A new church community has been commissioned in Hunslet, looking to embrace the diverse cultures and aspirations of the local community.
The Hunslet Gathering was commissioned by the Rt Revd Paul Slater, Bishop of Kirkstall, at an event on October 10, where he signed a Bishop’s Mission Order (BMO).
The event included the signing of the BMO by Bishop Paul at St Luke’s Holbeck, before a walk into Hunslet in the afternoon.
The Gathering began when the Revd Canon Alistair Kaye, Vicar at St Luke’s, started a monthly Sunday meeting in Hunslet in April 2019, in collaboration with Parish of Hunslet and Belle-Isle.
Over the next few months, with growing attendance, a format emerged for the gatherings, which included family focussed worship and interactive Bible readings and discussions, prayers, and all followed by a meal together.
2020 saw the addition of a second Sunday monthly gathering.
When COVID-19 hit, the Gathering quickly moved online, as everyone was eager to connect during the lockdown, and provided online activities five days a week.
When lockdown slowly lifted in July 2021, the Gathering re-started meeting in-person monthly outside, on Hunslet Square, next to the Hunslet Library.
The Gathering also has a team of people praying with people on the streets on Thursdays.
The Revd Dr Jean-Louis Pecher, leader of the Hunslet Gathering, said: “Over the last two years, we have had opportunities to really shape our style and activities to identify with the community we serve, and we thank the Holy Spirit for leading us through these changing times.
“Whether it was increasing our activities when COVID hit, to provide a sense of community when we transitioned online, or being able to be visible on the streets because we don’t have a church building, it is such a pleasure to see a growing core team willing to adapt and dream about Gathering more and more people in the name of Christ.
“We look forward to building this growing gathering of Christian disciples, rooted in prayer, empowered by Jesus’ teachings, dependent on the Holy-Spirit, and willing to demonstrate the love of Christ in presence and actions in Hunslet and the surrounded areas.
“We are thankful for the provision made by St Luke’s Church, the Diocese of Leeds and the Church Commissioners in support of this mission initiative.”