Who we are in brief.....
LOVE WESTON originally started out as Weston-super-Prayer & Praise - and was started by a group of local Christians with a heart for Prayer - particularly for the good of our Town and District following the HOPE 2008 initiative which brought many churches together to express care for their neighbourhoods in practical ways.
Under the chairmanship of Canon John Simons, they have run more than 20 Cafe Style Prayer and Praise evenings at Emmanuel Church, Oxford Street that have been attended by people from most of the churches in the town.
Of late, our emphasis has turned towards encouraging prayer and care for our neighbourhoods under the LOVE WESTON & AREA banner.
We are an inter-denominational group and operate the LOVE WESTON initiative as a partner project of Churches Together in Weston-super-Mare.
The Full History
In 2007, Weston churches prepared to take part in a nation-wide initiative called HOPE. Six years on, in 2013, some still display the HOPE banner. Across 2008-2009 a kaleidoscope of Christian events took place. We visited other parts of the Christian family—and lots of other people in our local communities crossed the borders into church territory and enjoyed the events to which they were welcomed.
I was part of the inter-church Steering Group (headed by Pete Lynch from Worle Baptist) and was asked to coordinate prayer across the town. No less than 45 people came forward to be their Church Rep’s for the HOPE initiative. Christ Church offered the regular hospitality of the Spire Centre for our use, as we met to pray and plan.
The first Prayer-on-the-Hill event emerged from this group in 2008. Many will remember a spectacular triple rainbow that formed over the Old Uphill Church, almost like His ‘seal of approval’, as we prayed over the town in unity.
In 2009, a smaller Steering Group was formed, to liaise with the 45 HOPE Church Reps. This group sensed that the Lord was prompting us also to move down into ‘ground-level’ prayer in Weston (while continuing the annual Prayer-on-the-Hill).
This proposal was welcomed by the Churches Together in Weston Exec Group – and also encouraged by those local leaders who meet monthly for fellowship and prayer in CLIF (Church Leaders in Fellowship).
So in 2010 a bi-monthly cross-denominational prayer gathering was launched, called Weston-super-Prayer’ (WSPR) The name in no way implies that those who come are expert intercessors - the word ‘super’ simply means ‘over’. So WSPR means Prayer and Praise OVER and FOR our communities.
As at June 2013, WSPR has so far gathered twenty times. On average, between 90-120 Christians have come together, drawn from a wide spectrum of local churches.
From the outset, the purpose was perceived as being both an opportunity and a responsibility. An opportunity to say ’Thank you’ to those individuals and groups who serve our community. And also a responsibility to pray for them. To this end, we have invited civic leaders to come to WSPR, to inform as to their needs and explain their aspirations on behalf of our town.
The venue each time has been Emmanuel Church, in the town centre—and we are grateful to their members for allowing us to transform their chancel into a cafeteria setting around tables, so we could mingle as well as pray. Musicians from WWJD have led the worship each time.
So far, WSPR has prayed for: The NHS (our hospital, doctors etc); our MP, John Penrose; Avon & Somerset Police; Street Pastors; Education (76 schools); Avon Fire & Rescue Service; Poverty & Homelessness in our area; North Somerset Council; Human Trafficking; Weston’s Tourism economy; Royal Marines (40 Commando); Care & young Carers; Trade and Business; Farming and Agriculture; the RNLI; Weston Town Council; Youth & Unemployment in Weston; Chamber of Commerce and retail; Weston Hospicecare; Tropicana future; Christians in the Media; A Night Shelter for Weston.
In September 2012, many from Weston joined 35,000 Christians at Wembley Stadium for the first national day of Prayer since WW2. The transforming call was to mobilise prayer and care in every street across the nation.
Prayer-on-the-Hill on Saturday July 13th, 2013 marked a new development in mobilising prayer for our town. The Steering Group has invited all Weston churches to come to the hilltop as we launched LOVE WESTON on behalf of Churches Together.
During 2014 and 2015, we built on the encouraging start, to mobilise 1,000 people across the area to pray and express their Christian care and concern for the people and the needs in their neighbourhoods.
Here in 2016, we are continuing to encourage one another in prayer and care for the town through various initiatives.