Eye is a market town in Suffolk, 17.5 miles north of Ipswich, with a population of just over 2,000. Don’t let a lack of numbers fool you, though – The Tourist Trail guide to Eye says: ‘There’s not much you can’t find in this little town!’
The Vine Church also punches above its weight, with most of its outreach and community service events grouped together as The Dove Project. Under that umbrella you’ll find the Dove Social Club for over-18s, Dove Luncheon Club for all local ‘young at heart’ people, Dove Memory Lane for those with memory loss to keep up an active social life, a parents and toddlers’ group and Open The Book – all this in addition to regular church worship and midweek study groups and in a church currently without a minister.
The Vine Church faces a similar challenge to yours, probably, in that they have plenty of contact with people through their ministry but they wish to develop that further, to help relationships with God to take root.
Secretary Jemma Aiken says: ‘As an example of this, Messy Church is very popular with the local community and draws many families from our toddler group, so we are seeking ways to disciple the families and encourage them into finding out more about what it means to have a relationship with God.’
The church is also working with Simon Goddard of church consultancy Rivertree over the next year or so, seeking God’s plan and direction.
• For families to see beyond the friendship and enjoyment they experience at messy church and to take steps towards finding their own faith.
• For God’s guidance to shine through as we seek His will for our development over the next few years