WELCOME Our vision is to share life and love Leeds. This guide shows how God is working through us, and what we believe he is calling us to do in 2013. We invite you to join this journey â€“ there are things we can only achieve together. To learn more about how to do this, see the Get Involved page. If you have any questions, please speak to me, or any of our team. Jonathan Clark (Rector)
In the last 10 years St George’s has experienced growth, and we have got younger again. Now we are a family of all ages (0-90+), and we are growing through our Networks - in which we experience the joy of being family, and encourage each other to live for Jesus wherever he has called us to serve Him. Our services are open to everyone. Each week we encounter God in worship and grow through relevant Bible teaching. We connect through our 10:30 service with all ages, with families and with international guests. Our evening service is for students, young adults and anyone else who wants to come along.
God is calling us to be outward-looking. To share life together, and then to turn outwards to those who do not know God’s hope and purpose and love.
We are outward-looking in our prayers, for St George’s to be healthy and strong, and for Leeds to be the city God intends it to be. We are outward-looking in training leaders for the future: through our work with students, our internship programme, and through our involvement in church leader training through the new St Barnabas Theological Centre, based in Sheffield (www.stbarnabastraining.org).
In the last three years leaders and teams have been called to start Riverside Church, and Redeemer Church. Now Joanna Pearson is leading St Augustine’s Church, Wrangthorn, in Hyde Park, and God is gathering a team around her to bring new life into this area.
Networks are groups of around 20-30 people who share life and love Leeds. We have grown to over 20 networks involving more than 550 people. There is huge variety: some reach the under 11s, some gather the over 50s, some serve those who live locally, others connect those just starting out in the world of work, or those seeking to parent young children, to name just a few. Our Networks have held weekends away, worship evenings, pub quizzes, a creative day, walks, a Light Party, testimony evenings, meeting in homes, in coffee shops and on the top of Ilkley Moor. We’ve shared food, we’ve given help, and many friends have been invited to join in.
Our new Network is amazed at the doors that God is opening for us to work with other Christians serving the community.
Our vision is for conﬁdent and growing Networks that speak of God’s love. We are praying for the number of Networks to increase, for new people to ﬁnd a welcome, and for everyone in St Georges to be connected to a Network.
What does Network mean to me? A place to have fun, be serious, learn from and lean on each other.
Academy of Life has totally revitalized my spiritual life, pushed me to step out more, and helped our Network bond together.
Discipleship at St George’s is about God making us more like Jesus. Our vision is to see every member of our church growing in seven signs of life: true life, full life, shared life, deep life, pure life, serving life and bold life. As part of this, over 150 people have now begun or completed the Academy of Life course. We want to increase this significantly in 2013.
Academy of Life has been awesome. I can’t express how much it has impacted me personally. I really feel that my eyes have been opened. Thank you!
We’re into our third year of the School of Theology. These monthly Saturday sessions serve the city by providing high quality teaching that stretches faith and relates to life. We’ve trained 40 people through our internship scheme. We send interns to at least four other churches in Leeds and resource interns training across the region.
Our vision is to proclaim the saving and transforming message of Jesus through our daily lives, through our Networks, and through local community initiatives. Over the past few years we have seen hundreds of people come to the Church Centre for Alpha, a 10 week introduction to Christianity. A high proportion of those would say that it had a signiﬁcant impact on their relationship with God. Every couple of weeks a small team set up our Bridge Cafe near church. In a friendly style we offer prayer and explain to people the good news of Jesus. Through this project lives have been powerfully touched, with people moving from addiction to freedom in Jesus. We engage in a number of community mission projects. Last year a team from St George’s and Leeds City Mission went to Hyde Park Skate Park for a week’s mission. It was truly amazing how receptive these young people were. Jon Swales also oversees some of our work with local schools and other opportunities to share God’s love with those outside the church.
We met a couple of young men on the Bridge. That night they came along to our curry night. Now they’ve completed Alpha and loved it!
