Church is counting blessings

This Is Wiltshire: Colin Thornton is a new team leader at Gateway Church, Stonehill Green Colin Thornton is a new team leader at Gateway Church, Stonehill Green

WHILE it is often reported that attendance at churches is declining across the country, one in West Swindon is bucking that trend.

Sunday services at the Gateway Church have proved so popular that an extra one has had to be put on to cope with the demand.

Since moving to the Trinity Centre in Westlea in 2006, the church has seen a dramatic increase in attendance.

When they first moved in there were about 100 adults and children turning up – but this has now reached almost 400 every weekend, so there isn’t the space.

As a result, the church has decided to put on two services every Sunday morning starting at 9.30am and 11.30am.

Colin Thornton, the newly appointed team leader at Gateway, said: “It’s so encouraging to see the growth that has been happening here, particularly in the light of headlines that often talk about the church in this country being on the decline and sidelined.

“For the last few years we have had a steady flow of people wanting to explore the Christian message, and find out more about Jesus, as well as people returning to church having been away for a long time.

“The other exciting thing is to see the number of different nationalities we have represented across the church. We believe it’s an important part of being the church that the Bible teaches us to be.”

Colin says there is no specific secret to the increase in numbers to the church, which is a member of the Evangelical Alliance, but believes there are a number of possible reasons.

He said: “Our services we run are quite contemporary. The music and prayers are far more modern.

“When people come to weddings or christenings they often say to us it was not what they were expecting or thought it would be like.

“We run our Alpha course, which looks at the Christian life, and what we have found is a lot of people, often aged from 18 to 40, who are keen to explore the questions of faith.

“They may find the nine to five life does not offer enough and they are trying to find more.

“Also, I think there are simply a lot of people who like the community they live in and are very keen to help others.

“Our Gateway Furniture project, which sees unwanted furniture go to those in need, is popular and I think shows this.”

Comments (6)

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8:30am Thu 28 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

"""“For the last few years we have had a steady flow of people wanting to explore the Christian message, and find out more about Jesus, as well as people returning to church having been away for a long time."""

I think that says more about how society has declined and how people dislike what they see in the real word so try to escape to some fantasy world to get away from it. Just look at what is happening around the world in the name of religion on any given day!

And also you don't have to be religious to be caring and want to help others, that should come from inside you not from a book or "teachings".
"""“For the last few years we have had a steady flow of people wanting to explore the Christian message, and find out more about Jesus, as well as people returning to church having been away for a long time.""" I think that says more about how society has declined and how people dislike what they see in the real word so try to escape to some fantasy world to get away from it. Just look at what is happening around the world in the name of religion on any given day! And also you don't have to be religious to be caring and want to help others, that should come from inside you not from a book or "teachings". house on the hill
  • Score: -16

9:57am Thu 28 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

All religion's are stupid myths.
Wake up brainwashed fools.
All religion's are stupid myths. Wake up brainwashed fools. Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: -12

2:06pm Thu 28 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

Alan Bast*rd wrote:
All religion's are stupid myths.
Wake up brainwashed fools.
They can't they are brainwashed!!!!! It is just a shame that so many need some sort of "crutch" to get through their lives rather than building inner strength. Religion and religious persecution is the second biggest killer known to man after malaria and still they "believe" in one or the other god or alien or whatever is the religious flavour of the month.

Yes I know it will get many negative thumbs and it is a free country so I am allowed my opinion too. **** too many think belief is superior and look down on those who don't despite the fact the "bible" teaches humility and tolerance which just makes a complete hypocritical joke of the whole thing.
[quote][p][bold]Alan Bast*rd[/bold] wrote: All religion's are stupid myths. Wake up brainwashed fools.[/p][/quote]They can't they are brainwashed!!!!! It is just a shame that so many need some sort of "crutch" to get through their lives rather than building inner strength. Religion and religious persecution is the second biggest killer known to man after malaria and still they "believe" in one or the other god or alien or whatever is the religious flavour of the month. Yes I know it will get many negative thumbs and it is a free country so I am allowed my opinion too. **** too many think belief is superior and look down on those who don't despite the fact the "bible" teaches humility and tolerance which just makes a complete hypocritical joke of the whole thing. house on the hill
  • Score: -8

12:19am Fri 29 Aug 14

Phantom Poster says...

house on the hill wrote:
Alan Bast*rd wrote:
All religion's are stupid myths.
Wake up brainwashed fools.
They can't they are brainwashed!!!!! It is just a shame that so many need some sort of "crutch" to get through their lives rather than building inner strength. Religion and religious persecution is the second biggest killer known to man after malaria and still they "believe" in one or the other god or alien or whatever is the religious flavour of the month.

Yes I know it will get many negative thumbs and it is a free country so I am allowed my opinion too. **** too many think belief is superior and look down on those who don't despite the fact the "bible" teaches humility and tolerance which just makes a complete hypocritical joke of the whole thing.
How are they 'brainwashed' in any sense of the word?

I was brought up in the catholic religion all my life (family and school) up until my late teens. All my family are still all devout catholics. However, my family had no objection to me doing a degree in physics and I am now an atheist - so not a very good example of practical brainwashing!

They don't agree with my views, but we all have to live with it.

If you don't believe in religion do you seriously think you are going to change peoples minds via the Swindon Adver comments section?

Lets be honest - all your comments are just to show how intellectually superior you think you are in comparison to people who believe in a religion.

