Church Plants

Generation is working with others to catalyse a growing network of church plants across Scotland.

We partner with 20Schemes, FIEC, Acts29, Redeemer City to City and Free Church of Scotland church plants.

We are also working to partner with church plants across Europe.

Below is an introduction to some of them:

Haddington Community Church

The Haddington church plant is being led by Ali Sewell who moved into Haddington with his wife Julie, and their two daughters, Emily and Louisa at the beginning of September 2017. Prior to training for ministry Ali had studied Physics with Astrophysics at Manchester University and had also spent 6 years working as an outdoor instructor in the Highlands. Ali graduated from Edinburgh Theological Seminary in June 2017 with the Margaret Anne MacLeod Memorial Prize for top graduating student.

He also worked at Christ Church Edinburgh alongside his studies and previously gained ministry experience on an associate programme which included completing the Cornhill Scotland course in biblical exposition. The Sewell’s are working with a local core group who have been regularly meeting to pray for the town for roughly a year. This currently consists of roughly twenty-five adults of a variety of ages and backgrounds and a number of children, with other people showing an interest. Early stages of the plant will include clearly laying the foundations of what the plant believes in holding to the Reformed confessions of the church, while also emphasizing the centrality of mission and the expectation that the church should grow through conversions rather than simply transfer growth.

www.haddingtoncommunitychurch.org

ali@haddingtoncommunitychurch.org

Cornerstone

Neil and Louise MacMillan along with their 4 children planted Cornerstone for the people of Morningside and Bruntsfield who wanted a church that was local, walkable, and an easy place for everyone to connect to Christianity. The aim from the outset was to be ‘a church for people who don’t go to church.’ A clear message about who Jesus is and why he matters is offered.

The church loves the city of Edinburgh and Morningside. Its people want to contribute as much as they can to the wellbeing of their community and the flourishing of the city. Cornerstone offers people a place of belonging and friendship - no matter who they are or what they believe. To foster this sense of community we spend a lot of time simply hanging out, talking about life and drinking coffee.

At Cornerstone there is a high value on community. Life is a gift to be shared and enjoyed with others. Friendship, celebrations, supportive and caring relationships, hanging out, sharing meals are at the heart of things. Sometimes it is thought that church is a building, or a meeting but for Neil and Louise, it's about people. As this community grows in depth and number, Cornerstone looks to plant another church that this gospel community can reach even more people.

Cornerstone services are held in the Old Schoolhouse on Morningside Road at 11AM each Sunday morning.

cornerstone-edinburgh.com

neil@freechurch.org

Esk Valley Church

Esk Valley started with just two couples living in Midlothian, south of Edinburgh. St Columba’s asked Tom and Sharlene Muir to move out to the area and help start a new church plant. That was over three years ago, and now there is a small congregation of up to 60 people meeting for worship on Sundays. Tom and Sharlene have added two children of their own.

A lot of focus is put on discipleship, trying to make sure everyone in the church has access to a time during the week when they can meet in a small group or one-to-one for fellowship and growth in the gospel. There are a number of families associated who are coming back to church – exploring who God is, and also what it means to be a part of a church. The people of Esk Valley Church are seeking to walk alongside these people for however long it takes for them to come to see Jesus as Lord.

Practically, the church is beginning to look into a longer-term venue. The current rented one has some limitations, though it’s character-full, and there is a real desire to put roots down in the community and start to explore new ways to impact this region. So, for this and areas of church life, Tom and Sharlene need and value your prayers.

www.eskvalleychurch.org/

tom.muir@stcolumbas.freechurch.org

Govan Free Church

The church-planting ministry in Govan is led by Rev. Norman Mackay who, having grown up in the area, was no stranger to the social problems that continue to blight the former borough.

Govan is an area of multiple-deprivation with a huge addiction problem allied to anti-social behaviour, high levels of violence and severe unemployment. Funerals are commonplace and most, if not all, families have experienced some sort of pain and bereavement through the loss of loved ones. Despite this, the area retains a sense of community characteristic of old Glasgow housing schemes.

Unlike other church plants, this one did not begin with a core group but rather one family around whom the work gradually and progressively grew. Today the Church Plant has a congregation of around 30 people, employs multiple effective ministries serving the Govan community, and owns its own building as well as renting office premises at Govan Cross.

The Church Plant partners with several other agencies offering drug rehabilitation courses and is increasingly attracting people whose life has been blighted by crime, alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour. One specific feature of the work is the emphasis on small group study and one-to-one discipleship.

Govan Free Church Plant embraced a very simple yet profound philosophy of ministry, Norman comments, “We took the Incarnation as the model of ministry by identifying with the local Govan community in whatever way we could; the cross as the cost of ministry by establishing loving and sacrificial service as the route into people’s hearts and an indigenous church as the goal of ministry thereby refusing to commence any worship services until converts from the Govan community were at the core of it."

Please continue to pray for the work being carried out by Norman and his team in Govan as they bring the Gospel to the community and build upon the many relationships already made.

www.govanfreechurch.org

norman-mackay@sky.com

Charleston Community Church

Andy Robertson trained for ministry for 6 years at Chalmers Church Edinburgh. It was there he did a two year apprenticeship before moving on to do a 4 year “Church Leader in Training” programme alongside study in Edinburgh Theological Seminary. Andy is married to Caireen and they have a wee boy, Finlay. It has always been Andy’s desire to plant a church in his native Dundee, especially in one of the many areas of urban deprivation that lack an evangelical witness.

