Posted by Craig Borlase, Luke Hellebronth on 12 August 2015

If Gorton, Manchester is famous for anything, it’s as the location for the Channel 4 series Shameless, the one-time home of moors murderers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady and the fact that the imposing former Franciscan monastery was abandoned and left empty in 1989. It’s not famous what the local church is doing. Yet.

A few minutes outside the city centre but a million miles away from the wealth and influence of Manchester’s elite, Jubilee Church is quietly getting on with what they see as their God-given mission statement: “to be an extension of the hand of God.”

Planted by Abimbola and Folu Komolafe, a husband and wife team of Nigerian pastors who emigrated from Lagos to serve as missionaries to the UK, Jubilee Church has seen growth so rapid that in just a few years it has planted ten other churches and the original Sunday congregation tops 1,000.

But that’s not all.

Once a month they invite any single mother or widow to come along to Jubilee and receive a gift - always cash (ranging from £50 to £100), sometimes food or some other item to help their welfare. The amount varies from month to month depending on the size of the collection (which has never been less than £8,000) and the numbers of women who come (as many as 230).

“Anyone - any single mother, any widow, anyone who is a member of this congregation or anyone who isn’t, anyone who is a Christian or anyone who isn’t - can come.” says Pastor Folu. “Africans, Caribbeans, British, they all come. We tell them that we’re doing this on behalf of our Saviour because this is exactly what He did. We encourage them to surrender their lives to Him and quite a lot do. And on the following Saturday we gather them for a meeting to learn more about God. We hear people giving testimonies there, saying how they’d never been to church before, how they’d been down on themselves for a long time, how they never thought they were anybody but they’ve given their lives to Christ and everything has changed.”

“There’s a lot of crying during our first Sunday service,” says Pastor Abimbole.

Worship takes so many forms, but common to all true expressions is this idea of generosity. We give back to God as a reflection of all He has given to us.

“If there’s one thing about Jubilee church it’s a church that gives,” says Pastor Abimbola. “We’re still just taking the words of Jesus and putting them into action.”

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