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A visit to Life Church, Southampton
On Sunday July 22 we visited Life Church, Southampton. I was particularly interested in visiting this church because I spent most of my life in this city (we moved to Canada in 1991) and went to Southampton University.
The church is new, being planted earlier this year from Winchester Family Church, with other families coming from Bournmouth, Hedge End, Portsmouth and elsewhere.
The location of the church is very easy to find since it is right on Above Bar St. (the central shopping street). The biggest problem was finding somewhere to park. We spotted some people getting out of a car who looked like they were going to church and we were right! They helped us find parking.
The first thing that struck us as we entered the Solent University building where they meet was the wonderful welcome. The welcomers all wore white t-shirts with the church logo on them (which gave everything a reassuringly organized feel).
We were handed a pack of literature and several people introduced themselves to us, including Chris Kilby who heads up the leadership team.
As I looked around I was also impressed at the quality of the posters and general presentation of the church. They knew what they wanted to do and were going for it. We went into the lecture room where the meeting was to take place and the friendly greetings continued with several other people coming to talk to us.
I was interested to know what evangelism the church was involved with and they told me how they were having really good conversations with people going door-to-door.
Worship was excellent, with a very high level of participation. There were around 60 people including children and room worked well in terms of creating an intimate feel.
Then Chris Kilby came to the front and introduced John Pradhan who is planting a church in Pokhara, Nepal. John spoke about the work and gave us a slideshow.
Then he introduced Dave Lockyer who spent several years establishing a Newfrontiers church in Nepal and is now based at Winchester Family Church.
Dave gave an excellent sermon on The DNA of Missions, showing that from Genesis to Revelation, Gods heart is for every nation. His points were Missions and the Church, Missions and the Individual and Practical Suggestions. (The sermon can be downloaded from here.)
Since the church is not able to offer coffee to visitors after the service, they take them out to Starbucks instead. (I think this is a great idea!) James and Maddie took Anne and I to the local coffee establishment and we had a great time of fellowship, rounding off a really good morning.
Its called Life Church and thats a good name. It is full of life!