My e-mail is back (Huzzah) and here’s the tri-fold briefing that springs from the stuff I’ve been sent:
1. Reading Boiler room is shutting down. It’s lease has come to an end and the crew feel it is not right to be seeking another property. 24-7 goes from strength to strength but the Reading Boiler room will close after a farewell on June 30th. The full details are in the form of a letter (in the extended entry)
2. CYM are building an ‘ongoing professional development’ stream of seminars for Yoof Wurkas. July 13th (10am-4pm) sees a day on Theology and Youth Work at the Midlands Centre for Youth Ministry, facilitated by Paul Nash.
There’s also one on “Enneagrams” in the same place at the same time (I think).
3. The Tearfund youthworker in Oxford is looking for an opportunity to meet with/speak to groups before July 14th. Details via me.
â€œI tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.â€ John 12:24
This letter comes to you with some news which is both sad but also encouraging and exciting, to announce that Reading Boiler Room will be closing at the end of June.
When we met as a team in April to discuss our future and particularly the end of our tenancy at Gosbrook Road, there was a unanimous sense of God speaking to us, that it was time to bring an end to the Boiler Room in Reading. God often speaks at moments of crossroads and at this one, his voice was particularly clear. To embark on a search for a third venue in our 5 years would have required a clear sense of Godâ€™s call and a clear indication that the Boiler Room was part of his plan for Reading for another season. As a team, and also in consulting with others, we believe instead to have heard a clear call to bring this particular journey to an end.
So itâ€™s with sadness that we have to announce the formal closure of the Boiler Room in Reading. Our last day is Friday 30 June, and to finish weâ€™ll be holding a half night of prayer, of stories and of celebration of all that Godâ€™s done. The evening will be from 8pm to Midnight and youâ€™d all be very welcome.
But itâ€™s also with encouragement and faith that weâ€™re closing our doors, realising that God has done so much and seeing new shoots of growth all over the world.
o In 1999, Martin Scott prophesied that a â€˜new monastic orderâ€™ would be birthed in Reading. Since our opening in October 2001 a further 8 Boiler Rooms have launched in the UK, Canada and the US, with communities also being built in Spain, Germany and across the world. 24-7 Prayer continues to support and build these new and emerging Boiler Rooms.
o The Boiler Room has been able to maintain a 5 year rhythm of prayer and of specific 24-7 weeks. We probably will never know the full impact the prayers of people have had and will have on our town, but our belief is that God has done â€˜far more than we could ask or imagine.â€™
o We continue to receive visitors from around the UK and the nations. At time of writing over 300 visitors from outside the UK have come to Reading, from Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Asia and Africa.
â€œBeing here has opened up a new world and lifestyle of prayer to me, a new fascination and interest in the Bible and very much a new dimension and stage on my relationship journey with God.â€ Jen, a visitor from Sheffield.
o The Boiler Room has been able to touch the lives of those who would not normally enter the doors of churches:- young people, the homeless, the excluded, those of other religions, those who would declare themselves atheists. Many have come to pray in our two unlikely homes, some have found Christ for the first time.
So as we head into the sunset, we do so with faith that God is at work in our town and resolving to continue to pray day and night for itsâ€™ salvation. Weâ€™d like to thank you for your help, involvement, support and kindness to us and your commitment to the Boiler Room over the past 5 years.
Hereâ€™s to the new God dreams, which are brewing in others, even as you read this.
Lorraine Joslin, Pete Ward, Terri Roberts and Andy Freeman