EDGE COMMUNITY SELBY:
A CHURCH ARMY
CENTRE OF MISSION
WINTER 2018 / 19
Edge Community Selby is Christian outreach to the people of Flaxley Rd estate Selby. It is a partnership between St James Church Selby and Church Army. For 12 years we have shared Christian faith in both words and loving action to hundreds of children, teens and families, and grown a new Christian community – Edge Community.
Amy’s first impressions
Amy joined Edger Community – the Selby Centre of Mission – in July 2018. She writes:
“When I was sitting on the train to Dublin just after Christmas, I was reflecting and journaling on my first six months of being her. When I came to visit Richard and Selby for the first time, I was struck by how well I was listened to and heard. I felt really welcome and accepted for who I was. I’ve discovered that this is the culture of Edge Community. We went for a walk around the estate and on the surface it seemed quite together, the streets were relatively clean, there were no needles and no boarded up windows. It didn’t take long to realise that a lot of the struggles were behind closed doors and relational. We bumped into a few people that Richard knew and it was clear the impact that Edge was having here. Richard knew people by name and they knew him, they would stop for a chat and open up about how they were.
A few weeks later I turned up at Edge with a couple of my unchurched friends from Hull. Again, not only was I welcomed but so were they. They were treated with dignity, their voices valued and their worth embraced. They weren’t seen as a project but as people and God spoke to them. When I went out with my friends for a smoke break, we ended up chatting with a couple of the young people, one of whom had just been baptised, and for me there was just something really beautiful about sitting there on the street chatting about real life and Jesus. Since moving here I have really been accepted and loved by the community, which has been made easier by the legacy that Edge has formed in this community.
Although the people of Flaxley Road have struggles and have seen a lot of pain, they are resilient and defiant in hope. Among some of the “mess” there are beautiful things happening and some real characters. It is so much fun getting to do life and share Jesus here.
Amy wrote and led a Bible study based on The Greatest Showman film, which attracted mums who had never opened the Bible before. This term they are looking at women in the Bible, and new mums are joining.
Good bye Emily and the Bus!
After 3 ¾ years, it was very sadly time to say ‘good bye’ to Emily Finch as she left the area to marry Luke, and explore new life and ministry in Newcastle. Having worked behind the scenes to find new drivers and volunteers for our ministry to families and young people, we were sad to find that the Bus Stop trustees had decided not to put the Bus through its MOT, as it has become too unreliable and expensive to keep on the road.
Over that time we have connected with huge numbers of folk, from one-off meetings with passers by, to regular weekly visits from others: people have been fed with physical food (mainly cake!), and refreshed with hot chocolate, tea and coffee: and people have been fed and refreshed spiritually too; loved, listened to, affirmed, prayed with, have studied the Bible and sung worship songs.
Young people have been given a safe space, loving and supportive relationships and we saw our youth ministry grow massively. This was due to a combination of years of work on the ground, Emily, Neil and volunteers giving their time and of course a big purple bus.
Continuing youth ministry
With many of the young people getting older, it became clear in the Autumn that we needed to make space for younger teens, and we gave them a dedicated 1 ½ slot on the bus which was warmly welcomed. We have been able to continue this group in the Children’s Centre, certainly for the next couple of months, and are looking to grow the numbers and get some boys involved. We need volunteers to come along side these lovely young people and help them grow in faith and life. Please pray also for the older teens who feel abandoned: for us to be wise in how we take things forward with them. The Bible study for 3 – 4 older teens came to an end though a lack of commitment: pray that those baptised teens would want to move forward in their faith and grow as disciples.
Community Hub next steps
Richard has been a part of Selby Big Local charity for a few years now, working to make Selby and ‘even better place to live’. Having shared his Edge’s vision for a Community Hub over the years, and with a shared recognition of the need for space for community to grow and people to be helped, Big Local has caught the vision and has just purchased the old Coop on Flaxley Rd. So this will not be an Edge Community Hub, but Edge will certainly have a place within it. Please pray with us that God will guide us and that all the Big Local team will support that. We long for a place of welcome, practical and spiritual support. We hope that doors will open sometime in the Summer to welcome in the local community and hear how they want to use the building for good locally.