Friday, August 24, 2012

UK: Life with an inner-city [Anglican] church

August 24, 2012

IN the heart of London, an Anglican leader – and former Whitehaven man – visits prisoners, helps the homeless and supports people in need.

The Rev Paul Sawrey is living and working in the notorious Kings Cross, where “world’s collide” and people from all walks of life mix.

He, along with his wife Katy and a group of friends, set up the community hub of Kings Cross Church (KXC) two years ago. In June, the 33-year-old was ordained at St Paul’s Cathedral as a pioneer minister – an unconventional role in the Church of England.

It means he doesn’t have a parish to look after and can hold church anywhere, not just in a traditional church building.

“Kings Cross Church is a completely new church plant,” he said. “We create a pop-up café before church and hang out together, we then go to the pub afterwards. It’s such a broad expression of church. We tend to be more informal and relaxed than a traditional Anglican church.”

The church, which currently meets in a former Welsh chapel based near Kings Cross and St Pancras station, is made up of a 300-strong congregation. Members are involved in a host of projects, from working in homeless shelters, cooking for ex-offenders and doing DIY for single mums. They work with gangs, in housing estates and pray with the police. the rest
For Paul, his role of assistant leader in the church is about reaching all areas of the community, by being part of the community. It is not a traditional Anglican church as many people would envisage. The average age of people going to Anglican churches in England is 53, whereas the average age of people going to KXC is 25.
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