It can sometimes be difficult to write too much here about what I do. I reflect on themes and feelings, but the lives I am involved in and with do not feature here because it simply does not seem right.
I am in the High Street most days and I have found 2 or 3 places where I intentionally hang out regularly. In some places I am building relationships with staff, in others with customers and in others with both. I have been in thee places more or less solidly for 9 months, simply getting to know people and really hear what is happening. I have also done a lot of watching …. watching where people go, how people act with each other, what people do and try to discern what people feel they are looking for.
I can’t remember who used the term, but ‘I have been listening to the heartbeat of the community’. I’ve particularly been noticing where it resonates with the heartbeat of God …. identified by those ‘cracks’ where I notice the light of God’s KIngdom leaking in o this community.
I believe I have now got to a stage when I need to do something. Gillingham is a much smaller and tighter community than Rochester and I think I am in a situation now that gives me a choice. I have arrived here quicker than I did in Rochester. I could continue to visit cafes and places, and it would be nice and comfortable, but I’m not sure anything would develop further than where I am at the moment.
If I have been listening to the heartbeat, I now need to identify and follow the flow.
I believe we have come to a point when we need a location to develop a Christian presence and welcoming place from. Call it ‘sanctuary’, ‘pop up church’, ‘drop in’ or whatever, but we need somewhere, some base from which we can support people and offer ‘something’.
You will notice a lot of ‘somethings’ in my way ahead. In my mind those somethings are blanks, but they are people blanks because I believe I only have part of the picture. The rest of the ‘blank somethings’ comes with other people that will join me in this. Some of those people I believe I have met and we have shared dreams. Others I think I still need to meet.
So I am looking and I am talking, which is a bit different to watching and listening. I am praying, and conscious of many people praying with me … some even on their knees outside a possible shop location …. please feel free to join us in this prayer. Likewise, if you think you can colour in one of the blanks and we have not spoken …. please get in touch too.