In preparation for New City’s (NCC) membership class, I put together the following one-page history of our church:
NCC has its ultimate origins in the plan and purpose of God, who from before the foundations of the world ordained that through His church he would glorify Himself and bring Good News to the world.
God’s plan and purpose began to unfold in 1994 when Bob and Keren Heppe, missionaries of World Harvest Mission (now Serge) from the USA, responded to God’s calling to move to London. Their purpose was to reach out to the many South Asians living in this city. In 1998, New Life Masih Ghar started worshiping in Southall and in 2005, Chris and Josephine Hatch joined this work.
After 5 years of working at NLMG, the Hatches sensed a call from God to plant a multi-ethnic church specifically seeking to bring the gospel in word and deed to the multitude of people who had moved to London. After much prayer and consultation with the International Presbyterian Church, Shepherds Bush was decided upon as a target community.
In January of 2011, Chris began spending time in Shepherds Bush prayer walking, studying at cafes and seeking opportunities to serve. In the April of 2011, he began volunteering at St. Stephen’s C of E to help start a dinner and film club for the elderly and homeless. Slowly but surely, relationships began to grow in Shepherd’s Bush over the course of 2011 and into 2012.
The summer of 2012 was key for us as New City welcomed our first summer intern, Edd Stock, a young English man who was instrumental in getting the film clubs started. Rev. Allen R. Nabors, the director of the New City Network, spent the month of July in Shepherd’s Bush with his wife to build the vision of the small group of people who were beginning to make plans for the new church. After school ended, New City held our first Kids Club on the White City Estate with 8 children attending the first day.
In September of 2012, our first apprentice arrived from Germany. Christoph Boss join us for a year and was one of 10 adults who gathered on 7 October 2012 in the St. Stephen’s church hall to worship Jesus as New City Church (IPC). The Hatches were joined by Rebekah Rajkumar, Dhana Makini (later baptised), Joel and Cindy Hylton, Oli and Constance Smith, several others and three children. Pastor Chris preached from Ephesians 1 and ended that sermon by stating:
You can approach God Almighty with boldness, not because you’re so special, but because Jesus is so special. Jesus gives his brothers and sister the right to come with confidence to their Father. Together – we can ask our Father to build New City – right here in Shepherd’s Bush.
The Lord has answered those prayers! Over the years, He has faithfully grown our fellowship as we have sought to establish a multicultural church in West London that is working to see the love and mercy of God expressed through verbal proclamation and practical deeds of service.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21)