Lindbergh Road Community Church reaches out to people in the community

How do you build a church without a church building? Pop a gazebo up in your front garden of course!

Lindbergh Road Community Church (LRCC) was formed by the Revd Ian Daniels and his wife Julie Daniels with the help of another couple from St Augustine’s during the Covid pandemic. 

LRCC is located in the Priory Heath Estate in Ipswich and currently the church, a gazebo in Ian and Julie’s front garden, has a regular congregation of 20 – 30 people every Sunday with many others involved in related activities.

The church vision is a thriving church for the estate - offering an open door to those in the community who want to journey with them in faith. 

The Revd Ian says, “It all started with a conversation in the back garden when someone said why don’t you just offer teas and coffee in the front garden and see who comes along.  It was easy, we just had to get the kettle on and the mugs out!” 

Before the pandemic, while Ian was ministering at St Augustine’s church, both he and Julie started thinking about planting a new church – they went to a conference and realised, their own street on an estate nearby really had all the signs of being in need – it seemed harder to reach - but they realised the Priory Heath estate in Ipswich really needed them. 

The Priory Heath estate is in the bottom 10% of deprivation in Suffolk and there have been recent stabbings in the area relating to drug related crimes. 

Initially, during the Covid period Ian and Julie popped leaflets into the doors on the estate offering a service collecting shopping, prescriptions and so on.  These small offers of help and acts of generosity turned into something special.  Once lockdown restrictions allowed six people to gather outside the gazebo church was born.

The gazebo is a visible presence in the estate and people happen to come across it and stop to chat.  Some people donated funds and they bought heaters, urns and a few more mugs. 

The church has grown from there.  Open 2.00pm to 5.00pm, 20 – 30 people still flow through every Sunday.  In 2021, they opened a worship, prayer and singing service in the nearby Inspire Suffolk campus. 

They don’t preach but instead offer discipleship as a journey. People can share thoughts, have discussions, talk about a bible passage and essentially enjoy being together and learning together. Those who come age from a five year old to an 85+ year old.  The congregation is totally intergenerational, and diverse in many ways including neurodiversity. 

Ian says “We offer a safe space, people come to us and they can be who they are without discrimination” 

The Revd Ian also offers people practical help, he has fixed the odd mobility scooter and helped out in a garden for someone struggling.

The couple have continued to grow and LRCC launched a monthly Messy Church on a Friday evening which attracts 30 – 60 regular attendees.  They have also set up ‘Games on the Green’ which puts them in touch with many local families. Julie, who has trained as a Children’s and Family Minister offers drop in sessions every Tuesday at 4.15pm. Until recently they have had a Youth Worker too and now they are looking for a replacement. 

Julie says “We know young people aren’t going to come to us, so we go to them.  We talk to young people in their setting, often the skate park, we make them laugh and find things we can share.  I am hoping to develop our youth work once we have our new team member”.

So how did all this happen? It sounds easy to just get the coffee and the mugs out as per the origins of this church but in reality this has taken time and dedication from Ian and Julie as well as support from those around them.  The church is part of St Augustine’s who support the team with financial governance and safeguarding. 

Inspiring Ipswich have partially funded Julie’s part time role as Children and Families’ Minister. 

The pair have worked with Inspire (a local Youth Charity, part of the Prince’s Trust Scheme and National Citizens Service) and others in the community to gather support and they also seek out donations and grants. 

So what next? In 2023 they are starting the ‘Growing New’ course to develop their skills further and we wish Ian and Julie every success as they provide those in their community the opportunity to share God’s love.

Page last updated: Tuesday 26th September 2023 11:55 AM
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