How we help School stories Serving South Yorkshire: a Learning Community for Doncaster We are really pleased to be opening a new Learning Community in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, this autumn. The Learning Community will be hosted by Grace Church Doncaster, and led by local pastor Alastair Gooderham. Hear Al’s reflections on the spiritual needs in Doncaster, and how hosting a Union Learning Community will help. Al, tell us a bit about the spiritual context in South Yorkshire. “Doncaster is reflective of most of Yorkshire in that there is a great spiritual need. On top of that, there are many communities with no thriving gospel witness. There have been some new churches planted and some revitalisation work launched over the last ten years but the need remains great.” What is your church – Grace Church – like? “Grace Church is a small church. A small team planted it nearly 11 years ago. We have seen growth primarily through conversion and so we are a church young in the faith. Our size is one of the things that marks us out; our geography is another. We have a strong partnership with our local primary school, even having office space for Grace Church within the school premises. We meet in the area that used to be RAF Finningley - of Vulcan fame. It is an area that compresses all of the socio-economic groupings of a town into a small but rapidly growing village. So at Grace we serve and hold the gospel out to people from every social background every week. We see a small but diverse church gather, united in the gospel, on Sunday and during the week.” Why do you want to start hosting a Union Learning Community? “We want to host a Learning Community because Doncaster needs gospel workers. It needs people who are equipped to teach God's word and apply it to life, so that believers grow in their faith and are equipped to share the gospel on each and every frontline where God has placed them. A Union Learning Community will enable us to do that without sending people away. We will be able to train people in our local context, so that they can serve in our local context. In our own church family, a Union Learning Community will provide us with an opportunity to teach our young believers, and see them grow and increasingly serve using all the gifts God has given them. More broadly, we look forward to gathering with people from churches across the wider community, so that through this new Learning Community we can be better equipped to serve the Lord in South Yorkshire.” How can we pray for you and your church at the moment? “We'd love you to pray for God to send workers out into the harvest field in Doncaster, both from within Grace and to join us at Grace. We have a specific need for leaders to join our current small team. We'd also value prayer for wisdom as we discern which opportunities locally provide the clearest gospel opportunities for us to take on.” If people are interested in studying at this new Learning Community, what should they do next? “Take a look at Union School of Theology’s website for more details and get in touch!” Thanks Al – we pray that this venture will be a blessing in gospel ministry across the region. Click here to find out more about Doncaster's new Learning Community.