Christian outreach to work in the community

By melissa.nightingale@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

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Pastor Ivan Caughey (front) runs an outreach centre on Guyton St for people to come in for a hot drink, a bite to eat, and maybe a bit of prayer. Photo/Stuart Munro.
Pastor Ivan Caughey (front) runs an outreach centre on Guyton St for people to come in for a hot drink, a bite to eat, and maybe a bit of prayer. Photo/Stuart Munro.

The pastor of a Christian outreach centre in the city is looking at different ways to help the community and share the gospel.

The Cross, which has been based at 86 Guyton St for the last two years, recently went through a revamping process in preparation for the evangelism work the team hope to do in the city.

Pastor Ivan Caughey plans to start holding barbecues in town and branching into "street evangelism".

"Our main focus is to have a house in the central city where Christians and non-Christians can come in and enjoy [the] atmosphere."

The Cross is run by the Gonville Christian Fellowship - based in Bignell St - which has a small foodbank, has housed people for short periods of time until they get back on their feet, and runs an op shop.

Most people we have come in, come in to us as people that are going through some real, real hard times in their life. They don't know where else to go to.
Pastor Ivan Caughey

"People who've got no money, we'll make sure they've got a shirt or a coat or dress or pants - whatever they need," Mr Caughey said.

The Cross is open on weekdays from 8.30am-12.30pm, and people can drop in for a hot drink and a bite to eat, as well as some fellowship, he said.

"Most people we have come in, come in to us as people that are going through some real, real hard times in their life. They don't know where else to go to. They've walked past and they've seen it and they popped in."

Mr Caughey said they had 40-50 regulars, and would get up to 20 people coming in on any given day.

The Cross and the Gonville Christian Fellowship are connected with Clifflife Church in Castlecliff, as well as with Mr Caughey's mentor, pastor Eugene Katene at St Mark's Church on Puriri Street.

Clifflife pastor Jason Malcolm said the three churches worked "in unity" and supported each other.

Now The Cross was established in town, its goal was to "go out into the city centre and actually engage people and offer them a place to be able to come and connect with other people and to be encouraged", Mr Malcolm said.

Mr Caughey said they have held "family days" in the past where they do a hangi and have bouncy castles and activities for families.

The events are free to attend and they plan to hold another one when the weather gets better.

Mr Caughey hoped to get in touch with other churches around Whanganui and "see what we can do as a collective body" to help the community, whether it be through providing food, clothing, or accommodation, or fellowship to those who needed it.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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