We started our services on 25th January 2009 at a school in Croxley Green. So how did the church come about?
“I loved the privilege of being a Pastor at the Anglican Church Soul Survivor Watford in a warehouse in North Watford for 8 years. I was a youth Pastor for 5 years and then moved to pastoring those in their 20′s and 30′s for the following 3 years.
Jane and I married in 2000 and now have 2 young children aged 4 and 6. It was having our own children that really gave us a heart to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with other families around us. Bit by bit, the dream of setting up a church that would be focussed on making church accessible, relevant and exciting for families was birthed.
Soul Survivor Watford supported this vision, and released us to test the waters!! Although it was a scary decision to leave all of our comforts in the form of friends, jobs and house, it was a very exciting journey to be starting. We asked friends if they would commit to praying for us and our vision, and before long we had over 50 people who were regularly praying for us!! A small team of 6 friends heard our plans and decided that they would also like to be part of the team setting up Explore, and suddenly the task seemed a little less daunting!!
We knew that we wanted to start a church which was in a town that had a strong sense of community, defined geographical boundaries and lots of families. We also wanted it to be within a fairly close distance of Soul Survivor Watford so that they could share their resources with us. As the Church leaders in Croxley Green seemed to welcome this new vision of church, Croxley Green soon became part of our hearts!!! We moved into the area over the Summer Holidays in 2008 and have enjoyed becoming part of the community. Jane also started as a teacher at Harvey Road School in September 2008 which helped us to get to know some of the local families.
We met together as a small team for several months discussing what Explore might look like, how it would run, how we could make it a really safe place for people to come to, and how to share the Good News of Jesus with those in the town. After holding 3 taster services at the beginning of 2009, we started to meet on a weekly basis from Easter 2009. Initially, we held a service style meeting every other week. On alternate Sundays we held a social event which was aimed at building community between us and those people in our local area.
In January 2010, we started holding services three times a month with the last Sunday being a big, fun filled ExploreEvent. Explore grew steadily as more and more families want to be part of the church family.
Over the last year we have increased our activity in the community, with our toddler group and Explore Friday family club. We have started all-together family services on the fifth Sunday of every month and changed our events to the first Sunday. We opened offices in a church building on Fuller Way in January 2011 and six months later began to rent the building full time on a five year contract.
God is on the move at Explore, we’d love you to come and join the ride!