Browse the website for Saint Laurence Reading Church and you will discover a church with a different look and a different story. It’s architecture dates to 1121–yet it much of it feels brand new. Look at the vision of the parish and you will discover it is not a quiet country chapel. Is it possible for an Anglican Church to do church by young people for young people–especially young people who have no Church or prior Christian faith?
The Rev. Canon Chris Russell and the team at Saint Laurence are making a go of it. Apparently they are having some success too–as the Archbishop of Canterbury announced today that he has appointed the Rev. Russell as his new Advisor for Evangelism and Witness. (See http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5090/archbishop-of-canterburys-new-advisor-for-evangelism-and-witness).
I personally am encouraged by this appointment–or more specifically by the example of St Laurence, in that our team at Church of Our Savior has been working for a year now to plant seeds of a new congregation in our parish, to be shaped by youth for the next generation. It is not “youth church” or “youth ministry”: rather, we are seeking to build a new congregation from the ground up, planting a church within a church. Therefore, much of what is said on the St Laurence website parallels what we are trying to do in Florida. They are several years ahead of us on the timeline, and so to see what has emerged there is a picture of some of the fruit that God’s seeds will bear here in Florida in the coming years. Thank you Jesus.