July 2018 baptisms

We celebrated seven baptisms last Sunday at our Hampden Park venue, captured here along with their stories of why they chose to follow Jesus.

Timings: Charlie 00:00, Fran 03:28, Danni 05:47, Ryan 10:45, Jemima 12:07, Naomi 13:34, Kim 16:23

Exiles Teaching Series

We are aliens, strangers, sojourners and exiles. We may be persecuted, harassed, intimidated and ostracised. Or we may be welcomed, as long as we assimilate; accepted, as long as we conform. ‘Don’t say *this*, don’t do *that*’.

Outnumbered, we’re moving against the flow. Our citizenship belongs to another place, our identity comes from a greater Being.

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We love our towns, our cities, our country. But we don’t want to be colonised by the culture. Each of has to wrestle with this question: how do we live as faithful exiles?

Join us as we kick off our new teaching series exploring the book of Daniel. Starting 29th April at Hampden Park and Centro, with all talks made available online at www.kings.church/teaching

We look forward to seeing you at Kings!

Inkosi Kids Newsletter — April 2018

Graham, Belinda, Dave and June have recently returned from their trip to Zimbabwe to visit the Early Childhood Education school in Trenance which many of you contribute to.

It was so encouraging to see the school in action again and meet the dedicated staff. We have a new member of staff in addition to the original four. She is “Aunty Lucy” and is a fully qualified teacher, as required by the government in order to get the school registered. Registration is a long and drawn out process (as are all things in Zim) but Taurai and Taps are working hard to make it happen.

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We met the new intake of children (all very scrummy!) and were able to see the New curriculum brought in last year, being taught. The teachers have had to make significant changes to line up with what is required of them now, but have embraced change with a good heart. They have a packed timetable so have increased the time the children are at school to fit it all in. They start at 8am and finish at 1pm. It’s a long morning for the youngest of the children and they have less time to play. We talked about the importance of keeping Jesus at the Centre and not getting bogged down with what is required and reminded them of the importance of praying together as a team and with the children.

The new intake of children

↑   The new intake of children

The day we first visited the school the children were all outside practicing for an inter school sports day. They had made a running track and were practicing running, a sack race, throwing and bowling the tyre. A group were also practicing for a “mass display” which involves marching and chanting led by a parent who came in on the children’s day off to train them! We also witnessed one of the girls from ECD B (5years old) recite a poem, written by Samu in English, from memory. Amazing!

↑   ECD A

↑   ECD B

A group practicing for mass display

↑   A group practicing for mass display

Snack Time

↑   Snack time

The teachers had noticed a difference in this years intake in that some of the children are arriving at school hungry, a direct result of the economic situation in the country, unemployment and family break up. The food the children receive mid morning is so important for them.

We also visited the local Primary school where the children graduate to once they have completed their time in ECD. The Headteacher is always pleased to see us and talked about the challenges she faces working in such a deprived area. Obviously she is very grateful for the children we sponsor as she is guaranteed to receive their termly fees. She also takes some responsibility for the oversight of the ECD in terms of the curriculum and standards.

She arranged for all of the children we sponsor to come out of class to have their photos taken and it was lovely to see them all. The first group to go through the ECD are now in Grade 4!

We also sponsor the children of the teachers and some other older children so it was great to catch up with them too. Ma Phiri’s son achieved 5 ‘O’levels and is studying for 2 more subjects at another school because his school did not offer them, as he wants to be a lawyer. Happiness who is an orphan and had missed a year of school after her mother died is now catching up with her studies. We had the privilege of taking her to the shops to buy her a winter uniform and a mountain of school books and her friends Tendai and Takunda are taking ‘O’ levels this year to name but a few. None of this would have happened without your support.

All the staff, children and church leaders asked us to pass on our thanks to you as individuals and as King’s Church for what you have done and are doing to improve their lives. They know they can never repay you but say they will work hard and do their best to make you proud!

