Easter celebration as new church opens its doors
Trinity Church in Mansfield Road, Nottingham, officially opened for worship over the Easter weekend. The Revd Jonny Hughes describes how a derelict auction house became the newest church in the C of E
In hindsight, Easter Sunday was the ideal time to launch a church in a renovated building. It was almost as if we meant to do it all along! In reality, it was only nine weeks before that we were sitting upstairs in what was once known as the Neal’s Auction House, wondering whether it was going to be more than a vague possibility to be in that space for Easter Sunday. It’s been quite a journey so far!
The adventure began last September, when our planting team arrived in Nottingham from various corners of the country. Some came from London, others from Devon, a family from Durham, and one from Australia via Germany. We began by meeting in our front room to worship, pray and dream together. Quite soon we were joined by others who sensed that they were being called to join in the planting of Trinity. As the gatherings began to grow, we moved out of our house and into the Auction House.
But what were we aiming to do? We’d tried in vain to construct impressive PowerPoint presentations on numerous occasions up to this point, but nothing seemed to stick. What was the strategy to establish this church? In the end, we sensed God telling us that we were to worship and wait. So that’s what we did. We met (usually in the freezing cold), we worshiped, and we responded to what we felt God was saying to us. It was a special time, and foundations of prayer and worship were laid that we continue to hope will be built upon for years to come.
All of this hard work, the support of others and some miraculous intervention culminated in us being able to celebrate Holy Week together. Quite aptly, this special week functioned as the closing of one chapter and the opening of another, as we moved into our home and began public worship. There were many highlights; a special sense of the presence of Jesus with us as we gathered for Maundy Thursday; and as we met for Easter Sunday, we were encouraged to see our own congregation worshiping the risen Jesus, joined by guests, including some who had just been wandering past on their way somewhere else. A sign of things to come, we hope.
This is only the beginning, but we’ve already been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our growing congregation, and the support of churches across the city. Thank you for your prayers and support thus far. Please continue to hold us in prayer as we seek His kingdom come in Nottingham as it is in heaven.