ABOUT PAULSGROVE AND OUR CHURCH
Paulsgrove is a suburb on the northern edge of the city of Portsmouth and as a housing estate was built soon after the Second World War to ease the housing shortage within the city, which had been bombed heavily during the blitz of 1941. Many of the original houses were concrete and steel prefabricated houses which could be erected quickly and easily. A large number of these are still in use today. The estate was built on the site of the old Portsmouth race course, which is remembered in the name of Racecourse Lane. The M27 motorway built in the mid 1970s split the estate in two. The estate design is unusual in that all the services such as shops and schools are to the south of the main road through the estate (Allaway Avenue) with the bulk of the housing to the north.
The population of Paulsgrove is around 15,000. It is a mixture of private and social housing, and has many social and economic problems. Up to 50% of the local area is in the 6 – 10% most deprived areas in England. The other 50% is divided between the 20 – 50% deprived areas of England. (Source: Dept for Communities and Local Government, Indices of Deprivation 2015). It is therefore a needy area with a variety of challenges.
Paulsgrove Baptist Church was established through war reparation funding as the Paulsgrove housing estate was developed after World War 2. Its title correctly is Paulsgrove (Kent Street Memorial) Baptist Church, named after a city centre church destroyed in 1941. The earliest buildings were built in 1954, with extensions in the early 1960s, and is a typical concrete and glass building of that era. It consists of two main buildings (the present church sanctuary and a large utility hall, the 1954 original church) with a flat roof section between them which contains a number of smaller rooms used as offices, together with toilets and a recently refurbished kitchen. In 2016 we were able to re-roof all the church buildings through gifts and fund raising.
Paulsgrove Baptist Church is an independent Bible believing and teaching church, concerned to be faithful to Jesus. We are affiliated to the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) and subscribe to their Statement of Faith. We support both a Pastor and Youth Pastor. We have one regular Sunday meeting which is held in the morning at 10.30. This is an all age worship and teaching service which has an average attendance of 100 including around 40 children under the age of 16. The teaching is divided into age groups, so as well as the adult teaching we run four different age group sections for the under 16s.
As well as our Sunday meeting we have a variety of other teaching, small group and prayer meetings throughout the week held at different times to reach as many church members as possible.
Our Youth Pastor works with our two local Primary Schools, taking regular assemblies and occasional RE lessons. He is on the governing body at one of the Schools. He is also involved in the local Secondary School teaching RE lessons, taking assemblies and running a weekly lunchtime club. We also have volunteers from the church who offer their time to help primary school children read.
Our current membership is 59 adults. We also have regular attendance from some families who are not church members. Over 85% of the church members come from within the area of the Paulsgrove estate.
Our current budget for 2018 is set at around £120,000 all of which is giving received from church members or local sources.