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25 May 2018

Celebrating God at work

Paul Webber (LT pics 2016) Paul Webber Minister
Celebration 2018 - group outside field

What does Above Bar Church contribute to Southampton?

God wants us to be a celebrating people. On Saturday 5th May, as well as enjoying 400 burgers and sausages and having fun on multiple bouncy castles, there was also a time to reflect on what God has enabled us to do in the past year in and around Southampton and to thank him for it.

Celebration 2018 - balloons

I love a good statistic! Let your heart soar as you ponder these:

  • Since opening our Christians Against Poverty debt centre we’ve seen 165 clients and have a waiting list of about two months. We have seen 29 becoming debt-free and 22 praying prayers of commitment. We also ran two Life Skills courses and a Release Group which helped people.
  • About 200 children experience church community through GSMA, Poppin or WOW every week.
  • Over 60 young people regularly engage in exciting and relevant activities. We’ve started our very own youth mentoring centre and have a presence in a local secondary school 4 days per week.
  • About 100 students have attended Sunday services with 40 students regularly involved with hungry, a 121 or have been ‘adopted’ by a church family through the hospitality scheme.
  • GLO, our 20s group, launched their sixth homegroup in 2017.
  • We currently have 36 homegroups.
  • 36 people have completed the newcomers course since April 2017 and most of these have been linked up with a homegroup.
  • We’ve had two Journey to Wholeness weekends, where 20 people were helped to go deeper in their walk with God.
  • We’ve delivered two Restored Lives courses, helping a dozen or so people move forward after separation and divorce.
  • The Marriage Enrichment Day enabled eight couples to invest in their marriage.
  • We’ve walked alongside 10 couples as they prepared for marriage.
  • 60 people regularly attend CAMEO, our Over 50s group. They have a meal and many also have attended the Bible study, seminar talks and prayer meetings.
  • On a Thursday morning late in 2017 we served our 10,000th full English at the Big Breakfast. We regularly welcome over 90 guests and More to Life is going from strength to strength.
  • UP, our United Parenting group, which is the only Christian Single Parents support group in Hampshire, continues to grow and be a beacon of hope for the dozen or so single parents who are involved with it.
  • We’ve run three Alpha courses and experimented with putting on a “Jesus: the Game Changer” course in a coffee shop. Over 20 non-Christian guests have attended a course during this time.
  • We’ve had the privilege of baptising eight people and there are more waiting to make this significant commitment.
  • Our Internationals work has continued to grow, with over 20 people from about dozen nations regularly attending the English Language Café. Many of these have also attended Global Gathering, Alpha or Keep Fit.

Watch the following video to hear stories from those involved in these groups:

The apostle Paul in Philippians 1:3 said, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

And as I reflect on all that God has done in and through us at Above Bar Church, my heart overflows with thankfulness to God and gratefulness to those of you who have sacrificially invested your time, energy and money in things which last for eternity.

We look forward to 2018/19 with faith and confidence as we seek to love God, follow Jesus and share hope in the city, on the east and around the world.

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