St Columba's Church in Jersey - Welcome to outsiders
Published on 4 September 2017
By Rev Graeme Glover
Jersey is a small island - nine by five miles - but with around five hundred miles of roads it doesn't feel small. Around 100,000 people living here, of which approximately 5,000 are Scots - but it feels bigger.
Not for nothing do people call this place the "Channel Highlands." However, Scots are far from the largest minority on the island. There are, for example, around 10,000 Portuguese.
Almost ever week during the summer there are holiday makers in the congregation. I think part of our mission is linked with being a place of welcome to outsiders. The scenery and beaches here are exceptional and much of life is spent outside.
Recently, I stopped the car on a wee road after a pastoral visit. I looked over a potato field to the shining blue sea and the coast of France beyond and I thought this is a warm and beautiful place.
Our church is located in one of the poorest neighbourhoods on the island. It is a neighbourhood of many languages and many families squeezed together in what were once grand town houses. I think that part of our mission is linked with us being in this particular neighbourhood.
We have very few children in our congregation but we have recently re-started our children's ministry. Many people in the congregation have volunteered to be part of this ministry and it feels like we are taking a leap of faith.
There are a large number of churches on this island and a real sense of working together. There seems to be a genuine desire to work together to share the Good News. We work with other churches in sharing God's love in nursing homes and schools as well as in projects far from Jersey.
Please would you pray for us? Please pray for our our ministry in our particular neighbourhood and please pray for us trying to reach young people. Please pray that children enjoy being part of this group of people gathering to worship God.