With 425 members and growing, St Thomas’ clearly has something many churches do not. Associate Minister Jono Harvey, is taking St Thomas’ out to the people to “Celebrate 2012” – a campaign inspired by the extraordinary events in Britain this year.
For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, St Thomas’ organized a street party in Fair Oak Square which drew 1,000 people.
For the Olympics, the “Love Fair Oak” campaign has been running every day. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., a team of ten Church volunteers have been minding the marquee. But there’s no Bible bashing. This is a chance for local people to interact with the Church in a way they otherwise might not get.
Despite occasional rain, mothers and children can enjoy the festival
atmosphere underneath the canopy while three large TVs courtesy of PC World
show live events. Local shops provide back up and the whole campaign is
benefitting Fair Oak.
An Olympic torch carried by Church member Michael Bevis-Lacey on the Bognor Regis route has been attracting young and old alike. Michael was nominated to carry the torch by friends and family.
Michael – a former pupil of Kings School – told Eastleigh News:
“I won’t sell it. I’ll probably loan it to the Museum. At the moment schools are booking me for talks, so I need it.”
One volunteer told Eastleigh News about “ARK”, one of the ways in which St Thomas is helping the local community. Organized by volunteers from the churches of Eastleigh, ARK is designed to help families in crisis.
When asked to sum up the St Thomas “on-street mission”, one of the volunteers explained,
“This is not evangelism. People can come and visit and they won’t have religion rammed down their throat. But if they want to talk about Jesus then we’re happy to do that. This is about making the Church accessible. You could say it is like a church without walls”.