These are our primary vehicle to fulfill our vision. MATS are missional communities who are committed to ‘Reaching and transforming our town with the love of Jesus’ in a particular geographical area or with a particular people group. Currently we have five teams of between 12-16 people each that include members from both churches. These groups meet most weeks to pray, learn together and go out to the people of their chosen community to share God’s love.
MATs and LIFE Groups provide a place of community and belonging, where you can grow in your faith and develop as a disciple. If you would like to join a MAT group or would like more information please contact Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01457 853330
High Street launched in June 2013, this MAT wasted no time in faithfully prayer-walking the High Street, seeking the voice of God to guide them in their planning. As a result Street Pastors was launched, in collaboration with a number of other churches. They have also enjoyed sharing God’s love through gift-wrapping and kid’s trails at Christmas, open air services and members of the team go out on Saturday mornings to offer to pray with anyone who chooses to stop.
FLAME also launched in June 2013, with the aim of reaching and transforming schools and young families with the love of Jesus. This team has already seen fruit in the lives of families new to our community as relationships have been made through bonfire parties, events for Dads and Kids, a Salsa evening for women, an Easter ‘Peg Hunt’ and good old intentional spoken evangelism. The Light Party on Halloween is popular with parents, carers and children. Over the past year the team has been meeting for family meals, to which the team invite and welcome new families.
Gamesley MAT launched in June 2013 and serves the community of Gamesley, a 1960s Manchester overspill estate and one of the most socially deprived communities in the Glossop area. (The most recent ONS figures for claimants for Jobseekers’ Allowance show that Gamesley has the highest level in Derbyshire with a rate of 6.6%.) Gamesley MAT is based primarily at the busy Jericho Café which is run full-time by two members of Whitfield Parish and staffed by a team of volunteers. The Cafe is in the Parish of Charlesworth and it is with the consent of that parish that we serve in this area. As well as being a social focus for the council estate, those who run the café give practical, moral and prayer support to the community. Following a successful Mothers’ Day Sunday morning event, Gamesley MAT now meet monthly for Cafe Church and for Spirit Fall, another monthly event which sets out to enable people to encounter God in an informal setting. The Jericho Cafe is one of our strategic mission partners.
Whitfield Breeze launched in May 2014 and reaches out to the people of the Whitfield Estate where there are 1000 or so homes, right on the doorstep of St James’ church. Whitfield is an area of deprivation: the percentage of people on Employment Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefits is 12.4%, the average in the High Peak being 5.1%. (ONS 2013). Partnership with the local multi-agency team enables the MAT to help local people in practical ways. More than this, as the team reach people whose lives are broken through poverty, addiction and abuse, they are seeing lives transformed by the love of Jesus.
St Luke’s Area MAT is our most recently established team. With a mission to reach out to the area around St Luke’s Church, this MAT has reached out to the local retreat for children with life-limiting conditions and their parents and for families who have lost a child, to the Adult Education Centre across the road and to newcomers to the new North Road housing development. The MAT has excellent relationships with the local primary school, hosting Messy Church events at Christmas and Easter.
Another group is meeting on Shirebrook estate and it is envisaged that this will develop into a MAT. Already the team has organised events for the community, including two summer parties and two pop-up Carol Services on the estate, sharing the love of Jesus in words and actions.