God is blessing us as a church with great growth, so that often our Sunday meetings are full.
And we believe that God has more for us - His plans are infinite, our building is finite! So to make space and opportunities for more, we're moving to two Sunday meetings during university term time.
This will happen from October.
Before then, we'll be experimenting to see what works.
On 26th April, 3rd and 10th May, we will have meetings at 9:30am and 11:15am. Tea and coffee will be served between the meetings, children's and youth groups will take place during the 9:30am meeting.
On 17th, 24th and 31st May, we will have meetings at 10:30am and 4:00pm. Tea and coffee will be provided at both, children's and youth groups will take place during the 10:30am meeting.
From June to October, we'll be back to one meeting, at 10:30am, as we decide how to do things from 11th October onwards.
You're invited to join us on this journey into God's great adventure!
fREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We invited you to send us your questions on 2grow. Here are some of the most common, with answers from Ian Portwine.
Why are we going to have two meetings?
So there's more room to fit people in! We've been meeting at The Durham Centre for six years; over that time we've seen God add many people to us. This is wonderful, and we thank God for that growth, but it's now getting to the stage where unless we do something different with our meetings, there's no room for other people to come in and our numbers will plateau.
So we're looking to go to two meetings in the University term time starting in October this year. But we will run a trial, in late spring, to see what the best format of those meetings will be.
Why can't we stay a small church, where I know everyone?
To be honest this has never been a frequently asked question! People are aware of God’s call to make disciples of all nations, and we are delighted to be co-working with God in seeing more people want to be part of our church, see the Kingdom grow, and serve His purposes in their generation.
When is there provision for children and young people, why can't that be at every meeting?
We're very grateful for the scores of people who serve faithfully on Sunday mornings and other times during the week to serve our children and young people, but right now we don't feel that there are enough people, especially leaders of sessions, to provide quality children and young people's groups at both meetings. This will be in review, and we look forward to God providing and raising up more children and young people's workers. Perhaps you're an answer to our prayers?
Why is everything focused on The Durham Centre?
At the same time as extending opportunity at The Durham Centre, we're also looking to strengthen and extend activity on a Sunday at Ushaw Moor, and we're also believing in God for more Faith Exploits, as we reach out to other local communities in the county.
When can I get my coffee?
Coffee has become a valued part of our church life together, and we appreciate the many people who are on the coffee rota. They arrive at 9:15am to make coffee for us every Sunday - it's not a small task that they do! For our trial in late spring, when we have two morning meetings we will serve one set of coffee between those two meetings, that will be from 10:45am - 11:15am. When we meet in the morning and afternoon we will be serving coffee after the morning meeting, and before the afternoon meeting. Only the coffee serving team are authorised to be using the kitchen to make coffee.
Why is it only during University term time?
We are currently gathering between 40 and 50 students to the church which has contributed to our growth, but if those students are not present, at the moment, we feel we only need one meeting. But we wait to see what God might do…
Will I ever see my friends again?
Whilst a two meeting structure will cause some separation, our small groups and Missional Communities continue to provide that smaller setting for friendship, prayer, accountability and mission. As well as all the other special interest groups. prayer meetings, midweek church meetings, discipleship groups, and Faith clubs that meet outside of a Sunday morning.
Can I come to both meetings?
Yes of course, however you will hear the sermon twice, as the same sermon will be preached at each meeting to help us maintain unity as a community. And if everyone did this it would rather defeat the object of having two meetings!
If we have a meeting at 4:00pm, will the HUB meeting still be happening?
During the trial there will be a HUB meeting. We will be reviewing what format the HUB will look like in the future, which depends on what meeting structure we adopt.
When will the student coach run?
We'll be running the student bus for both meetings. Pick-up times will be as follows:
26th April, 3rd May, 10th May
For 9:30am meeting: 9:00am at Trevelyan College, 9:05am at Elvet Riverside, 9:10am at Sainsbury's in Gilesgate.
The bus will leave TDC for return drop-offs at 11:15am.
For 11:15am meeting: 10:30am at Trevelyan College, 10:35am at Elvet Riverside, 10:40am at Sainsbury's in Gilesgate.
The bus will leave TDC for return drop-offs at 12:45pm.
17th May, 24th May, 31st May
For 10:30am meeting: 10:00am at Trevelyan College, 10:05am at Elvet Riverside, 10:10am at Sainsbury's in Gilesgate.
The bus will leave TDC for return drop-offs at 12:45pm.
For 4:00pm meeting: 3:30pm at Trevelyan College, 3:35pm at Elvet Riverside, 3:40pm at Sainsbury's in Gilesgate.
The bus will leave TDC for return drop-offs at 5:45pm.
If I come to the second morning meeting why do I have to park in the overflow car park?
We are very aware that we operate on a relatively small site. After the first meeting we will have many cars and children leaving the main area, so we felt it safer to direct people coming for the second meeting to park in the overflow car park. This will help with traffic flow as well as child safety. You will be directed by the Car Park team as to where to park, and we thank you in advance for your cooperation in responding to their requests . They do a great job, and if you'd like to join them please speak to one of them.
Does this mean that there is more chance of me getting onto one of the serving teams?
Yes! Please contact the relevant deacon:
Welcome (car park, stewards, coffee) - Pam Bulman
Music, PA & AV - Ryan Marklew
Children & Young People - Pete Gray
Communications - Mark Tallentire
Finance - Jenny Booth
They would love to hear from you.
Still got more questions? Get in touch.