Church From Scratch are a pioneer Baptist church based in Southend-on-Sea. Their mission is simple: To bless our wider community and to share the love of Jesus.
Ordinarily the church would meet in people’s houses around a meal, gathering together without a “public place of worship”. However the rules around social distancing has made this especially hard, and Southend’s move to Tier 4 has limited things further.
Despite the difficulties created by Coronavirus, God has continued to bless the church and help them find ways of reaching out and supporting their community. As with many churches, Zoom has replaced midweek meetings, but the church has also been able to enjoy socially-distanced walks, garden hops and pier walks along the town’s famously long landmark.
Natalie Hughes was inducted as the new minister-in-training, joining Peter Dominey and the team whilst also studying at Spurgeon’s College.
2020 also saw a new group called ‘Making Space’ begin for volunteers who work in the church’s social enterprise ‘Shared Space’, currently operating as a weekly online support group while its two shops have been forced to close. This complements the short online services that began in the first lockdown to help maintain a rhythm of life and prayer and to stay connected.
CfS is committed to collaborating with other churches and providing resources to bless the wider church. These include a three-film course called ‘Baptism’ and ‘Christmas From Scratch’, found on the church’s Facebook page. A number of events and training have also been held to discuss how to make church a safe environment for LGBTQ+ individuals, following a number of new members being welcomed into the church from the gay community.