Another Busy Night
Coffee Kilkenny Style
Coffee Bar Catches Community Attention:
Kilkenny Community Church
Our church was started by Danny and Margaret Keating about 23 years ago. Danny was an evangelist and came from Waterford and Margaret was from Peterborough in the UK. They pastored the church for 10 years and then Eamon and Amanda Burke took over the church for 11 years. During all of this time we were renting a small place for our Sunday meetings and finally leased an office in the city centre.
It was around this time we started a Coffee Bar where we would invite people off the street for free tea, coffee, and home bakes. This was a great success—so much so that when John (Senior Pastor) and Andy (Associate Pastor) took over in May 2009 (both John and Andy are indigenous Pastors from within the church) they wanted a building in the town centre with a high profile so that the work of the Coffee Bar could continue. They looked at so many places!! Eventually after the estate agent mentioned one venue (17 Irishtown), they decided to go ahead and lease the building over a period of 10 years. It needed a massive refurbishment, which was made available from the building fund that had been going for a number of years. We finally moved into the new premises this year on Good Friday. Since taking over the premises we have raised the profile of the church considerably, having two very good articles in different local newspapers.
The Coffee Bar is doing so well. We are open Tuesdays and now Thursdays. People come in and are loved, (no heavy evangelism). We listen to them, give them free food, tea and coffee, plus they get free bread and cakes to take home with them. We have seen 5 people saved in the last few weeks! The majority are lonely, hurting, people, many are alcoholics, and drug addicts or just living on the streets. We also give them clean clothes and a shower if necessary. The people keep coming back, and as we’ve listened to them, and loved them, many have had prayer, people have given their lives to The Lord, and others have been healed! As a result, the local community are taking notice of what is going on and John was invited to join the local Kilkenny County Drugs Committee, which is involving the church even more in the community, and gives us a voice.
We have three different life groups, plus a youth group each week. Last week we started a Freedom in Christ course in the Tuesday evening group, and an Alpha Course in the Wednesday evening group, so we are very excited about both of these as well. The majority of the people doing both courses have come to the Lord as a result of the Coffee Bar, others are just looking and came because of the Alpha advertising. We also have four prayer meetings during the week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings before our service starts.
Jean and John Nulty
Scripture for the day