During our short life, City Church Gloucester have moved our meetings from one temporary building to another. However, during our search for a permanent home our attention was drawn to the former Wesleyan Mission Hall known as the ‘Star 66’ building.
In 1966, the building had been taken over by Gloucestershire County Council’s education department for the purpose of working in the Linden area of Gloucester and later, when we started to take an interest, a youth charity known as The Bizz were in charge of running it.
Our attention was drawn to this building for two reasons. Firstly, it was on the market and, secondly, during the first few months of our church’s existence we had hired this as one of our temporary locations. We approached the leaders of The Bizz to state our interest and during a particular breakfast meeting to discuss the way forward, the Bizz leaders suddenly announced to us that after a time of prayer concerning the future of the building, they felt strongly prompted that they should give us the building – free of charge. Our only obligation would be to clear any outstanding debt on the building which in itself was small.
Provoked by this invitation we began to seek God’s wisdom and very quickly strong prophetic guidance followed both from within the church and from outside. Visiting speaker/prophet Julian Adams brought a prophetic word during which he described the building accurately and said that once we were in this building we would grow significantly. He had not previously had any awareness of the building or indeed our future plans. Steve Oliver, who is the leader of the New Frontiers’ Regions Beyond churches we are part of, also spoke about a time when we would draw answers from the prayers of many previous generations and he likened this to the Basilica Cisterns beneath Istanbul, an old underground water storage area from which the community drew water. He felt prompted to show us a picture of the roof design of the Basilica .and faith rose among us as the section of roof he showed matched, in a primitive way, a section of the roof design in our proposed new chapel. We responded positively to God’s leading and the offer tabled by The Bizz and, as a result, we are now the owners of the former Star 66 building that we affectionately call The Chapel.
The history of The Chapel’s original congregation: “The Wesleyan Mission to the Bristol Road area” can be dated to open-air services held by Wesleyans in Bristol Road in 1891. Later that year due to gospel growth they built a temporary wooden mission room, and in following years they met in various other buildings as they expanded, including an iron church erected in 1897, which had been used by an Anglican mission. Then in 1909 they moved to the building we affectionately call The Chapel on the corner of Seymour Road and Frampton Road, Gloucester.
We are so thrilled to discover that the history of the building had a gospel link and are looking forward to picking up the baton passed on from previous generation. It also fits so well with the encouragement from Steve Oliver that we would be the beneficiaries of the prayer of previous generations.
Our church members have risen to the challenge and have given sacrificially into the building fund to the level that we are now able to embark on the extensive renovations that need to be achieved to enable the building to be habitable. Our initial plans and aspirations would see us in the building by mid-December 2017.
Information concerning our plans and progress can be found by following the links above.