West Bowling in Bradford is in the top 2% of most deprived estates, with 25% of children living below the poverty line. St Stephen’s Church in West Bowling have had an Eden Team working alongside them since 2019.
Eden Teams live intentionally and sacrificially amongst the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods across the UK, seeking to bring transformation and hope, supporting their partner churches in youth ministry, community projects, gospel outreach and discipleship, all while living within the community and doing life with their neighbours.
This summer, Luke Owens (pictured above) joined them as the new Eden Team Leader. Speaking about Eden in West Bowling, Luke said, “There is a lot of need in the area and we want to come alongside people and meet those needs but most of all we want to see people know the love of Jesus and have a personal relationship with God.
"There are areas of real darkness that we want shine a light on; the children pulled into drugs trafficking and gangs, low educational engagement, people of all ages feeling isolated and not part of a community. We know God can bring transformation in these areas”.
Eden teams have been around for the past 10 years in the Diocese. There are currently two in Bradford with more looking at starting in Leeds.
The Ven Dr Andy Jolley, The Archdeacon of Bradford, said, "Eden have a long and fruitful track record of working in some of the most challenging urban estate communities.
"It's great to have their teams in West Bowling and Buttershaw in Bradford, serving alongside and with the local churches. I'm delighted that plans are now developing for this to happen in Leeds as well."
Eden is planning on establishing a new team in Hunslet in partnership with St Luke’s, Holbeck and the Hunslet Gathering.
If you are interested in finding out more about Eden, please contact Dawn Savidge, Eden Development Manager, at dawn.savidge [at] message.org.uk