Church on the Bus is moving on – exciting times! Over the 14 years that Church on the Bus has been in operation one thing has remained constant, the vision and commitment to start taking the good news of the gospel and the love of Jesus to the homeless and isolated people of our town. At present the Bus continues to be the focal point for this project. It arrives in Chesterfield Town centre two evenings per week and one afternoon per week in Matlock.
Many who attend the Bus have long term problems ranging from drug or alcohol dependence, needing support to manage mental health issues as well as those who remain on the edge of main stream society and live lonely and isolated lives.
Recently the numbers attending the Bus have increased. This may have resulted from the changes in social policy, the increase and availability of some drugs and the financial constraints placed on other agencies that restrict their opportunities to intervene. In Chesterfield the current pattern is for there to be between 30 and 40 attending the Bus on any one evening. The record attendance stands at 47 in one night. The limited space and resources available on the bus mean the management of these numbers is difficult. Volunteers are just managing the situation rather than having the opportunity to get alongside the Guests. We also must consider the safety aspects of managing such numbers in a confined space.
So what to do about these developments? After prayer and reflection the trustees have felt led by God to consider finding a permanent base for the continuation of the work. At this time John Phillips, the Chair of the Trustees of Church on the Bus, called into Grace Chapel in the Market Place, Chesterfield. Not only did he receive a warm welcome, he was offered the use of the facilities of the Chapel to be the meeting point.
Taking up this offer and following God’s prompting will change the work from Church on the Bus into Church From The Bus. There are excellent facilities available at Grace Chapel. It will be a positive place for the work of service to the needy, a safer environment for the volunteers and part of a coordinated pattern of provision by linking in with others providing support for those who need it.
In Matlock, we are making provision to use the room above the Christian Bookshop in the town centre. Here again God has provided a suitable base for our work.
Church on the Bus would like to thank you for all the support you have given over the years. Your prayers, interest, donations and giving have been recognised and valued. We would like to hope that you will continue with your support and involvement so that by sharing in this work we can continue to serve God and share His love and care for members of our community.
For more information about Grace Chapel click here.