As a Church, God has given us a big vision – a vision that is for the whole of the Tees Valley. That we would see his transformative love and power at work right across the region. With that at the forefront of our mind, we take each opportunity that God presents to us, to reach out to communities and to the individuals that make up each neighbourhood. One such opportunity came a few years back when we had the chance to acquire a building, known locally as ‘The Shack’, in Ragworth, Stockton. Since then it has acted as a community engagement hub and an opportunity for us, as a Church, to be on the ground in Stockton.
The Shack is open weekdays for a wide range of activities and is a safe space for those in the local community to find support, friendship and faith and opens most Sundays for different community focussed activities too. The Shack is also the site of the Community Grocery that we run in partnership with the Message and it is the home of our Ragworth and Primrose Hill Eden team – the mission minded community who live and serve within the community.
We caught up with Paul Connor and Jennie Potter who are members of TVC Church, giving their all to this community in the heart of Stockton.
What has been happening recently down at The Shack?
We have really loved being able to get fully back into the swing of all our regular groups. We are now able to run breakfast club each week where we offer a full english and a chat to anybody who wants to stop by and our popular ‘Tasty Tuesday’ lunch club is back too! We have also been able to run our monthly TOAST (Time on a Sunday Together) services and our Youth group continues to thrive.
In addition to all this, we have also been journeying with different groups of people through our Cooking Club, Wellbeing Journey Course, Alpha course and of course our Community Grocery Customers.
What has excited you recently?
Wow just so much!
We are just loving seeing those that we journey with begin to make steps forward into faith. We had the opportunity to pray for a lady at Lunch club and she felt really at peace afterwards. A man who tried praying for the first time and he saw his prayers answered. It was great to see how encouraged and surprised he was that God answered his prayer! A lady that we have been journeying with for quite a while now tried the Alpha course and has been to Church at The Oakwood with us and recently made a decision to follow Jesus!
In the past few months, we have had the joy of baptising two of our team and we have loved being part of the journey of two other guys, who had been attending Alpha at The Shack with our Oxbridge eden team.
We have also loved seeing our team step up in to new things. One of the younger members of our team has been enjoying some leadership training that Matt Horner has been organising. One of our older teens stepped up to lead a section of our TOAST service and the lovely Zoe wrote and delivered her first ever sermon! It is amazing to see them all growing and being used by God within the community that they grew up in.
What is next?
Even though things are quietening down as the School holidays approach, we are ramping up to our mission week which our youth will take the lead on as we reach out to serve out local community. After that, we will be making plans to run more Wellbeing, Alpha and Cookery Club next term. We are also thinking, praying and dreaming about what other groups and courses we could offer to further relationships that we already have and of course to meet new people from within our community.
We are thrilled to have been invited in to our local primary school to do an assembly next week! What an amazing opportunity to take God’s love in to our schools.
We are just thrilled to have welcomed some new Volunteers on board. Some of them are from TVC Church and it has been wonderful to find new ways for them to be a part of extending God’s kingdom here in Ragworth. Some of our volunteers are from the local community and it is really great to see them growing in confidence as they spend time with our team who are always operating in a spirit of encouragement, prayer and faithfulness.
We have had a number of Community Groups come to visit us over the past few months. We just love having the opportunity to get to know some more of our church family and are thrilled to show them around and talk to them about how God is using their church to take ground for the Kingdom on this site in Ragworth. If you would like to bring your community group to visit, please email us at The Shack, we would love to arrange that.
What can we be praying for?
- Pray that God continues to strengthen and sustain the team here as they meet with the broken, the lost and the hurting.
- Pray that God continues to open the doors for us to speak his gospel into the hearts and lives of those that we meet.
- Pray that God would continue to fulfil all of our practical needs, financial needs and volunteer needs as we look to further the work that he has for us here in Ragworth and Primrose Hill.
01 Jul 2022