When you see the venue here and
you see the work that people
such as Kevin does here – you
can’t deny how this
community is brought together.
This church brings people from all around the community
and it gives them a purpose.
Partnership for Missional Church challenges us
to wrestle with our ideals of
how to reach the community.
And from that I think it’s very
ironic that we have now got
wrestling within the church.
When it first started
there were a lot of churchgoers
who were probably quite worried
about these musclebound brutes
I think Partnership for
Missional Church has allowed
this church to loosen up
and to be more free-spirited.
This church before was here but
people from St Ann’s didn’t use it.
We had an old stigma back from
when this church was basically
80 per cent people outside.
Now I believe it’s 50/50
or even higher.
Partnership for Missional Church
is not a programme
that you kind of run for six weeks
or even three or four years
and then you tick the box, you’ve done it.
What I saw in Partnership for Missional Church was
a kind of a scaffold that I
could lead the congregation
through to help them
explore mission and explore discipleship.
This is about a cultural change
in the heart of the congregation.
Partnership for Missional Church has
definitely brought people together.
Before PMC and breaking
down all these barriers
the church was just a building
used for worship and one or two
uniform organisations in the week.
Now the church is busy all week.
They see this church as kind of like the centre of the community,
especially round here.
St Ann’s is church for everybody.
If you live in the community,
obviously it’s a community church.
I’ve always believed in God at work in all the world
– always believed in God at work in all the world.
Yet everything I’ve ever done has
been about church.
Well, why don’t we spend some time with our community
finding out what God’s doing there.
And telling them and encouraging them
that God’s at work amongst them and joining
in with what God is doing in those places.
It removes the barriers because
people realise there’s just no agendas.
It is all about
fostering great community spirit.
I would I would say to anyone
considering PMC: It’s not easy.
I found the process
On one level because it was really deskilling.
I know how to make events happen.
I know how to organise people.
I can do that.
Leading people in spiritual practices
that actually shape their missional living
was kind of new.
We thought we were a church of the community.
But when we started the process
I think it came out that we were living in a cocoon.
And there were barriers.
It’s about really discerning
the activity of God.
It is about wrestling with
ourselves as well,
about why we might not want to
go to some of the places we
feel called to.
And it gives space for
everybody to wrestle with it.
In our meetings, our PCC meetings,
we always do what we call Dwelling in the Word,
where we listen to the Bible being read
and we go into groups
and discuss what we’ve heard.
Yeah, we’ve had the struggles
but we’ve had the guiding,
we’ve done a lot of the Dwelling in the Word.
As far as most of the British wrestlers…
they now call this church
the spiritual home of wrestling.
A few of the people from the wrestling are
slowly discovering the church.
They’d never been in a church,
sometimes they wanted to pray in the church.
That’s why one of our curate vicars
invented a prayer station
where they’ll come and just
pray and light a candle.
She did a really awesome thing
of setting up this prayer station
with wrestling-related prayers.
I love it when they come here
and they just sit in the church
and find it peaceful,
they find it a relaxing place.
They can’t sometimes put their finger on whether
it’s God or whatever but they just
feel there’s something.
We’re House of Pain Wrestling
and for most people, I say:
We’re going to wrestle in a church…
For most, it would be a weird thing.
But for myself and the wrestlers,
we just think it’s awesome.
It only seems natural that such
a hub of community –
we would get to perform here
and help bring that community
together even more.
Partnership for Missional Church – it’s made us out there
with some of the things we’ve done,
making church relevant again.
Part of the Partnership for Missional Church
is paying attention to those places that
are open to receiving you –
and receiving that hospitality,
rather than always being the
ones to give it, right?
Because we as church are the
ones that give hospitality.
We throw the party,
we do the tea and cakes, we do the coffee,
we welcome you into our space.
But what if we’re humble enough
to be received into someone else’s space?
See where God is working.
And join in.