About HBC in Chester
In 2019, Hoole Baptist Church, Chester (HBC) began developing its discipleship mission and committed to establishing different missional communities under the umbrella of one leadership church.
A grant from Baptist Insurance Company has allowed HBC to develop its initial missional community, Blacon Central, into a ‘missional base’, which provides training, leadership and support to other missional communities in broken and deprived areas of Chester.
Changing focus transformed Hoole Baptist Church
Seven years ago, HBC began asking itself tough questions to understand the ‘whys’ behind the ‘whats’ of how and who it was as a church. Questions like, “Why do we do Sundays?” became thresholds to bigger questions and deeper understandings about who the church wanted to be.
Rev Andy Glover said: “This is how we got to where we are, really. These questions helped us transition from a more traditional church model to one where integrated mission and discipleship are front and centre of what we do. By establishing flexible missional communities outside of Sunday services, we became more intentional about living our faith as part of daily life.”
The church’s other focus became to bring healing and wholeness to broken lives and communities. In 2015, HBC established a missional community on the Blacon Estate, which has a population of 12,000 and high levels of deprivation. Within two years, a second community was also flourishing on the estate, growing around the families of a local school and children’s club group.
Anne Bishop, Chair of the BIC Grants Committee, said: “We are delighted to support the work of HBC in developing its missional communities. Not only is our grant helping provide training and support to other core teams, it is facilitating important work with children and young people on Blacon Estate. The Blacon Central ‘missional base’ is transforming lives in an area where it’s really needed and supporting other missional communities to do the same.”
Success of Blacon Central spreading far and wide
Rev. Ed Green, Missional Communities Leader, said: “We’ve incorporated missional living with our everyday lives, involving our children and school communities. We’re on the brink of something very exciting in Blacon. We’ve seen people come to faith, be baptised and continue to grow.”
HBC now has eight missional communities across Chester and plans to extend the network into rural areas, providing centralised leadership and support to individual communities, so each can focus on their mission while remaining supported and connected within one church.