Church Life

Happy 20th Birthday, Jubilee!

When Esther first asked me to write this piece for the blog about Jubilee’s 20th birthday, as I have only been a part of Jubilee for the past 7 years and don’t have a background in Newfrontiers, I decided to do some research. Did you know, for example, that Newfrontiers is (according to Wikipedia at least) a “neo-charismatic apostolic network of evangelical, charismatic churches”? Don’t worry, I didn’t know what “neo-charismatic” was either, but it did get me going down a rather interesting wiki-trawl; you know, the ones when you start out looking at something pertinent, but end up reading about the political situation in southern Yugoslavia in 1950 or something…

Anyway, I discovered that Newfrontiers was started in the 1970s by Terry Virgo out of the Charismatic Renewal Movement and was mainly house churches in south east England. Terry himself was based in Brighton. By the 1990s Terry had had a prophetic picture about a bow and arrow over south east England, which needed to be pulled back over the rest of England in order to be effective in then reaching Europe and the rest of the world. Out of this came two church planting initiatives; one led by Colin Baron in Manchester and the other by David Devenish in the Midlands. Guess which one Jubilee was a part of?! (You can read more about the Newfrontiers journey here)

jubilee launch GB
At the launch. Photo credit: G Byles

So in 1997 Jubilee Church Coventry was launched; a small, but intrepid group meeting at a local primary school. A lot has changed since then. We have been part of several local church plants as well as helping with other churches internationally. We currently have links with churches in Bosnia, Cambodia, Germany, Turkey and France, with several more on the horizon.

Throughout the years we have met at schools, church halls, hotels (some much better than others) and latterly at Coventry University. We’ve looked at many different sites and buildings with a view to buying and establishing our home, all of which have come to nothing for one reason or another. Excitingly we are currently starting down a road to a building which is progressing further than ever before and continues to look incredibly promising!

Since 2014 and the first MotoFest, we have had the privilege to be increasingly involved in our city, as Champions, Ambassadors and now as a part of the City of Culture 2021 – exciting times are ahead!

In 2016 we had somewhat of a population explosion, of the younger variety, with 21 babies – including a set of twins – born to Jubilee families in that year alone! Approximately 40% of the church is currently under the age of 18, with 60% of those under the age of five!

While many things have changed since 1997, one thing remains; we are a community committed to each other and to Jesus, building together and looking outward to bless our city. Here’s to the next 20 years!

By Faith Miller

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