German, Nigerian, South Indian, Greek, Canadian, Jamaican, British – those are the nationalities we have represented in the Waterfront Churches (at the last count!). It’s a decent mix of nationalities and cultural backgrounds, but we’re still predominantly British. Is that the way it’s supposed to be?
This part of Ipswich around the Waterfront is becoming increasingly multicultural. The community is made up of people from all over the world, including, but by no means limited to, Eastern Europe and the Indian subcontinent. But do our neighbours from overseas know they’re welcome in their local church?
We want to be a church for the whole community, and we’re ready to welcome people in, no matter where they come from or their ethnic or cultural background.
Sometimes churches define themselves by the nationality of their members. But belonging to a church was never supposed to be around ethnicity or passport. It’s about something else – whether you’re on a quest to know the living God. That quest is something that involves and unites people of all races and nationalities!
For many years I was part of a church at the top of Regent Street, by the BBC’s Broadcasting House, in London. (Could there be a more multicultural city on earth?) The church drew in people from almost everywhere. It was somewhere anyone could get involved and people from every nationality, background and culture felt equally welcome. There was no national superiority or cultural hierarchy. That’s something I’d love people to feel, and be able to say, about the Waterfront Churches.
So everyone’s welcome! Whether you’re British born and bred, or you’ve moved here from overseas, you’re all welcome to our Sunday services, or to any of the midweek activities or groups we run. If you’re from abroad, you may feel far from home and family. But we’d love to make you feel part of our church family. It does help if you speak some English. Language is key to communication, to understanding each other and relationship building. Perhaps we can help? We may have people in the congregation who speak a few words of your mother-tongue language, and others have experience teaching English ESOL classes to those who want to learn English. We will certainly do all we can to make you feel welcome, no matter your background.