It may have been a little while since our last update but that certainly does not mean we haven’t been busy!
In the past few weeks our Heritage team have been visiting different churches, presenting the story of our 172 year history and bringing it to life.
First stop was Pinhoe Road Baptist Church where we were greeted with a warm welcome from their Thursday Fellowship Group. Led by the Revd. Alan Bailyes we took on the group on a whistlestop tour of our history, highlighting significant moments when our story and the church’s history have previously intertwined.
In the late 1980’s members of numerous churches in Exeter got together following a Billy Graham crusade and were passionate about working for the benefit of the city through the YMCA.
A chap called Dave Hamlin from Pinhoe Road Baptist Church stood on this committee and helped set the vision for building our residential centre on St David’s Hill, which later opened opened in 1993. The church have supported YMCA Exeter ever since and we are proud to have stood alongside them in our mission for so long.
For the second of our talks we visited St Leonard’s Church, whose spire on Topsham Road stands proudly over the city.
Similar to Pinhoe Road Baptist Church, the congregation at St Leonard’s also have a close history with their YMCA through the passion of the late Donald Orchard. Donald had sat on the same committee as Dave Hamlin, determined to see Christ’s love made tangible through practical service provision.
The St Leonard’s Retirement Group greeted us with warm hospitality and many burning questions about the work we do today.
Our thanks to both the congregations for their love, prayers and generosity over the years, and for the abundance of cake we enjoyed in their company!
For service times and information about these two partner churches, please visit:
Did you also serve on the same committee in the late 1980’s or do you know someone who did? We are looking to identify the individuals in the photo below some 30 years after it was taken.
If you can identify any of the members then please contact us at email@example.com.