Chessington is a suburban area within 40 minutes commuting distance of London. It has a population of about 10,000 people from a mixture of working class and middle class backgrounds. Chessington Evangelical Church (CEC) meets at the King’s Centre, which is a community building constructed 12 years ago in the middle of a 500 home private housing estate, built at the same time.
Preparation: The mission was called The Eternity Mission and took place in March 2007. It was held as a joint mission with the south west London branch of the South East Gospel Partnership.
It was a ‘two centre’ mission run over two weeks. For one week it was based among a group of churches in the Wimbledon area of London, and during another week it was centred among a group of churches in the Chessington area.
Nine churches participated in our mission, they were...
- Cheam Baptist
- Emmanuel Tolworth
- Christchurch Surbiton
- Christchurch Ewell
- Banstead Community
We ran a series of evening services with slots focusing on different aspects of preparation. In these slots we addressed how members might go about inviting people to events, we also went through the evangelistic booklet 2 Ways to Live – which we learnt – and we also talked about how to go about answering difficult questions. The mission jointly produced a resources booklet that was very thorough (ie strategies for evangelism, testimonies, events, etc.). These booklets were given to members of the congregation. We also held a series of prayer meetings, both internally in the church and jointly with other churches involved. The joint mission invited the evangelist to come and meet with the organising team before the event to discuss the approach he would take. We showed videos of the evangelist in our main services, so as to build confidence in him with the congregation.
We ran a week of events, targeting specific ‘audiences’:
- A craft fair for ladies (more than 400 attended)
- A quiz night for young adults (85 attended)
- A ‘seeker service’ for all (more than 500 attended)
- A breakfast for men (170 attended)
- A ‘bands’ competition for teenagers (more than 200 attended)
- A final event with the Wimbledon Group
- A Concert at Wimbledon Theatre with London Community Gospel Choir (1,500 attended)
We used a visiting speaker for all events. This was mainly Rico Tice from All Souls Church, Langham Place.
We ran Christianity Explored courses straight after the mission.
Looking back at the mission we estimate that more than 500 people who wouldn’t have otherwise heard the gospel heard it over that week. Several people later came to study with us on Christianity Explored courses and some were converted to the Christian faith as a result. Throughout the mission the congregation were focused and mobilised into thinking about evangelism. Finally, we had the opportunity to work in partnership with a variety of other churches, both locally and on an interdenominational level.