A sign of a healthy church is that it reproduces itself. We believe that church planting remains the most effective way to impact a community and see people come to know Jesus.
In 2011, we sent our first church planting team to Annecy in France. Annecy is a University town, similar in size to Loughborough and a team of seven people went from Open Heaven. They learnt the language, got jobs, embraced the culture and planted a thriving church called Connect Annecy which now meets in the Imperial Hotel in Annecy. A goal from the very start was to be a church that would connect with young french leaders and eventually release the full leadership of the church to those French leaders. In Feb 2018 this leadership transition is happening and a fantastic couple called Francois and Gigi are taking on the full leadership of the church.
In autumn 2017, a young couple from Open Heaven called Rachel and Alan Radbourne moved to Anglesey and were joined by Rachel's parents John and Karen. In early 2018 a couple called James and Maxine Aust and daughter Ellie moved over and joined the church planting team. Rachel is already a Welsh speaker and the others are learning the language. They too will be embracing the culture, getting jobs and praying for connections with those who will become part of the early church community. They have decided to call the church 'Lighthouse Church' which translates well into Welsh. Rachel and Alan are recording the church planting journey on this Facebook page Paradwys Diaries.
We continue to be committed to sending and supporting church planting teams to other parts of the UK and Europe.