As many of you know, Grace Baptist Partnership has been involved in a church planting project in Southall the past two years. Situated in West London, Southall is well known for being the home to the largest concentration of South Asian people outside the Indian sub-continent. More than 55% of the population is Indian or Pakistani. The town has 10 Sikh Gurdwaras, three Muslim Mosques and 2 Hindu Temples. By God’s grace a new church was planted in this decidedly hostile spiritual environment in late 2010. The group has experienced growth including some by conversion and baptism.
In Their Own Words
Here is what the leaders of Grace Church in Southall (all of whom were baptised at Grace Baptist Church in Wood Green and sent out from there for this church planting work) have to say about their background and present work.
I was born in Southall in 1982. More importantly, I was born-again in Southall in 2001. I have lived in New York for a year. I have lived in London all my life. I have seen a few other places. But without an inkling of hesitation, I can say that there is no place quite like Southall. It is desperately needy because it is desperately dark. I don’t think it is simply a case of it being nice to have a church plant in Southall; I think it is necessary to have a church plant in Southall. From a very early age, even before my conversion, I sensed Southall was a place of spiritual confusion and spiritual darkness. Hindu temples, Muslim Mosques and Sikh Gurudwaras dominate the skyline and compete for the biggest and most elaborate buildings. Religious devotees from all over the world congregate in their masses seeking to have their sins forgiven through deaf, dumb and mute idols.
Afghanistanis, Africans, Bangladeshis, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis and Somalians all bring their various religions to the doorstep of London, just waiting for God’s faithful servants to faithfully proclaim that life saving and life changing Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of these nations are difficult places for missionaries to enter and difficult places for missionaries to freely proclaim the Gospel. But God in His wisdom and great love has not only brought the nations of the world to our doorstep, but He has given us the great burden, responsibility and privilege of making His Gospel known to them. What great joy it would be to see men and women converted under the preaching of God’s Word and going back to their nations, telling of Jesus. Joy on earth and joy in heaven.
May God’s Spirit impress your heart to make famous His name in Southall.
We have come to Southall because God has told us to GO there (Matthew 28). We want Christ to be glorified in every street and house of Southall. That is why we are carrying the flag of the Gospel in Southall.
Southall is a very dark spritual place. It is a fortress for many false religions suc has Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. There is one of the largest Sikh temple alongside numorus smaller Sikh temples, Mosques, Hindu Temples, Cults, Spiritualist Church, Extreme Charismatics etc. Not to mention that there is so much of drugs, alcohol, abuse and growing rate of suicides as well. This place is full of illigal immigrants (they are hated by many but we love them). Population of Southall exceeds seventy thounsands excluding illigal immigrants.
If every single person living on the Kingston Road (this is where our Church is planted) we would not have any space left in our Church. This is our aim to reach with the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to local neighbourhood and then expand our boundries to the other streets of Southall and then perhaps plant more Churches by God’s grace to carry the light of the word of God.
My name is Sunny Kundhi and I was born into the Sikh religion and followed this path until I began attending a church fellowship in Southall in 1996. I did not become a Christian by merely attending a church or praying a prayer or reading the bible but rather upon hearing the faithful preaching of the Gospel, where the Holy Spirit convicted me of sin and bought me to repentance and faith in Christ. This happened sometime later in 2003.
Since then I have visited many churches and Christian fellowships but have scarcely visited one who unashamedly preaches the Gospel, loves and obeys the Bible and seeks the Glory of God in all that they do. Southall does not need another church building or religious fellowship, it needs faithful men to preach the faithful message of Christ and live lives in accordance with the Gospel and by God’s Grace this is what we seek to do.
The work in Southall has been sown into our hearts and we like Jonah have in the past, tried to run from it but have now been compelled and convinced by the Holy Spirit to tell people of all nations represented in Southall of the Good news of Jesus Christ. This work in Southall is not merely nice, it is necessary.