A place where people matter
The strapline for Oasis underpins the congregation’s latest project
Oasis Christian Centre in Redditch was originally founded in 1976 as part of the Elim Pentecostal movement. When Robin Baker became Pastor of the church in 2001, his vision was for a church without walls, with a congregation reaching out to the community to help the poor, needy and vulnerable.
The vision has become a reality, as Oasis now provides an inspiring range of outreach programmes. From a hot meal service that feeds 50 people a week, to a foodbank that has provided food to over 2,100 people, Oasis is making a difference across the community.
The church also runs two charity shops in the town, offering good quality goods at low prices while also providing Christian witness. The shops have been transformational for some volunteers who have learnt new skills and gone on to find work.
Any profits from the shops are used to buy Christmas presents for children who would otherwise go without, as well as food parcels for families. Last Christmas 101 families received food hampers, and 192 children had new toys.
Thanks to the shops in two deprived areas of town, the church has regular contact with people on the very fringes of society. “I see about 290 people regularly who don’t even come to church,” explains Pastor Robin.
Building for the future
Since the year 2000 the outreach activities have been operating from a bungalow next to the church. Now Oasis wants to demolish the bungalow to build a new 300-seater church, with flexible space to house community activities.
The new building will have a huge impact on the area, enabling the church to extend community outreach programmes to include a daily drop-in coffee shop and money advice courses. The development will also enable the church to double the hot meal service.
This is exactly the type of project Allchurches Trust is here to support. When we visited the site recently, Grants Officer Paul Playford commented: “This is clearly a project which will benefit the most vulnerable and needy in Redditch and will hugely enhance the ministry of the Church.”