The Light Church was born on 25thAugust 2008. We (John and Lizzie Kirkby and Matt and Josie Barlow) felt God call us to start a new community of believers that would prioritise helping people who are struggling against the huge obstacles of poverty and disadvantage. We wanted our community to be radically inclusive so people from all walks of life would feel included and loved as well as being inspired and challenged to love God deeply.
So we said to God: ‘If you bring 12 people with capacity we’ll go for it.’ So we held our first meeting for anyone interested and 52 people came. We took that as a sign! After a month of having lunch in different people’s houses in September we started meeting in the basement of Jubilee Mill in October. Then in 2011 we moved into the Jubilee Centre where we are now.
Right from the word go we started our loving our community compassionately by opening a CAP Debt Centre in October 2009. In those 9 years we have given 335 adults in 264 families hope and a real way out of the crippling nightmare of debt. With 101 people have become debt free!! With many finding Jesus for themselves too.
We have partnered with Inn Churches since it began in 2009 and we are so pleased to have Juli Thompson who heads up the ministry at The Light Church. Inn Churches provide accommodation to the homeless during the coldest months of the year, with churches across Bradford hosting at a week at a time. The Light Church has worked together with Inn Churches since it’s inception by hosting the first pilot back in Feb 2010. Since then The Light Church has provided 800 bed spaces for the homeless and that is around 120 individuals who have gone on to be housed.
In 2011 we opened Bradford Central Foodbank. In those 7 years together we have fed 26,000 people in 12,500 families!!! Wow what an impact we are having – we are feeding the hungry.
TLG Early Intervention started in 2014 and since then we helped 14 children by supporting them for 1 hour each week for at least 1 year with their trained coach from our church.
Then in Jan 2015 we started CAP Job Club, 132 people have come, with 76 attending 5 or more sessions – out of those a whopping 44 have found paid employment with a further 11 accessing training or volunteering – 71% moving forward which is pretty amazing!
In partnership with TLG in Feb 2016 we started a TLG Education Centre which is a school for excluded kids. Andy Moughtin is now helped by Kiera and an intern to run the school. They have provided 48 children and their families with the chance to have an education and get back on track