Our Next 12 Months

church plantingOver recent weeks we have shared about our call and our vision to plant a church in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the UK.  You can read about our call in general here and about the name of our congregation, Northern Lights Church, here.  So practically, how do you go about planting a church?  In this post we will explain how our plans currently shape up.

Late July and August: 

We plan to leave Australia on 30 July.  After arriving in Halifax, we will find a place to live and look for part-time work.  Our thought with work is that we think it would be asking a baby church too much to be the only source of income for our family.  However if we have full time jobs then there simply won’t be enough hours available to give to the church.  So we plan to get part time jobs and also draw a part time wage from the church.  We imagine that the fund raising we do in Australia will allow us to accomplish that.  Also in August we will enrol Poppy at school, visit friends in Southport, UK, and hopefully find 2 weeks or so to go over to Canada for a holiday.


Poppy starts school.  We will begin searching for a suitable venue for the church to meet.  We will meet with as many people in and around the town as possible.  We will begin to raise awareness in the community of our presence, our name and what are going to be doing.  We will lodge our application for registration with the UK Charities Commission.


We will continue to raise awareness, and prepare for our first preview service.  A preview service is a dress rehearsal.  We plan to have three preview services each a month apart.  They will be in mid November, mid December and mid January.  In October we will also put time into the church website and getting a database in place, and finding some musicians who can help us in the early days.


In mid November we will hold our first preview service.  Even though it is a dry run it works better with a crowd, so we will give it plenty of publicity and will collect the details of the people who attend.  In the days and weeks after the service we will make contact with the people who attended and see how many would like to be part of our launch team.  We will continue to raise our profile in the community.


In mid December we will hold our second preview service.  Afterwards we will continue to follow people up, build the launch team, and evaluate the service.

January 2014:

In mid January we will hold our third and final preview service.  As with the others we will follow people up, build the launch team, and evaluate the service.  We will increase our publicity efforts in the run in to the launch in February.

February 2014:

On February 9 or 16 we will have our official launch.  With as much publicity as is humanly possible we will commence weekly Sunday services.  We are aiming for a blaze of glory to begin with!  God has already given us the passage to preach from that day (1 John 1).  We will continue to evaluate everything that we do, and begin to identify some of the people that are already Christians who have leadership potential and put time into them to see what their gifts and callings are.

Remainder of 2014:

We will keep our focus on having consistently excellent Sunday services.  Other programs will be developed as the years go by, but they will not be the focus during 2014.  The priority will be the standard of the Sunday meetings and developing the other systems that are priority in our first year.  More about those systems in my next post!

Being a lawyer I will end with a disclaimer – there is plenty of scope for these plans to change!  We are going to a 2 day church planting course with the CRC on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 April.  We are hoping to get a lot of great ideas at that time, as well as meet other church planters so iron can sharpen iron!

John & Catherine

2 Comments to “Our Next 12 Months”

  1. Out of interest why the decision to do this in the UK rather than Australia?

    • We feel that this is what God wants us to do. Originally Catherine got excited about doing some missions work in Eastern Europe. I (John) did not share it but in June last year felt God was saying to me to move to England, plant a church there, and that church would be the base for what we end up doing in Eastern Europe.

      I would certainly be much easier to start up here in Melbourne, but that’s what we feel we are meant to do. That you Dion Newburn??

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