A New Approach to Welcome: St Paul's, Weston Super Mare, Bath & Wells Diocese
For the congregation at St Paul’s, Weston Super Mare, being challenged to welcome those in their local community to church has led to more understanding, inclusion and a desire to play a role in transforming the lives of those in their town.
Revd Andrew Alden explains: “We wanted to respond to the many people from vulnerable backgrounds including those recovering from addictions who had started to come to church.”
“With the help of our local treatment centre we identified what would be helpful for clients and what wouldn’t be helpful at all as we tried to make people feel welcome and help them engage with the church. We also offered training for church members, showing us how to support and express love to those who came, within clear and firm boundaries.'
“It is a privilege to be part of a community which is so diverse and I have encouraged people to feel good about that.”
The church continues to attract those in difficult social circumstances, and a charity, Lighthouse, has been set up with the aim of bringing hope to Weston’s people in need.