Around 70 children are involved in the Explorers Network – enjoying sharing life together on a Sunday morning and at other events throughout the term. Our vision is for the children of St George’s not only to learn about God but also to grow as disciples of Jesus day by day. We want Explorers to be the highlight of the children’s week, so our team work hard to provide a fun and interactive programme, with space to wait on God and to have meaningful discussions.
Someone from school invited us to Contemporary Carols and we loved it (pop songs in Church - WOW). Now we keep coming because everyone I have met is simply happy, warm and accepting. Services are relevant to life, and the kids love it.
We have reached children from across Leeds through events like our Light Party, through invitations to friends, and through contact with at least 7 primary schools citywide.
Our vision is that young people will know the the living God, through encountering him. We want each young person to ﬁnd the freedom to be who they were created to be. We long for them to see that they can be world changers, locally and globally. Through our Friday night youth group and Sunday youth service followed by small groups, God is building a community of over 40 young people. We have seen young people engaging with the Holy Spirit in new ways and growing in conﬁdence together. In 2013 we are planning local mission projects in Leeds, and we want to develop our work on the Skate Park in Wrangthorn. Lottie Jones invests her time in the discipleship of our young people, continuing with schools work and developing a team to engage in mission with the young people in Leeds.
At the end of Lottie’s talk we made some space to pray. During this time, one of our young people gave his life to Christ.
One of our students received prayer for the first time on the weekend away. She said she had never felt God so close to her.
Around 100,000 students belong to institutions based within our parish boundaries. ‘Students at St George’s’ is a growing, vibrant and increasingly diverse work amongst this student population. Our vision is to instil great conﬁdence in the gospel in the young adults who face some of the most severe challenges to orthodox Christian faith in this city. Over the last year we have released over 25 students into various leadership roles (including recruiting interns), launched three new student Networks, developed signiﬁcant strategic partnerships with the Christian Unions and been held up as an example of pioneering student work nationally.
Relationships have grown much deeper in our student Network. There are new connections that wouldn’t have been made otherwise, and people are really starting to pray for each other.
73% of churched young people have no contact with Christian groups at university and consequently struggle in their faith. We are determined to buck this trend, not only for students arriving in Leeds, but in preparing young people at St George’s to leave well prepared for university. Across all our networks and partnerships, we have seen a total of over 50 students make professions of faith in the last year. And God’s not done with us yet!
Worship is a life’s response to what we value most. Our vision is to release people in St George’s, and beyond, into lives of passionate praise. We have a committed team of worshippers who serve our Sunday services, Networks, church festivals, children, youth and student groups with musical worship, tech support and teaching. We love to share life together through annual parties, weekly practices and time set apart to simply worship Jesus as a team and pray for the St George’s family, Leeds and the North. Over the last year we have hosted evenings of worship for our region, run a 6-week city wide Worship Central course, and served at events around Leeds, the North and Europe. Each year we ﬁll the church several times over for Gospel events and special services where guests can encounter the good news for the ﬁrst time.
Being part of the team challenges me not only musically but also in what it means to be a true worshipper of Jesus.
Our vision is for God’s love to extend to every workplace, every community and every family in our city. God has placed people from St George’s all around Leeds and the surrounding area to be his witnesses – each one of us has a vital part to play. We work closely with other churches and local partners to share God’s love with Leeds. Many of us partner with St George’s Crypt to meet the needs of homeless people in Leeds. We have strong links with Spacious Places drug rehab programme [pictured]. Our Community Church continues to share God’s love with the local area. As well as staff time, we commit over £12,000 a year to projects including Leeds Faith in Schools, Kidz Klub, international student work, Christian Unions and Bassi Mirzania (Farsi support).
My daily work here in Leeds is a challenging context, but one where I feel I’m serving God. It’s a place I can go the extra mile, do things well and contribute to the reputation of the city. I get to provide a listening ear to colleagues, and that can lead to conversations about faith, too.
