The Free Church in Govan has announced the joint venture of launching a free café with Street Connect, a Scottish charity that helps the marginalised and disadvantaged within society.
Street Connect works in partnership with a range of local and national organisations. Their current services include street work, drop-in cafes, one-to-one consultations, group work including their own community recovery programme, befriending, community detoxification services, and referrals to residential rehabilitation.
Govan Free Church minister Rev. Norman Mackay said: ‘We are really happy working with Street Connect. Coming from an addiction background, both Ricky and Julie — the founders of Street Connect — have proven God in their own personal experience. Many of the guys who come to our drop-in, struggle with addiction issues or perhaps just loneliness’.
‘Both these struggles are huge in our community, and working together or pooling our resources simply makes sense, as we are both aiming at extending the kingdom of God, through ministering lovingly to the local community’.
As reported on the Free Church of Scotland website, Mr Mackay commented there was no room for ‘recreational Christianity’, where Christians simply exist for themselves and their families. He said, ‘You have to be actively involved in the community and demonstrate God’s love in these practical ways to make any inroads into people’s lives’.
Street Connect has also recently purchased its first two-bedroom flat, to provide accommodation for those who have completed a period in residential rehabilitation.
Julie McAddock of Street Connect commented: ‘This outreach with Norman and the Govan church plant has been really good. Recently we had 43 people walk into the café from the Govan Road.
‘We identified the Free Church as a partner, for the simple reason that under Norman’s leadership the church is deeply involved in and highly respected by the Govan community’.