Growing Together Thinking about ourselves as a church and our mission


We Are Church – An Extended Family that Gathers & Scatters

We are glad to be able to gather again – without the need to book, without restrictions, without the need to stay apart. We are still encouraging masks, though it is not compulsory. It is a delight to see member’s faces as they meet up again after so long, and come together as church.

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Lifeboats

We asked our young people the following question: if you were ship-wrecked and adrift in the open sea, what would you most prefer to see: an ocean liner in the distance, or a lifeboat coming towards you? Unsurprisingly they all went for the lifeboat option! At Countess Free Church we have been thinking on how we make ourselves willing and available to any and all who need rescuing …

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We Are Open

We are open and active as a church!

We continue to pray across the city, we continue to bless neighbours, and continue to be there for both one another and the hurting or down-hearted whatever their background or circumstance. We do this throughout the city.

At the moment we come together at least twice a month …

Live Gatherings – check our news feed for details of how to book in!

On the other Sundays there is a podcast message, and members are free to organise themselves as they see fit!

Newcomers are welcome to join us – either ‘looking in’ on our online gatherings, joining us when we meet live, or make contact and we can invite you to one of our friendly groups where people explore faith together.

In fact as a church all through these difficult pandemic times we have never been shut – we have just used our buildings much less than normal! But members have been active in their faith across the city. We are about following Jesus, and doing that together. Our faith in Jesus leads us to look out across the city, helping and serving where we can – all this has continued month on month through all seasons of lockdown and restrictions.

Our buildings have been used throughout by Ely Foodbank, by support groups and one to one support sessions. They have also been used by our young people when permitted and safe to do so. Our parent and toddler group has re-started, albeit with very restricted numbers. But the church is much much more than the buildings and the activities that use them. It is about the people, and their diversity across the city. Some organise themselves into groups across the city – meeting through the difficulties online or in fun & creative outdoor ways. Most contact each other to pray and ensure they are getting through these times okay. All of us find ourselves inter-connected, united in our faith in Jesus and following Him together.

We are church … and we are open!

We Are Open!

#ReclaimTheseStreets

The recent murder of Sarah Everard has brought to the foreground the difficulties experienced by women in our cities and across our nation. It has raised up an outcry that is palpable and carries weight – a call against a status quo that has hung over our streets for far too long.

All violence, stalking, or harassment of any form is wrong. It should be called out for what it is, and not allowed to continue. So for us at Countess Free Church we join the cry from the heart to reclaim the streets. We recognise this is a cry not just for ‘safer streets’, but for a deeper look into our society. What are the deep-seated attitudes, the imperfections in the legal justice systems and the issues with law enforcement standards that have allowed the full spectrum of inappropriate behaviour without redress through to violent acts against women without suitable recourse to justice?

We start by examining ourselves and ask where we have allowed our own attitudes to accommodate rather than stand against that which is wrong? The call to reclaim the streets is a call for a safe and just society. For us it resonates with the Kingdom visions we read from social justice commentators from many many years ago, who saw the promise of …

‘… Men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there’.

Zechariah 8:4-5

‘… the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in (this place) no more’.

Isaiah 65:19

Leading Forward from the Pandemic

At Countess Free Church we are not talking about ‘going back to church’. The simplest reason for this is that our church never shut, and has been active all through the past troubled months. Another reason is that we sense God has been leading us through right from the beginning, and now wants to lead us forward further still – so for us it is not a case of looking back …

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Discipleship, Shared Life, and Mission

The early church folk were not limited by the need or mindset of buildings. They simply met as smaller groups in people’s houses! These small (perhaps tiny) gatherings were the ignition points of ministry and mission in the areas around them.

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Family Discipleship Together

Each of us can learn from each other – a thought shared, a different perspective, or another way of ‘saying it’ can all be beneficial. This is just as true within a family as it is in a wider setting. At Countess Free Church we have been helping our families grow in their walk with Jesus by encouraging and providing resources for them to learn from each other.

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