has provided for us and we are now pressing ahead with Mayway Contruction. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough as a wonderful example of a company owned by a Christian family who have been very accommodating, competent, and have a genuine desire to see the church built in more ways than one.
“We still have a shortfall, however, which - in spite of a hefty mortgage - would mean we’d not initially have an installed kitchen, creche, and other key facilities which are at the heart of our desire to be a welcoming and hospitable church.
“The bricks are still going up at speed and the aim is to continue to raise funds and have the building finished by May 2023, Lord willing.”
Supporting Emmanuel Leftwich
FIEC is a fellowship of churches who work together to reach Britain for Christ. So, we asked Dave how other churches in the Fellowship could support Emmanuel Church Leftwich:
- We would really value your prayers at this critical stage, after so many setbacks, that the eventual building would be a great tool in the Lord’s service for many decades.
- Pray also that we would continue to know great unity as a church and that the Lord would use us to effectively share the good news of Jesus with our community.
- Please consider sharing this need among your congregation and also consider whether it would be right for your church to make a donation. We would be extremely grateful for your gospel partnership and generosity in this (you can find out more or donate easily on the Emmanuel Church Leftwich website).