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voluntary sector,” he adds. Although the staff and volunteers are all clear on the Christian motivation for their work, the gospel is never forced on people. Over the last two and a half years, Rob and his team have built a friendly atmosphere where people of all backgrounds and beliefs are welcomed and provided for. “It’s our desire that as many people as possible come to know Jesus, but while people are perfectly clear where we are coming from, we are happy to help anybody.” Rob says. “If people raise religious issues we are happy to talk about it, but only if they give permission – it’s not a condition of them getting help.” The Centre is equipped with a number of classrooms where people can partake in courses ranging from basic IT skills to learning English as a foreign language. Rob and his team also offer help with breaking bad habits and addictions. Not only that, but the Centre contains a tearoom, a quiet room, a lounge and even an arts and craft room. Many of these rooms are hired out in the evenings to local community groups with the profit invested back into their ministry to the poor. Since the Centre opened three years ago, it has enjoyed donations of clothes www.jesuscentres.org.uk

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there are more rough sleepers in central London than the rest of the country put together for the homeless from United Colours of Benetton and John Lewis, shower gel and shampoo from The Body Shop and Lush and even cafe furniture from a local Costa. In fact, every computer in the building has been donated! Rob says the main aim of London’s Jesus Centre is to extend the availability of church throughout the week: “Our aim is to reach a wider range of people and to make an increasing impact in the local area.” As somebody previously unfamiliar with the work of the Jesus Army and their Centres, I left London Jesus Centre inspired and with Luke’s words in Acts chapter two ringing in my head. Surely, they sum up the Jesus Centre’s work perfectly: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”

Sam is a third-year Journalism student studying in Southampton. He is co-president of the Christian Union. READ HIS BLOG: holymansam.wordpress.com Jesus Jesus Centres Centres Review Review 15 15

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http://jesuscentre.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/documents/publications/jesuscentresreview12.pdf

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