In the summer of 2017 Andy and Caireen moved to the Charleston area of Dundee to begin the process of planting a church under the oversight of St Peter’s Free Church. Since being there they have been training up a launch team to work in the area, they have developed youth outreach, and just finalised the lease of an abandoned shopfront to be renovated as building for gospel work. Please pray for them as they continue in this work.

Andy_robertson@stpeters-dundee.org.uk

Christ Church Glasgow

Jonathan de Groot has been an Ordained Minister for the past 10 years in two large congregations in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

He was welcomed into the Free Church of Scotland in September of 2017. Having now transitioned into the Free Church, he is excited by its vision to plant more churches. Jonathan excelled through the assessment program and additional licensing requirements.

He has recently begun planting a new reformed and contemporary church in Glasgow with the primary aim of reaching the lost for Christ. Christ Church Glasgow will begin in the North West of Glasgow in 2018.

Jonathan, his wife Sheona and their three children Joshua, Matthew and Rebekah have a love for their new community and are looking forward to seeing God at work in it through this new congregation.

jdegroot@live.co.uk

Merkinch

Chris Davidson is from Caol, near Fort William. He was raised in the highlands community and served as a joiner before feeling the call to theological training at Edinburgh Theological Seminary. After graduation Chris took a position as an associate church planter in a church plant in Edinburgh with Senior Minister Neil MacMillan. After his year as an associate, Chris felt a strong conviction to go to a church and help in revitalisation or church planting within the Free Church of Scotland. An opportunity of a church planting call from Edinburgh back to the Highlands in a community called Merkinch came to fruition. He knew the Lord was calling him to this form of ministry and after 3 weeks of discussion, he signed a contract with the Free Church of Scotland to serve in Merkinch. In recent months, the Merkinch have been meeting regularly.

In 2017 Chris and Katherine Sced became engaged. Katherine formerly worked for a church plant in Edinburgh called Grace Church Leith. She and Chris were married in May of 2018 and are looking forward to serving Merkinch in the years to come. They are resting in God's word, especially Proverbs 16:9--

 
"In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps."


 We plan, but ultimately God is in charge. This comforts the new couple in Merkinch as they make plans to plant. 

chris.j.davidson.30@gmail.com

Hope City

Matt Round is the lead planter at Hope City Church Edinburgh, a new FIEC church sent out from Charlotte Chapel at Easter 2018. After 15+ years in business and technology, church planting began to capture Matt’s heart as a key means of pursuing the Great Commission, leading him back to university to get properly trained. Following three years serving as Assistant Pastor at Charlotte Chapel, the elders and congregation approved an exploration of the potential for a plant. After six months in “incubation”, around 40 adults and 20 children were sent out to launch Hope City Church on the western edge of Edinburgh.

Hope City is built with a sharp focus on multiplying disciples and our plan is to pursue this through challenging every one of us to be friends - with one another, and with those still far from Jesus; to take part in our gatherings and our scattered mission; and to engage in this mission through do-able everyday small steps which help us and others draw closer to Jesus. We build our gatherings around the Bible, seeking to listen to what God is saying and to put it into action, but we aim to make them as accessible as possible so they can be a stepping stone for those still on a journey towards faith.

www.hopecityedinburgh.org

matt@hopecityedinburgh.org

Grace Church Leith

Athole is married to Rosalynd and they have three children, Erskine, Grace and Abigail. In his spare time he enjoys playing, coaching and watching football! Athole was born in the Highlands and grew up in central Scotland. He trained at Oak Hill Theological College in London before completing further study at Edinburgh University.

Athole and Rosalynd began planting Grace Church Leith in December 2009 from a flat in Leith. After gathering a core group over a period of almost two years, Grace Church Leith launched public worship in September 2011 and today is a growing church in the north part of the city of Edinburgh.

The vision of the church plant is to see Leith, Edinburgh, and all of Scotland transformed by the good news of Jesus as people come to know, love, and follow Him. Their desire is to see God glorified as the gospel transforms us and those around us. Therefore, in obedience to Christ, we seek to build strong community relationships, share the message of the gospel, and serve our neighbours in practical ways.

Grace Church Leith meet at 31 Bangor Road, Leith, every Sunday at 4pm.

www.gracechurchleith.org

info@gracechurchleith.org

Stirling

The Stirling Church plant is being led by Iain MacAskill who moved to Stirling in 2016 with his wife Ann. Iain’s first plant was in 1997 when he went as a Church Planter/Evangelist to South Uist and Benbecula. A congregation was formed three years later with twenty three individuals joining the congregation, the majority by profession of faith. During Iain’s time in Uist the Road to Recovery programme was established which is now used by many other congregations in the denomination. The Caladh Trust was also formed, which helps people in the community suffering from alcohol and drug addiction.

Iain accepted a call to Rosskeen in 2009 and was instrumental in planting The Capstone in the centre of Alness. The former Co-op shop, Rigger bar and the Highland Council service centre were purchased and refurbished to form the new Christian centre which houses a worship area, café, and food bank and administration base.

The Stirling Church plant has seen much growth in the past two years both spiritually and numerically. The congregation has established The Well in the city centre which houses different activities through the week. The congregation has attracted many International students and some have come to faith. To cater for the rapid growth, the leadership have identified a two hundred seat auditorium city-centre location which the congregation will use for Sunday services at the beginning of 2019.

Iain believes that Stirling is strategic for gospel witness and he believes that the congregation will itself plant another church in one of the surrounding towns where house groups have already been formed.

There is an ancient motto that says - “He who holds Stirling holds Scotland” - the congregation’s mission and vision is that this will be true spiritually.