To find out more about our child sponsorship program in Zimbabwe visit our Inkosi Kids webpage.

Easter 2018 baptisms

Amazing to see 16 people get baptised at Kings last weekend. Why have they given their lives to Jesus? Catch up with their stories here.

Timings: Lydia (00:00), Nigel (03:20), Nadia (05:27), Teah (11:45), Mia (15:18), Noah (16:53), Reuben (19:28), Leilani (22:10), Kim (24:12), Deana (27:00), Nick (33:22), Joyce (35:26), Steve (37:34), James (39:51), Max (42:05), Callum (47:25).

A Whole Generation

Reaching young people is amazing. 2018 marks thirty years since Kings was planted. In this time a whole generation of kids and young people have grown up amongst us, left home and are influencing the world around them. In this collage we’ve captured a small snapshot of the first generation that has grown up at Kings.

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I’m a proper Hampden Park girl. I went to school at Parklands, bought my penny sweets in Paper Lane and have been feeding those ducks in the park since I was born!

I’m one of four kids, we lived with my mum and went to my Dad’s on the weekend. Church wasn’t part of our lives, it was just something our grandparents did because that’s what grandparents do.

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As a teenager, I struggled with anger and depression. I was rebellious and sinking into some dangerous habits. I had no motivation for life. Although I didn’t know at the time, I was craving acceptance, belonging and purpose.

One night, some mates of mine dared me to knock on the door of a house we walked past with an Alpha Course poster in the window. We had no idea what it was about and were greeted by a very excited, jolly Belinda who explained it was about God!! She was really nice, but church and God was not for us.

“I was a pretty dodgy and intimidating teenager and yet I was welcomed with open arms.”

I lived just up the road and for about a year I’d bump into her out and about every so often until one day she invited me to help paint the local scout hut as part of an outreach weekend. Something intrigued me, so I went along.

I was 16 at this point and off the back of painting the scout hut, Belinda invited me to Kings. After about a month of coming on Sundays, meeting some very lovely people and quizzing Belinda on what this was all about, I chose to follow Jesus.

This decision changed the course of my life. I had nothing going for me, I had given up on myself and yet He pursued me, redeemed my life from the pit and crowned me with love and compassion.

I’ve had some amazing blessings and times of pure joy, I’ve also had some really dark and tough times too. There are no promises that the Christian life is easy, but He has always provided me with exactly what I’ve needed to get through, and always in such a personalised way.

Kings was a great environment to figure out what this all meant, equipping me for life and laying the foundations of my faith that still hold strong today.

“This decision changed the course of my life. I had nothing going for me, I had given up on myself ”

It felt like I was involved in every part of Kings life. I was loved and cared for by so many people of different ages and backgrounds. I was a pretty dodgy and intimidating teenager and yet I was welcomed and embraced with open arms.

I was at Kings for about two years before I moved to London to do Impact (a Christian discipleship gap year) and serve on projects with local young people and the homeless.

I still live in London with my husband Ben. We’re involved in church planting in Lewisham borough, with a real heart for the community, particularly the issue of serious youth violence.

When I was younger I found it hard to stick with anything for very long, but by the grace of God, who has been not letting me go for nearly 15 years, I’m approaching my 10th wedding anniversary, have had quite a successful career as a quantity surveyor working for award winning companies and got myself one of those fancy university degrees.

As a teenager, I never could have imagined the experiences that God has brought me through and the adventures He takes me on. I’m thankful for His consistent provision and pursuit of me.

Born in the 80s, changing the future!

Before the iPhone, SnapChat or the internet, there was Kings! Planted in the 80s, in the age of the Rubix Cube, Ceefax and the Commodore 64, Kings Church began in Old Town, in a house, with just eighteen people.

On 4th September 1988 we had our first meeting in Ratton School. We’ve since planted two new venues and in October 2017 we celebrated twenty years since we had our very first Sunday meeting at the Kings Centre.

