Two years ago I visited the freshly planted Life Church, Southampton and wrote a report on our visit. Up until we moved to Canada 20 years ago, I had spent most of my life in this city, so I am very interested to follow the progress of this Newfrontiers church plant. How would the church have changed in it’s first two years of existence as a church?
The first change was the location. Instead of meeting in a small University lecture room on the High Street, it is in a movie theatre in the beautiful surroundings of Ocean Village. (You could even sail to church if you were so inclined!) This is a huge improvement on the previous venue.
We received a very warm and friendly welcome and instantly felt at home. The church has grown to at least double the size (although many people were away today).
The church was meeting in “Screen One” of the cinema which I would estimate could have seated around 200 people. It had a pleasant feeling and was not too cramped. One of the problems with all cinema screens is that the lighting is somewhat dim even when they are all on, but that is a relatively minor quibble.
Worship was good with a number of contributions from the people. Then Simon Fry preached an excellent message on the need to “Sit in the truth” before we “walk in the truth”. Good use was made of the large screen projector to illustrate points.
At the end of the meeting there was a response time and then a very friendly time of meeting people at the coffee bar downstairs. We heard about the church’s plans to put literature through the mailbox of every home in Southampton (population around 300,000), and how this is done with “Go, Sow and Nacho” events. (The nacho bit is afterwards when everyone gets together to eat.)