As a central city church we’ve identified four areas of focus for our community. For us that means most of our activity as a church is linked to one of these four areas; you could say these areas are in our DNA:
1. Connecting with students
Central is surrounded by Tertiary education providers and student accommodation halls. (we provide a hostel for first year students, you can find out more about that here). At Central we want students to be able to say “this is a church that cares for me well”. Having said that, we’re not a ‘student church’, instead we like that we have a broad spectrum of people in our church community and students are an integral part of that.
2. Connecting with our city
Central is smack in the middle of our fine city. We want to be a church that is connected with the needs of inner city Wellington. For us that means being active in some key partnerships. We partner with the Stillwaters community; Stillwaters is a Christian inner city community group with a focus on providing a place of belonging, transformation, and expression of faith for a diverse range of people. Stillwaters consists of a number of households throughout Wellington city which aim to connect and form relationships with local people. Stillwaters provides hospitality, friendship and support and a chance for people to get involved in creating a more caring and inclusive community together.
We also provide low- cost accommodation to the Te Aro Medical centre who provide low-cost health services to central city residents.
Through our Boulcott fund, (there’s more info here), we’ve also supported a number of Central city justice organisations including: The Wellington Sexual Abuse Help Foundation, Kaibosh, and House of Grace.
We provide low-cost meeting spaces for groups in our city providing support and care for people struggling with addictions.
Many Centralites work in business and education, health and government in the Central city, others live in the CBD; we hope by the way we live and work in our city we are pointing people towards God’s kingdom.
3. Being a Centre for Theological and Spiritual Engagement
We aspire to be a church community that, through our practices, encourages spiritual formation and good thinking! (see 4. ‘Central Gathered’ below). We have a commitment to encourage formation and thinking wider than just our own gathered community- here’s some ways we do that:
We have a Biennial Boulcott Seminar: we invite a Christian theologian, thinker and activist to speak at Central every other year the focus of the seminar is on engaging theology with public issues.
We provide an annual scholarship to Carey Baptist College to provide a summer placement for a student training for pastoral ministry at a Baptist church somewhere in NZ.
We support Rooftops, the Ecumenical Chaplaincy on the Victoria Campus, by providing a scholarship for students to get Christian perspectives on public issues in campus media.
Our church auditorium is open every day from 10-2 for quiet reflection and we provide self-directed reflections on significant days and seasons in the Christian calendar. We’re keen to see our facilities used as a venue for events that encourage thinking and reflection on faith and theology.
4. Central Gathered
As a faith community we hold to the ‘sacrament of gathering’; by this we understand that when we gather Christ is present through the Holy Spirit. We hope this understanding adds flavour to our gatherings: our focus is in loving and being loved by God, we aspire to be a place of safety, honouring the different journeys of all who enter our community.
When we gather on a Sunday morning we hope that the practices we include in our services encourage people to connect with God and each other. We want to develop a ‘liturgy of participation’, because all of our stories contribute to and shape who we are. We also hope our Sunday practice influences our weekday practice – that what we do as a ‘gathered community’ forms and shapes us as a ‘scattered community’; living as Christ followers in our homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
Outside Sunday mornings, gatherings such as ThinkSpace groups, Family Groups, Kidschurch events, and social events help us to strengthen our relationships and our faith. See how to get connected here
Got a question about our focus? Click here to ask it.