Jon and Hannah Finch: “We are so excited to be joining in with what God is already doing in Southampton!”
In September, Jon and Hannah Finch re-launched Saint Mary’s Church in Southampton, with a small team from Holy Trinity Brompton and other linked churches.
Saint Mary's is going to have a particular emphasis on reaching young people and those that don't know Jesus. 70% of young people in the UK now have ‘no religion’, let alone a life-changing faith.
Jon comments, “Our desire is to see this stat reversed and have young people flooding to church to find meaning and purpose.” That has certainly happened at previous HTB church plants around the country (including Bournemouth and Portsmouth).
Their vision isn’t just ‘saving souls’. “We are also here to serve the city. We have been learning as much as we can about Southampton’s needs so that we can help bring social transformation.”
The iconic Saint Mary’s building is still being renovated, to make the church space more flexible, funded in part by a grant from the C of E’s Church Commissioners.
What’s been the reaction from other church leaders? “We have felt so welcomed by many church leaders. It has been exciting to hear the vision and passion for each of those communities. Our prayer is that the Spirit of God would bring the tide in and all the boats would rise as people encounter and follow Jesus.”
Do pray for Jon, Hannah and the team as they start out on this adventure; for the existing congregation of Saint Mary’s as they respond to major changes; and for the thousands of young people and students in Southampton who don’t yet know Jesus.