Church reaches out to help Syrian refugees

Enjoying the sunshine at the family garden party
Enjoying the sunshine at the family garden party

GRACE Church is a young and vibrant church with a vision to make a difference in Chichester, Bognor Regis, Midhurst and the surrounding areas.

Members are involved in a range of social action projects, both locally and abroad.

Children having fun on the bouncy castle

Children having fun on the bouncy castle

They have recently been collecting clothing for refugees, have helped finance a school in a refugee camp, and are working locally to provide support and fostering for refugee families and children in the UK.

To celebrate the work of the church and raise money for Syrian refugees, a family garden party was held in Midhurst last Saturday.

Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the late summer sunshine in the street outside Capron House, in North Street.

They were welcomed by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who invited people to pop in and enjoy the party. Guests were able to enjoy a luxury cream tea with locally baked scones and clotted cream, or choose from a wide range of home-made cupcakes, while the children enjoyed playing on a bouncy castle and having their face or nails painted.

Steve Petch, senior pastor at Grace Church, said: “The family garden party had two aims. We wanted to do an event to let everyone in Midhurst know that Grace Church now holds meetings in Capron House at 10am every Sunday, and we also wanted to do something to support Syrian refugees.

“Grace Church fully funded the garden party and more than 100 volunteers from the church gave their time for free to make it happen. As a result, we have been able to raise £900 for the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund.”

Sunday meetings are also held by Grace Church in The Grace Centre, Plot 12, Terminus Road, Chichester, at 11am, and at The John Parry Meeting Suite, The University of Chichester (Bognor Campus), Upper Bognor Road, Bognor Regis, at 10am.

Although Grace Church is a multi-site church, it is one church, with one leadership and vision. Holding meetings in more than one location or site helps the church to better fulfill its vision and to share its good news with people more easily.

As a church, members believe that the gospel is about more than just personal salvation. Through the life of every Christian, it is designed to have a positive effect on the world and to be a blessing to all people.

The many different ministries and projects with which the church is involved aim to bring help to those in need.

Grace Church supports local church-run foodbanks in a number of ways, including providing finance, volunteering and collecting food which can then help provide a minimum of three-days’ emergency provisions to people experiencing crisis.

It runs the Christians Against Poverty money course to help people learn budgeting skills and take better control of their finances.

Grace Church members are among the 80-plus team of volunteers operating City Angels in Chichester city centre every Friday and Saturday, from 10pm until 2am. They distribute free refreshments from a van in South Street and patrol the streets to give people a friendly face to turn to when they need help.

A similar scheme, Arun Angels, operates in Bognor Regis, where church members work in partnership with police and other organisations.

Other Grace Church projects include visiting Ford Prison to run Sunday evening services, as part of a network of churches, and supporting the work of Options Pregnancy Crisis Centre, in the heart of Chichester.

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