The following was written by The Rev. Lee McMunn of Trinity Church, Scarborough, and Mission Director of the Anglican Mission in England, a mission society established by GAFCON to multiply and strengthen healthy Anglican churches in England. AMiE provides authentic Anglican oversight for both new church plants outside the Church of England and established fellowships within. It was originally published here on August 16, 2017.
In April 2016, I announced to my church family in Hull that God had given me a burning passion to plant a church in the English seaside town of Scarborough. In fact, God has given me a gospel ambition to see many churches planted in this country. This land is full of people who are worshipping and serving created things rather than their glorious Trinitarian Creator. They are robbing God of his glory and robbing themselves of his infinite joy. England is in desperate need of the old gospel story that can bring new life from the dead. We need countless numbers of new and revitalised churches all over our land. I felt compelled by God’s Spirit to use the skills and talents he had graciously given me to play my part in this mission endeavour.
At the time of my announcement in Hull, we had a very small core church planting team. It consisted of me, my wife, my three children (plus all of their toys!) and a young man who I had persuaded to join as an Assistant Minister. The plan was for him to learn how to plant a church and then in four years go and do the same thing. We didn’t have any money, any more people and no building. But we did have the gospel and we did have confidence a God for whom nothing is impossible.
Our first task was to gather a team. While we did want to evangelise a church into existence we also wanted more gospel voices to be involved in reaching out to lost people. Therefore, we prayed to God and had many conversations. God was incredibly kind. Some decided to relocate their life and move to a new place. New homes, new jobs, new schools – everything for the sake of the gospel! Some did this from Hull; others joined us from a variety of other places. People came from different contexts but all had a common desire to sacrifice so that others could hear about Jesus and be rescued from hell. Others got in touch from Scarborough, families who were longing to come to the type of bible centred church we were planning to establish. Over a few months, our team had grown to 24 adults and 13 children.
Next, God provided the money. The core team pledged their giving, and individuals, other churches and Trust Funds gave generous gifts. And then God gave us an incredible building for us to meet on Sundays. It was perfect for our needs and it was so obvious that God had arranged it for us.
And so, the new church, Trinity Church Scarborough, met for the first time on Sunday 14th May 2017. We had planned for a low-key start to give us time to sort out any teething problems. But from the beginning we’ve had the joy of welcoming new people. News travels fast in Scarborough!
Our aim as a church is to know Jesus and make him known. We seek to do this by proclaiming God’s Word as often as we can. We are convinced that God’s Word applied by his Spirit is what churches need for growth, both numerically and in terms of maturity. We plan to particularly reach out to families with young children but are also responsive to gospel opportunities that our Sovereign Father brings our way.
As such, we are preparing to start our small group ministries, organise evangelism training and are ready to actively promote our existence in our town. In keeping with our aim outlined above, our desire is to sow the seed of the gospel so that God grows his church in Scarborough, winning people for Jesus, and, over time, to start new gospel ministries and churches in our region and beyond. We long to be a resource-giving church, with a generous attitude to release our most gifted to work elsewhere in the Lord’s harvest field.
Trinity Church Scarborough is a church that belongs to the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE). We are a church that is confessionally Anglican. We treasure the 39 Articles and joyfully subscribe to the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. Part of our conviction is that Bishops are for the good of local churches. The right gospel men in this Office can help give vision and leadership to local Presbyters, care for their souls and families, and provide that much needed external voice in church conflicts.
AMiE wants to multiply the number of healthy Anglican churches in England. We need ways of operating in this nation that keeps us at the heart of global biblical Anglicanism but also allows us to work both inside and outside the structures of the Church of England. Some will try the inside track first and after being blocked come to AMiE. But others will come to us first, with good reasons why they have no desire to knock on doors of a local Diocese. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s necessary if we are to reach England for the glory of Jesus. Time is short. Millions need to hear the gospel and be discipled. The need is urgent.
We’d love our brothers and sisters in GAFCON to pray for us. We send out a prayer update every three weeks and if you’d like to subscribe to this then email: firstname.lastname@example.org. But to get you started, here are three current prayer points:
- Pray that we would keep evangelism as one of our top priorities.
- Pray that the congregation would feel a compulsion to share the gospel and invite their friends, family and colleagues to hear about Jesus.
- Pray for God to establish a new outreach ministry in the autumn. We’re also thinking about a students and international ministry.
Revd Lee McMunn
Senior Minister, Trinity Church Scarborough
Mission Director, Anglican Mission in England