King’s Church Guildford was born on the 7th September 2014. For the previous 18 months the idea of starting a new church in Guildford was conceived and, through much planning and praying, the reality grew. But Sunday 7th September was our first public gathering – the day we were born. Since then we have been meeting at Boxgrove Primary School, a few miles outside Guildford town centre, every Sunday for 4 years. That is, until this September. On Sunday 2nd September we will be moving ‘home’. Our new Sunday venue will be Guildford County School, a Secondary School close to the centre of town and just down the road from the University of Surrey.
There are two main reasons for our move. First, the new school will give us an even better space. In 4 years God has grown us in lots of ways. He has certainly grown us in maturity as through his word and by his Spirit we have been corrected and trained in righteousness. He has also grown us in number – from 4 adults and 7 children to around 100 adults and 40 children. This means that the building in which we used to rattle around in, we have now outgrown. Things such as crèche space, car parking, storage and even the number of chairs have all been factors which have started to limit our numerical growth.
Our short-term vision, under God, is to establish one medium sized church family of around 250 disciple making disciples. Whilst our current venue has been great for our first few years, it does not give us the space we need to reach our vision. The new venue will, as it has a bigger hall, more chairs, increased capacity for storage as well as better spaces for crèche, children’s and youth work.
I remember buying clothes for one of my daughters when she was 4 years old. We didn’t buy clothes for a 3 year old – they would have been too small. Nor did we buy clothes for a 4 year old – she would have outgrown them too quickly. Nor did we buy clothes for a 10 year old – she would have looked ridiculous and everyone would have thought ‘what strange parents’! Instead we bought clothes for a 5-6 year old – a bit bigger than she needed, but that she would soon grow into. The same is true for our church building. We are a 4 year old (church), which needs 5-6 year old clothes (building). And so the move will give us an even better space.
Second, the new school is in an even better place. That is, it’s in a better location to reach Guildford because it is more central and also a better location to reach students because of its proximity to the university. Over the last 3 years God has been steadily growing our student ministry and we are praying that the new venue will enable us to reach more of the 15,000 students who study at the University of Surrey. There are currently around 20 meeting regularly in our student group, so we have a long way to go!
Moving venues is a very exciting time, as we long for more people to be saved and to grow in the faith. We also want to avoid becoming too comfortable and being risk averse. Being out of our depth with Christ is, we have found, a very good place to be spiritually. But as well as being an exciting time, it is also a very daunting time. We feel weak and vulnerable. We have very little idea of what will happen and we certainly can’t control what will happen. But we press on prayerfully in the knowledge that the Lord will build his church – in Guildford and beyond. Please pray that our move will lead to the salvation of many and the glory of God.