I arrived in Exeter as a fresh-faced young man with impressive A-Levels in Sept 2005. Although I knew little about the university I was about to commit the next five years to, I had heard great things about the local Christian scene.
I was not disappointed.
I got involved immediately – and ended up serving for five years – with two very different churches. The first was Pennsylvania Christian Fellowship; a small group of believers who had emerged from a Plymouth Brethren tradition. In the evenings, I rolled deep with St Leonards – an evangelical Anglican church with a sizeable membership that congregated across three separate services.
Both churches were instrumental in building me up in Christ. Worshiping with these people and living life with them has provided me with family and friends whom I will treasure for the rest of my life (as well as personally incriminating anecdotes which will come out in the memoirs)
Throughout the past five years I had the pleasure of visiting all sorts of churches in Exeter. I’ve kicked it Pentecostal-style with the Riverdream team, I’ve got my charisma on at New Frontiers and I’ve traversed the tranquil middle-ground of doctrine occupied by Belmont Chapel. There are LOADS of other churches I wish I had had time to drop in and worship with such as Pinhoe Road Baptist, CCC, Riverside and many many more.
Recently, it’s been a joy to hear of even newer churches springing up such as Network (affectionately called ‘Not-work’ by the haterz) and Calvary Chapel who are doing amazing work in serving the community and preaching the Gospel faithfully.
None of these churches are perfect but all of them are committed to knowing Jesus and making Jesus known.
For those of you in Exeter who are considering entering a church for the first time – you can’t go wrong with any of the above. Whatever your preconceptions of Christians and Christianity, I suggest you go to some of the churches above. They will love you, listen to you and maybe even surprise you. Get involved.