Our vision is to ‘make disciples of all nations’. Through our support: Churches in France are being encouraged and renewed through the work of Andy and Uta Buckler. Hugh and Heather Nelson are growing a church in rural Japan. Charles Montague supports people seeking faith in the Arab world, and Chip and Diane Cowles are resourcing evangelism in unreached parts of the world. Communities in Uganda are being empowered to create routes out of poverty.
I will never forget that St George’s helped replace our bikes when they were all stolen from our house… Gestures like those not only help financially; they make us feel loved and accompanied, even carried, on this journey.
St George’s supports overseas work with over £37,000 of grants every year. We have sent 20 people each year on mission teams to Romania, we have a Network committed to engaging with Israel/Palestine, and we regularly support members in short term mission trips around the world. In 2013 we hope that our Networks will grow signiﬁcant connections with overseas mission, and that every member of St George’s will develop a global passion.
I am in Syria and, from the political point of view, each day is worse than the one before. But when I turn to Jesus, I find spiritual rest and comfort.
[A seeker, studying the Bible with Arab World Ministries]
St George’s Church building is a beacon in the heart of Leeds. Every week visitors, guests and seekers ﬁnd a welcome at our Sunday services or midweek. Our church admin team support all the volunteers and staff who make our ministries happen. We are blessed with friendly and committed ofﬁce staff.
Quite a few people come into the church building to pray. A woman came in one day in tears. I spoke with her for an hour and we got to pray about God in her life. She has since become part of St George’s and the other week she was baptised.
The St George’s Centre is an excellent city centre venue. Each year we serve more than 6,000 different people with a warm welcome and high quality facilities.
The staff at St George’s Centre are always helpful and happy to assist. As a meeting venue the Centre is a professional location that always makes a good impression.
[Leeds City Council]
MAKING IT HAPPEN
How do people get involved at St George’s? If you’re new to Christianity, or not sure what you believe, the best thing is to try the Alpha Course which we run twice a year. If you’ve decided you’d like to be part of St George’s, we hope you can ﬁnd a Network where you can connect with others and grow. Whatever stage of life we are in, we can all share life and love Leeds. We can join in prayer for this vision, especially at prayer days and on Thursday mornings. There are many teams where you can use your gifts and grow in experience, from welcome teams and worship bands to artistic teams and ﬁnancial committees. St George’s is blessed with active groups for walking, football and cricket, as well as special events for men and for women. If you see God at work in St George’s, and you want to be involved, why not commit to regular giving? To get more involved with any of the above, simply ﬁll in a Welcome Card, or contact email@example.com / 0113 243 8498.
I give monthly to the work of St George’s because I want its excellent teaching and mission work to continue - it’s just the same as supporting my own family.
FINANCES Gift Aid £71,000
Regular Giving £309,000 Church Centre Surplus £30k
Total Income: £474,000 Sunday Collection £18,000
Other Income £22,000
For more detailed ﬁnancial information, please contact the Church Ofﬁce for a copy of our accounts
Other Giving £24k
EXTRA WE NEED
General Admin £43,000
Global Passion £43,000
Services and Teaching £66,000
Site Maintenance £47,000
Total Expenditure: £539,000 Students £37,000
Comms £24,000 Pastoral Care £30,000 Local Mission £32,000
* 14k ordination track reimbursement and 10k expenditure savings identiﬁed but not yet actioned
Expenditure Credit* -£24k
GIVING This year we are looking to raise £65,000 of additional giving to make our vision happen. God has blessed us with generous, faithful givers. But each year we rely on new givers, and on one-off gifts at the start of the year. Our PCC (Parochial Church Council) has agreed the 2013 budget. Now we are asking God to meet our needs. Every member of St George’s has something to give. Please pray about whether you can give, and how much. Consider giving monthly, for instance, by standing order with Gift Aid. And consider if there’s anything else you can do to help further God’s work through St George’s.
Father God, you’ve placed us in Leeds to share life together and love this great city. Give us the grace, the wisdom, the courage and the resources to pursue this vision. And let your kingdom come. Amen.
Photos: Chris Williams | firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Alice Simpson