Breaking down the Walls is a major new part of our St Leonard’s ministry. The aim is to Take the Church into the Community and Bring the Community into the Church.
With church congregation numbers falling everywhere, we need new and imaginative ways to share the love, message, service and good news of Christ.
Being a Christian is about more than worshipping, praying and sharing the peace of Christ within the four walls of the our church building. But being a Christian in the community doesn’t necessarily mean standing with a sandwich board and a megaphone on Market Street proclaiming Doomsday. We believe that being a Christian includes serving others in our community , in the name of Christ – and that is at the heart of this new ministry. [Matthew 25: 37-40]
There is a large invisible St Andrews – despite the general impressioni that St Andrews is aflluent and comfortable, there are many here who are isolated, lonely, deprived, sick, disabled; and they can get overlooked amidst the perception of visiting golfers, busy students, town and gown. We are particularly interested in breaking down the walls between St Leonard’s and the “invisible St Andrews”.
The three main ways in which we will work to break down the walls are:
Working with other Churches of Scotland in the St Andrews Presbytery Cluster
An example of this is Hosting Hope. This is an initiative which provides a free meal, company and a brief Gospel teaching to people who may not otherwise receive any of these. It’s an extension of a project that is run in Kirkcaldy by Erwin Lai, an elder at Holy Trinity. Edwin & Blair Smith have now planned this for St Andrews.
On the first Monday evening of each month, Hosting Hope is held at the Social Club of St Andrews United Football Club. The first one was held on 5th June and attendance, teaching and atmosphere have been building since.
Working ecumencially with other churches in the St Andrews area and also with non-religious organisations through the St Andrews Community Hub.
This is a new, virtual entity which serves as an umbrella for the many community initiatives that are already running in and around St Andrews. These include Clothesline, the Men’s Shed, our Parish Nurse (Cath Carter), various community meals, tea dances and there are close links with Storehouse. Chaired by Jill Anderson, a wonderful woman based at St Andrew’s Episopal Church, the realistic aim is to secure actual premises in which to provide meals, community education and a focal point for users and providers of services. St Leonard’s has signed up to be part of the Community Hub.
Working on our own, as St Leonard’s Parish Church
This incluses our existing work and any new projects in addition. An excellent example is the “Mug and a Hug” initiative starting this Autumn with the aim of reaching out to students.
We hope to project our initial discussions towards the provision of a local ministry to break down our walls and express our Christian faith through service to our community – new ideas are welcome in addition to what we already do.
For more information on this new initiative, please contact Blair H Smith on 01334 477736.