LEICESTER REACHES OUT TO LOCAL COMMUNITY

18th May 2017

It is not always that one comes across a project or ministry and are left asking the question "could this be the blueprint of how church should be done?" Leicester Central Seventh-day Adventist church is doing such a thing which seems to tick all the boxes and leave one excited and wanting to do more.

The ministry started off being called the '3Ts' which stood for 'Tea, Toast and Talk (Chat)' which was centred around the interfacing of Leicester Central Adventist church Community Services team with the local community. Speaking to Mrs Grace Belgrave, the Community Services leader of the church she said, "The project started in recognition of what we realised are people who really need help."

On arrival, the foyer of Leicester Central Adventist church is a choreography leicester-3of movement as the Community Services team prepare for the arrival of those from the community who access the services. Food is prepared on one side whilst clothes are put on hangers and then on a rail. For the average visitor, a visit that could have easily been over in less than an hour, escalates to five hours, because of the activities and excitement of the place. Grace Belgrave epitomizes the essence of multitasking as she writes on a notebook, fields some queries and casts an eye on the preparations.

Although the programme starts at 2:00 pm, people arrive as early as midday and stay beyond the closing time because they feel the warmth and welcoming feeling of the place. A devotional is also a part of the activities for the day where words of encouragement and inspiration are shared. This is followed by a meal and then all receive a gift parcel of essentials.

"The essence of discipleship is meeting the needs of the local community, where they are, and once you do that they will know what is driving us as a church", were the words from Elder Thulani Thebe, one of theLEICESTER team members. He further explained his experience by saying, "I love this because this is what Christianity is all about. This is what keeps me going, this is why we are so happy."

This programme has been in operation since 2010 and receives no state or local funding. It relies completely on donations and contributions from the church and members. They are open fortnightly on a Monday.

Lungani Sibanda (NEC Communication & Media Director)

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