Welcome Wednesday and Friday brings new growth

Since starting pre-Covid, St Thomas in Ensbury Park’s Welcome Wednesday, Friday (and monthly Saturday), has seen faith driven growth and new purpose.

The initiative began when welcoming parent’s in after drop off for a cup of tea, this inevitably had to stop in COVID. The welcome space then started up again in 2022, inspired by Bishop Stephen’s golden envelope challenge and partially funded by the National Church’s Warm Spaces, it has continued to thrive ever since.

Rev Simon Evans, Vicar of Ensbury Park and Dorset Police Chaplain said “In terms of Making Jesus Known, it’s very much a sense of presence and welcome…we’ve seen faith develop in some people and in others it’s a place where they can come and ask questions without any judgement.”

Darren, a regular at Welcome Wednesdays and a lead volunteer, has had his own journey with mental health and has worked to make the initiative a place of welcome and healing for people who are isolated. He said “I feel that it’s so difficult to get support with mental health and a lot of people don’t get help until they are in crisis. But we want to be a place that reaches out to the community…I see us as a way of capturing people as they fall and help them walk again.”


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