One of Lisburn’s newest churches, Lagan Valley Vineyard, is continuing to go from strength to strength and there are even greater things on the horizon.
The church, which began as a campus branch of Coleraine Vineyard, began above the Faith Mission Shop in Chapel Hill but has expanded so much over recent years they had to move first to Haslem’s Lane and then to the Island Hall at the Civic Centre.
The church leaders - Andrew and Dana Masters, and Mark and Yvette Wilkinson - have now taken the step of seeking planning permission for a new church building at the former 6,500 sq ft Jollyes store at the Altona Industrial Estate.
From humble roots with just 24 members, Vineyard’s numbers have grown steadily, with some 200 now worshipping each Sunday.
Whilst waiting for planning approval for their new ‘hub’, Vineyard will be meeting in Pond Park Primary School.
“It is not a traditional service,” explained Andrew, who used to be a youth worker at Railway Street Presbyterian Church. “It is very informal and we try to make people feel comfortable. We have about 200 on a Sunday and everyone is made very welcome.
“We place high value on the Scriptures and teach life-applicable subjects, God has plenty to say to people about their every day life.”
However, Vineyard is not just about the building or the congregations, their greatest calling is to impact the local community and that is something the leaders are passionate about.
“The church isn’t a building, it’s a family. We want to be the best church for the city,” Andrew said. “We want to be people who carry hope, vision and courage.
“We are very positive about the future and we have a huge heart for this region.”
Vineyard members have been carrying out a lot of outreach work in the Lisburn area, and particularly in Pond Park, where they held a family fun day for the local community. “We are here to support and serve the incredible people of this city,” continued Andrew.
“We are not trying to just get people into church, we are trying to get them out into the community.
“The Sunday morning service is a tiny piece of what we do. We love Lisburn and being part of bringing life to this city.”
Find out more about Lagan Valley Vineyard by logging onto www.vineyardchurches.org.uk, join them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/laganvalleyvineyard or go along to a service in Pond Park Primary School on Sundays at 10.30am.