Davey Gravey (aka Alan Bast*rd), from past posts you seem to be particularly vehemently against religion (usually demonstrating no knowledge of any religion in your criticism) - what's your problem?
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan Bast*rd[/bold] wrote: All religion's are stupid myths. Wake up brainwashed fools.[/p][/quote]They can't they are brainwashed!!!!! It is just a shame that so many need some sort of "crutch" to get through their lives rather than building inner strength. Religion and religious persecution is the second biggest killer known to man after malaria and still they "believe" in one or the other god or alien or whatever is the religious flavour of the month. Yes I know it will get many negative thumbs and it is a free country so I am allowed my opinion too. **** too many think belief is superior and look down on those who don't despite the fact the "bible" teaches humility and tolerance which just makes a complete hypocritical joke of the whole thing.[/p][/quote]How are they 'brainwashed' in any sense of the word? I was brought up in the catholic religion all my life (family and school) up until my late teens. All my family are still all devout catholics. However, my family had no objection to me doing a degree in physics and I am now an atheist - so not a very good example of practical brainwashing! They don't agree with my views, but we all have to live with it. If you don't believe in religion do you seriously think you are going to change peoples minds via the Swindon Adver comments section? Lets be honest - all your comments are just to show how intellectually superior you think you are in comparison to people who believe in a religion. Davey Gravey (aka Alan Bast*rd), from past posts you seem to be particularly vehemently against religion (usually demonstrating no knowledge of any religion in your criticism) - what's your problem? Phantom Poster
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Jason13v8 says...

Alan Bast*rd wrote:
All religion's are stupid myths.
Wake up brainwashed fools.
I partly agree with "Alan the reprobate" the Christian is going through a complete washing of the soul. No offence Alan the Bible refers to you as a reprobate due to your ignorance of God. It is not your fault as you cannot believe in something if you think it don't exist. The prayer of us believers is that God would open your eyes so that you might see the truth and believe so until that happens you may as well keep reading your Viz mags. As a believer my attitude is turn to Christ, say sorry for ignorance and enjoy his response, enjoy God and enjoy his provision. Sounds like you use login and the media as a crutch. When your mind is dead along with your body you will know the truth. But until then I'd urge you to take time of being angry and ask some deeper questions. You are an eternal entity Alan so the top question is "where do you want spend eternity?" with the one who created all good things or without the creator who created anything good? 2 mins or 50years you got the rest of your life On this dying earth to think about that. There is a way out of anger such as yours Alan, it is killing you and your fear will keep your from finding joy........
[quote][p][bold]Alan Bast*rd[/bold] wrote: All religion's are stupid myths. Wake up brainwashed fools.[/p][/quote]I partly agree with "Alan the reprobate" the Christian is going through a complete washing of the soul. No offence Alan the Bible refers to you as a reprobate due to your ignorance of God. It is not your fault as you cannot believe in something if you think it don't exist. The prayer of us believers is that God would open your eyes so that you might see the truth and believe so until that happens you may as well keep reading your Viz mags. As a believer my attitude is turn to Christ, say sorry for ignorance and enjoy his response, enjoy God and enjoy his provision. Sounds like you use login and the media as a crutch. When your mind is dead along with your body you will know the truth. But until then I'd urge you to take time of being angry and ask some deeper questions. You are an eternal entity Alan so the top question is "where do you want spend eternity?" with the one who created all good things or without the creator who created anything good? 2 mins or 50years you got the rest of your life On this dying earth to think about that. There is a way out of anger such as yours Alan, it is killing you and your fear will keep your from finding joy........ Jason13v8
  • Score: -3

12:56am Sat 30 Aug 14

Alan Bast*rd says...

Jason13v8 wrote:
Alan Bast*rd wrote:
All religion's are stupid myths.
Wake up brainwashed fools.
I partly agree with "Alan the reprobate" the Christian is going through a complete washing of the soul. No offence Alan the Bible refers to you as a reprobate due to your ignorance of God. It is not your fault as you cannot believe in something if you think it don't exist. The prayer of us believers is that God would open your eyes so that you might see the truth and believe so until that happens you may as well keep reading your Viz mags. As a believer my attitude is turn to Christ, say sorry for ignorance and enjoy his response, enjoy God and enjoy his provision. Sounds like you use login and the media as a crutch. When your mind is dead along with your body you will know the truth. But until then I'd urge you to take time of being angry and ask some deeper questions. You are an eternal entity Alan so the top question is "where do you want spend eternity?" with the one who created all good things or without the creator who created anything good? 2 mins or 50years you got the rest of your life On this dying earth to think about that. There is a way out of anger such as yours Alan, it is killing you and your fear will keep your from finding joy........
I'm living the one life I will have and enjoying it. Once I'm dead that's it.
You carry on wasting your life praying to a mythical god, but don't expect the same to not ridicule your madness.
[quote][p][bold]Jason13v8[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alan Bast*rd[/bold] wrote: All religion's are stupid myths. Wake up brainwashed fools.[/p][/quote]I partly agree with "Alan the reprobate" the Christian is going through a complete washing of the soul. No offence Alan the Bible refers to you as a reprobate due to your ignorance of God. It is not your fault as you cannot believe in something if you think it don't exist. The prayer of us believers is that God would open your eyes so that you might see the truth and believe so until that happens you may as well keep reading your Viz mags. As a believer my attitude is turn to Christ, say sorry for ignorance and enjoy his response, enjoy God and enjoy his provision. Sounds like you use login and the media as a crutch. When your mind is dead along with your body you will know the truth. But until then I'd urge you to take time of being angry and ask some deeper questions. You are an eternal entity Alan so the top question is "where do you want spend eternity?" with the one who created all good things or without the creator who created anything good? 2 mins or 50years you got the rest of your life On this dying earth to think about that. There is a way out of anger such as yours Alan, it is killing you and your fear will keep your from finding joy........[/p][/quote]I'm living the one life I will have and enjoying it. Once I'm dead that's it. You carry on wasting your life praying to a mythical god, but don't expect the same to not ridicule your madness. Alan Bast*rd
  • Score: 2

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