Thrive’s partnership with Headington Baptist Church has enabled the latter to plant a new partnership in Barton.
Barton Community Church started life in June 2010 with a barbecue and bike workshop, which became a regular feature of life in the community. Sunday@5, as it became known, has now grown into a weekly expression of worship that meets in Barton Neighbourhood Centre, with around 40 people from all ages and backgrounds attending on any given Sunday.
Sharon, a grandmother who has lived on the estate most of her life, loves sharing what God has done for her since coming to church.
‘At the beginning, I used to come to Sunday@5 just for the food and the people; it wasn’t to do with the Godly stuff.
‘Four years later I still love coming and being part of it. It has to be about more than the people, it’s totally about God!
‘I’ve been through some traumatic times, but God has helped me to cope with everything and provided for the family in loads of ways.’
Mark is a young person who has grown up in Barton. ‘Before coming to church I was quite a shy person and didn’t really talk to many people. Being part of BCC has helped me to be more confident and make some really good friends. God means a lot to me!’
Another person who has been on a faith journey with BCC is Pete, an octogenarian, bingo fanatic, and snappy dressed clubber.
Pete has often been cynical (‘Prove there’s a God to me VICARRRR’) but has been open to believing that there is a God. One Sunday, he told the church his story of how he was unwell, reached out to God for healing, and knew that God healed him.
To find out more about Barton Community Church, contact bartoncommunitychurch [at] gmail.com
“I have known Thrive and the work it does for and with disadvantaged young people in Barton and Blackbird Leys for many years. Its enthusiastic young team, allied to its sound governance and long term approach, have made a significant difference to the lives of many whose prospects and opportunities would otherwise have been very poor. It is excellent that their model and work have now been extended into Abingdon. It is an organisation that richly deserves philanthropic support to both continue and expand its work.”
Tim Stevenson OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire