Gospel Home, the St Helen’s Mandarin-speaking congregation was set up in September 2005.
Preparing for the return
Increasing numbers of Mainland Chinese (MC) are spending a few years in the UK before returning home to contribute to the unprecedented development taking place in that great nation. In God’s mercy, he is bringing many MC into churches, and significant numbers are turning to Christ. Clearly there is huge potential with brothers and sisters returning to China as partners in the advance of God’s kingdom. In reality however, many find it extremely difficult to adjust to belonging to church in a very different context. Gospel Home seeks to provide a fellowship where MC are able to grow in their relationship with Christ, such that if and when they go home, they’re more likely to hit the ground running, and by God’s grace, prove a real blessing to the local church in China.
Clearly the best way to prepare to return to China is to get ready for the return of Christ. In many ways therefore, Gospel Home is just like any other Christ-centred, Spirit-dependent, God-glorifying church: at the heart of our meetings is the ministry of the word and prayer. Needless to say, there are certain distinctives that characterize Gospel Home:
Gospel Home is not a Chinese Church. We are convinced that outposts of God’s kingdom should demonstrate the power of the gospel to unite people of different ethnic backgrounds. As a congregation of St Helen’s however, we are unapologetically Mandarin-speaking. Given many MC perceive Christianity to be a Western religion, we seek to conduct meetings in the heart-language: not only does this begin to help MC contextualize their new identity, it also makes it easier to provide opportunities to test out gifts by serving in different ways. Despite being ethnically fairly homogeneous, we do actually enjoy quite a diversity within the congregation, with a spread of ages, social background, and national identity (mainly MC, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore).
Up until July 2011, Gospel home was meeting in a house, in part to help members from Mainland China get ready to return home to a different context. Since September 2011, things have changed – please click here if you’re interested to find out more…