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Ratton School 1988

↑   First meetings in Ratton School, 1988

Back then just 170 adults gave enough money to purchase the Kings Centre for £570,000. Even though we raised the money there were many obstacles to overcome, it was a roller coaster ride and against all the odds. But God came through and we secured the building.

We rattled around in this massive tin shack and set about converting an old carpet warehouse into something much more special. It was just the beginning!

Living downstream

We were driven by a vision. Our founding leader, Don, would regularly warn us that if we didn’t reach young people our church would die out within a generation.

We ran Evolution and brought the kids from the surrounding estates on double-decker buses. We ran Kids Klub and did ‘home visiting’. We ran Sports Klubs, Holiday Clubs and S.T.O.R.M. youth groups (‘Spiritual Teenagers On Radical Mission!’). All of this was week-in, week-out; slowly but surely seeing God work and transform lives. In this a whole host of young people have grown up at Kings, now in their twenties and thirties. Many have their own kids, are sold-out for Jesus and living lives where they’re making a difference in the world around them.

“we’re living downstream of the incredible generosity and vision of those that came before.”

We’ve seen amazing fruit over the last twenty years, and not just in the youth work. In fact, our whole church looks totally different. And while it’s involved the heart and soul of hundreds of amazing volunteers at Kings, over two decades (!), it was all made possible by the pioneers who purchased our first permanent base.

For the hundreds that have joined us since, we’re living downstream of the incredible generosity and vision of those that came before.

Kings Church 1990

↑   1990: Town Centre outreach and church picnic in Gildredge Park

Churches grow, visions grow

When we first moved into the Centre, it felt massive, and there was 40% of the building we didn’t think we would use. Ever. It’s amazing to think how much things have changed. Now every nook and cranny has been maxed out — the Centre has been a fantastic resource.

And yet we have an opportunity to do so much more with what we already have. With a thoughtful redesign and a change in the way we use the building, we could carve out a tool that will help us be much more effective in reaching Eastbourne.

Questions, questions

Over the last twenty years we’ve used Kings as a conference centre, hiring out the rooms and facilities. Last year it contributed £121,000 to our income as a church. But while it’s been amazing in this respect, a conference centre is never going to change the face of Eastbourne. In fact, we increasingly feel it’s now inhibiting our focus.

“We have a big vision: to reach families and eradicate loneliness…”

Questions have been asked: should we move? Should we build a bigger venue, or look for an extra one? When we sought God in this he never spoke about going somewhere else. Our leaders took some time out to go on a retreat in 2016 and felt God speak:

“All that you have is in the house. I gave you the building, it’s now time to start using it in line with the vision.”

We know that right now we are meant to remain at the Kings Centre and pursue the vision here.

Using the building in line with the vision

We have a big vision: to reach families and eradicate loneliness, to give every teenager a second chance and every unborn child the chance of life. It’s time to transform the Centre into a bespoke building tailored to the purposes of God.

The decision has been made: we’re downgrading the conference centre and building a family centre instead. We’ll be taking back the space we’re currently renting out and using it for the mission of the church. On paper it’s a big risk but we know the safest place to be is right at the centre of God’s will — whatever that looks like. But it will require two things from all of us: courage and devotion — the same spirit that marked us out in the early days.


It’s time to upgrade!

The redesign and re-purposing of the building also makes good sense. While the Centre might look okay on the surface, behind the scenes there’s a lot of restoration that needs taking place. Leaking roofs, broken boilers, holes in the sports hall floor… the list is extensive. Everything in the building is at least twenty years old and has come to the end of its life.

So why just reinvest in like for like? People love to upgrade their technology, their houses and cars; and often for good reasons. Families grow, needs change. Now we need to upgrade our building! This is a great time to change gears, re-imagine and go full throttle into the next two decades with a building fully equipped to serve our town and reach people with the good news of Jesus.

The plans for the redevelopment of Kings are currently underway. Watch this space for more information soon!