The seeds of Southwark For Jesus came together in the wake of Billy Graham’s last ‘Mission to London’ in 1989. Following the event, several leaders united to lead the ‘March For Jesus’ praise marches in Southwark. These events ran every year throughout the 90’s, uniting large numbers of believers in ‘mobile prayer’ for the borough. The fellowship of leaders expanded and formed a steering group to connect regional pastors networks across the borough. These networks connected through Southwark For Jesus’ vision of ‘Unity in Prayer and Action’.
Numerous borough wide initiatives have been facilitated through this largely relational network, including Soul in the City (now called HOPE), Transform Southwark, Transformation Now, the Global Day of Prayer plus many one off events, celebrations and regional prayer gatherings. On the back of such prayer, many social action projects have sprung up to serve the borough.
Over the years there have been many expression of unity:
- SFJ has organised many borough wide ‘prayer summits’ and large scale community celebrations such as March For Jesus, Pentecost 2000, and latterly the Global Day of Prayer and Transform Southwark.
- SFJ has facilitated regional church groupings and networks
- SFJ informs, promotes and communicates awareness of both borough, London-wide and national church initiatives such as Soul in the City and the Year of Prayer for London.
- SFJ has informed churches and given support to key community or council initiatives
- SFJ has been a vehicle for churches to challenge unjust or amoral directives in the borough
‘Why do we need it?
- To express and celebrate our Unity and diversity across a multiracial, multicultural London borough (See Eph 4 vs. 1-7)
- As a vehicle for the Church in Southwark to ‘keep watch and pray’, organising united Prayer for our communities, and bringing help where it is needed (See Nehemiah 4 vs. 9-20)
- To facilitate effective partnerships in the goal of transforming Southwark and taking relevant action together. (See Rom 12 vs 2)
- To provide a regional forum for pastors and leaders wrestling with 21st century leadership, theology and mission.