Jesus Fellowship Church expanded from Bugbrooke Baptist Chapel after the Holy Spirit brought revival in 1969. We embraced Christian community from about 1973 (see the book ‘Fire In Our Hearts’ for the full story, via the JA website). Houses were bought in the Northampton area but later we started looking further afield and Coventry was the first city where we did any large scale outreach.

JFC bought a 6-bedroom house at 45 St Pauls Road in Coventry in 1980. We already had Harvest House in Eathorpe near the city (since 1979) and Kings House at Stockton 15 miles out (since early 1980). Piers and Clive moved in on August 15 and there were about eight of us by the end of the year.

20 years later the house family moved around the corner to a 14 bedroom house at 453 Foleshill Road (’45’ with a ‘3’ for the Trinity added!).

Over the years many have come and gone. Of the original team at old Promise, one family is now in Africa (left the church, painful at the time but healed mutually later), a couple of people ended up in their own places, still a part, some moved to other parts of the church. Many others came and stayed but didn’t ‘stick’ – discipleship and community are a big thing to jump into and some jumped too soon. Others came, stayed, grew, moved on. Promise has always produced leaders – probably reflecting my personal ministry. Most groups of people take on the character of the leadership.

In 1986 we launched Bright Flame in the Stoke area which went on to its own saga of lives together, ups and downs. In 2009 they sent a group to start a new house family in the city – Tree of Life.

After 10 years at Promise we had a get together and listed many dozens of names of those who had been part of our story (not to mention literally thousands contacted with the gospel).

In 2003 we sent off a team to plant a new community house in Coventry – White Stone. That was a big wrench which took months to get over, but they are doing well and we meet often. After that we gained more people in the house from elsewhere in the church (we didn’t steal them!) and that filled some gaps.

Now we are aiming to plant another community house in Coventry called Woven Cord. The team is being prepared – by God – and we are looking and praying for people to replace them here at Promise.

So it’s on to more shared life, human adventures, worship, meeting new people, serving, building church. 


The Jesus Centre

Our congregation used hired halls in Coventry for 20 years and for several years we prayed for a more permanent home. We searched the city, especially the centre, and in 2000 we found a disused garage with workshop and showroom just inside the inner Ringway. We got it! More than that, we got ourselves a small Jesus Centre. The vision for Jesus Centres is to make church available throughout the week, to love the poor with drop-in facilities, and to involve the church members in reaching many kinds of people.

It took two years to get the building ready and prepare to open the Centre. Since then it has been hard work and a lot of spiritual warfare – but we have touched thousands of lives and involved the congregation very fully in this work of grace. The community members have been central to it all because of their availability, but many many others have played a vital part. The vision unfolds.

Look on YouTube for Coventry Jesus Centre and see the latest videos.


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