A UNIQUE “pastor school” is being launched in Brentwood in a bid to reverse the decline of Christianity across Europe.
The Amnos Church Planting School is opening at Trinity Church in Coxtie Green Road, Pilgrims Hatch, to create Christian leaders for the future and “plant” new churches where old ones have died out.
It is hoped the newly qualified pastors will help to reverse the rapid decline of Christianity in Europe, with more than 10,000 churches having closed in the UK alone in the last half century.
The school is the brainchild of South Korean-born pastor the Rev Dr Daniel Chae, who says he is keen to pay back the debt of the gospel to the UK church.
He said: “I was shocked coming from Asia and having such a high respect, especially being from Korea, where we are indebted so much to the UK church. I think the decline is sad and I think British people in general need to feel sad about this, whether they are Christians or non-Christians.
“The Christian faith is the heritage of this country and the Queen is the head of the church.
“I do not believe it is because the Christian gospel does not have the answers or the right way to live, but because a lot of people have lost the real essence of the Christian gospel.
“We want to encourage Christians to live out what we believe in our community. In so doing we can be the salt and light to the people around us and hopefully can draw more people to God’s kingdom.”
Dr Chae has plenty of experience spreading the word of God, having previously been the managing director of a floating Christian community that travelled the world on board the MV Doulos ship.
He most recently founded a new church on the outskirts of London but decided to launch the Pilgrims Hatch-based school in a bid to revitalise Christianity in Europe.
He said the new school was unique in the way it incorporated the practical side of “showing the gospel” and working in the community in a positive way.
He said: “The uniqueness of our training is the combination and balance between the academic teaching and practical side.
“We want to help in the community and the first thing we want to do from November onwards is contact the police, schools and other community leaders to see how we can get involved.
“We will have 20 willing, good-hearted people ready to serve the community.”
He added: “To learn the Bible there must be an academic side as well but there is an emphasis on the practical side. when they are learning we will take the students out on a regular basis, to help in the community and try to put into practice what they have learnt.
“Trinity is a very healthy multi-national, multi-racial church – it is a real community here. we are very blessed to come across this church.
“Someone recommended it to me and that person is a chaplain to her Majesty the Queen, the Rev Canon George Kovoor.”
The planting school will officially be launched with an inauguration service at Trinity Church, with mr Kavoor as guest speaker, from 11am on October 1.
There are still places on the course for people interesting in helping to “plant and cultivate” new churches in the UK and across Europe.