Humble are your beginnings…
It has been quite a ride for the Hope Anglican church. The church has grown from the initial launch group of 26 adults and 14 children in November 2016. Luther Symons, the Lead Pastor, says, “At this point we moved into Leppington and began weekly house meetings. it soon became apparent that a public launch would be possible in March 2017 and the core group grew. Through some separate funding, we were able to bring on Cameron Noakes as an Assistant Minister from day one. That proved to be a good decision in light of our growth over the next couple of years.”
Fast forward to 2021, Hope is a thriving church of 471 people, with 300 adults and 171 children who meet over three congregations. This is phenomenal growth, particularly when you consider that, according to the 2016 census, Leppington has approximately 3,500 residents! Even allowing for population growth since that time, the ratio of church goers to community population is very positive indeed. (At some point in the future, we will feature a post that highlights the history of the church in fuller details – perhaps as they approach the completion of their major building program.)
It’s a great encouragement that there has been positive progress on their church buildings, as seen in these latest photos. Luther’s hope is that we will be able to have a public dedication, sometime in early 2022.
No doubt there is intense focus these days on how our churches will navigate coming out of lockdown. Yet the success of Hope Anglican Church gives us a great deal of, dare I say it, hope for the future! Speaking with Luther earlier this week, like all church plants, there has been the expected highs and lows. Luther and his team have straddled the tricky dynamics of nurturing a fast-growing church plant, while navigating the waters of a major building project. Of course, there has been significant support from the Diocese, having the infrastructure of organisations such as the Growth Corporation and ENC to lean on, as well as Geneva Push. And then there is the work of New Churches for New Communities, which has been vital for raising necessary funds. It all points to how important a strong and responsive support structure is for our future church planting efforts.
We need to keep learning how to grow more churches, more effectively and more strategically for the future. There are strong winds blowing in the Diocese that we capitalise on our learnings from recent projects, such as Hope’s, so that we see many more new churches supported in the future.
Please continue with us for the next stages of Gospel extension.