Portugese outreach helps Norfolk church grow
A church in Great Yarmouth has developed a flourishing outreach to the area's 5,000-strong Portugese-speaking community.
Park Baptist Church is a lively evangelical church in the heart of Great Yarmouth with a thriving outreach to the substantial Portuguese-speaking community in the town. Tony Rothe reports for Network Norwich & Norfolk.
There are about 5000 Portuguese-speaking people in the Yarmouth area. Most are not from Portugal but mainly from Portuguese-speaking countries, mainly in Africa. They generally work in fields and factories in the area, and there is a great deal of need in that community.
The church has two ministers, Rev Peter Timothy and Rev Jorge Damasceno. They hold a service in Portuguese on Saturday evenings, attended by many families with children, and an English-speaking service on Sunday mornings. Although they effectively have two congregations, Jorge insists they are very much one church.
Following a recent visit from three members of Stalham Baptist Church, David Child writes in their bulletin:
“This year, four members of Park Baptist have been cooking meals and helping at the joint Yarmouth churches Living Room project for the homeless. The church also intends to link the English and Portuguese-speaking congregations to distribute Bible materials on the streets of Yarmouth over the summer.
“Regular meals continue being held where non-attenders of church are invited and the café shop (leased to the church) now holds Portuguese events. Plans are also underway to form a joint English/Portuguese youth club. Easter Sunday saw a joint service with six baptisms from across both congregations.”
The church is having many successes in bringing people to Jesus, with one homeless man coming to the church and finding employment via the Living Room, and a young Mum who found the Park Baptist website, gave her heart to Jesus and the following week brought her 10-year-old daughter.
Another joint baptismal service, combining both Portuguese and English-speaking congregations, is planned for June 9.
To read more about The Living Room in Great Yarmouth, click here.
The pictures above show the Portuguese-speaking community at Park Baptist Church.