Let me introduce Rich and Anna Houghton to you. We have known them for many years having been first connected in Kidlington. Anna works as a primary school teacher and Rich works as a project manager for a design agency. They have two children and are fun-loving people that love sharing life with others in Banbury.
Anna says, "The Oxfordshire market town of Banbury is well located on the edge of the beautiful Cotswolds, with great walks and bike rides! It is within easy reach of Birmingham to the north and Oxford and London to the south, great for those of us who need to commute. This is an exciting time in Banbury with many new housing developments bringing growth and more attractive house prices than further south."
The 'masterplan' vision for Banbury is for it to become a premier regional centre with fast growing economy developed from the strengths of the area, to create a vibrant and attractive town centre and to become high quality environment and distinctive place to live and work. 7300 new homes are being built.
Banbury is part of Cherwell Valley along with Bicester and many other villages. The Cherwell valley is being rapidly invested into and growing considerably. Banbury and Bicester will become the two largest towns in Oxfordshire.
In 2006 a few people from Bicester Community Church including Barrie and Mary Wood planted Pathways Banbury church. The church in Banbury maintained strong links with what was called Bicester Community Church and together became Lifehouse Community Church when God led us in 2016 to become "one church in many locations".
Rich Houghton says, "Lifehouse Community Church in Banbury is currently a small church family with a wide spanning range of ages – from 2 years young to … older! We are a relaxed group who share life together. Our shared life brings strong relationships. We love God and have a heart to see the town transformed with the love of Jesus."
God is calling us to reach the town of Banbury. We think this is a great place to be and an exciting new chapter for Lifehouse Banbury. There is something fresh that God wants to do in Banbury and with those villages that relate to it.
The vision is beginning to grow and develop, a vision that is missional, reaching out to those people in Banbury who do not yet know God for themselves. A vision of reaching the younger generations and families but also the older generations too. A vision for making an impact on the town of Banbury and villages that link to it. Banbury is a diverse town that is developing and growing and needs diverse people to reach and be part of what God is doing.
What part is God asking you to play? Can you pray? Can you move? Come and be part of what God is doing, be part of a growing, exciting, reshaping church in Banbury.