See how sport and Jesus are at the heart of this community in Bournville

This story was produced by the Evangelical Alliance with the support of

We're a church of around about 120 people, but over 2,000 people use the facilities each week
So we're a church that's seeking to serve this community
My name's Mat Wilson, I'm the senior minister of Rowheath Pavilion Church that meets here in Bournville
The Cadbury's are a Quaker family
And they had a view of life for the workers that was holistic in nature
And so they created a pavilion, so that the people who worked in the chocolate factory would come out of work and have a place of leisure and enjoyment
So as the church began here, it wanted to reignite that Cadbury vision, but with the passion of Jesus' name at the heart
The church exists here to serve a community that is surrounded by sports people
So one of our church members is a keen runner
She has developed this group called Bourn Running
We have a mixture of people, generally aged between early 30s to 79 and soon to be 80
We started off aiming very much for the beginners, people who've never run before
The idea to get people moving and just feel part of a group
It's not necessarily how good you are at something, but it's about whether you feel really passionate about it
I started it originally because I think it was when you enjoy something so much, it's a bit a like sharing good news"
You just want to pass it on"
It just sort of snowballed very quickly once I felt God was saying, "Faith and running"
And I'd just arrived at this church and they said, "Take your time," "figure out what you feel God's saying to you"
"We want you to thrive here," "you know, rather than burn out
"And what's the worst thing that can happen
I think it's what I hoped it would be
But I think it's also much more than I thought it would be
I think also I underestimated how challenging it would be also with some of the desperate situations people are in and what are the things that they struggle with
And it's been a real privilege to walk alongside them
We're keen to build community where people can gather, belong, and feel valued and respected, whatever their view on life
But within in that, is a sense of, it's wonderful to build community, but we want to be distinctive in that community by our Christian witness
We actually believe that true community is built around Jesus Christ
And the way to know and experience life in all its fullness is through Him
So wonderful to gather people together in the same location"
People enjoying sport, people going to the cafe, the bar, a few people worshipping Jesus on a Sunday, many more playing sport
But as we gather people into community, we want to be salt and light within it and say, "Actually the true source of community "is found in a relationship with Jesus