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In his March budget, George Osborne gave fresh impetus to the Government’s plans to build a new ‘Garden City’ in Ebbsfleet, North Kent. We’re not sure what he means by a ‘Garden City’. Perhaps it means, ‘Every new house comes with a garden.’ Or maybe it means, ‘It’s expensive here, so no poor people please!’ But whatever else it means, surely the most exciting definition is this: ‘New Gospel Opportunity!

Over the next ten years, the new Ebbsfleet Garden City will grow to around 15,000 homes. That’s a lot of people. It will be situated close to the M25, and next door to Bluewater Shopping Centre. It will be served by the (already built) high speed train station at Ebbsfleet, allowing travel to London in less than twenty minutes. It will serve as a dynamo for economic regeneration for the area and will attract many working people and families. The plans look exciting, with new schools, and extensive retail and leisure facilities.

And yet, the developers have no plans to build any faith buildings!

The Association of Grace Baptist Churches (South East) is committed to reaching the lost in this area. Since 2011, the Gateway Project has been seeking to plant a house-based church in the next-door town of Gravesend. Our basic approach has been for Christians to move into an area, and seek to reach their unsaved neighbours and friends through personal evangelism and gospel-focused hospitality.

We believe that Ebbsfleet can be reached, through ‘Everyday outreach, by everyday Christians, to everyday people.’

Could you be part of this new gospel venture? Are you able to consider moving into a new area, and join a team of Christians to reach out to your neighbourhood? Would you use your (new) home as a base for hospitality, gospel friendship and outreach? Could you work with an existing team of Christians for the gospel?

Please pray about this new gospel opportunity. If you are considering moving into the area and want to join this project, to chat more about it (no strings attached) please contact Nigel Hoad.

GBM are also looking for someone to serve an Envision Apprenticeship with the Gateway Project and Hope Church, Gravesend. This would be for two years, and offers opportunities to reach out not only to the population of a new Garden City but also to reach the significant Sikh community in Gravesend. For more details contact Jim Sayers via our contact form.   

[P.S. Actually, we have since discovered that the term, “Garden City,” was first coined in 1898, by the liberal social reformer, Sir Ebenezer Howard. He argued that self-sufficient towns, ringed by agricultural land were the way forward in seeking to alleviate the appalling social conditions he saw in the big cities of Victorian England. We know the gospel is the only real answer, but nice towns can’t be a bad idea either!]

Ebbsfleet Development