STEVE & LEANNE’S STORY
Steve & Leanne Vaughan moved to Dublin from Leeds, England in September 2012. Here you can read some of their early story and how Christ City Church began. It's in reverse order, so scroll down if you want to start at the beginning...
Part 3 – October 2013
Firstly, Steve was fortunate to get a job with Oracle in January and has just now started a new job with HubSpot, so has become fully immersed within the very same business community. It has been a steep and thrilling learning curve and after having had one foot firmly set in the ‘Christian world’, he is establishing a foot in the business world which is leading to lots of interesting opportunities and connections.
Secondly, from the people we speak to between the ages of 18-35 about issues of faith and church the general response is "I have lost connection with church but I haven't made my mind up on God". There is great spiritual seeking in the city and our aim has always been to form a community that might be a place for people to connect with both church and God.
Our monthly film nights are proving a big success so we'll keep doing them and we have also started the first Intro Course in Ireland, which gives guests an opportunity to ask the big questions of life in a relaxed and fun environment. This is happening over six consecutive Monday nights at Third Space café in Smithfield in October and November 2013.
Looking back after one year, we never thought our first year in Dublin would be so much fun...but it really has been great. In terms of family life we feel very settled. The kids are doing great in pre-school and we are making lots of friends, feel part of the local community and are connecting more and more with the city. For those who are new to Dublin or looking to connect to a church, please do get in touch with us and say hello or pop into one of our gatherings.
Part 2 – February 2013
We’re coming up to 5 months in Dublin so wanted to update you on how the journey was going and again extend the invitation to those who are reading to join us in our adventure.
On a personal note Leanne and I have found coming to Dublin a huge thrill. We love the city, the people, the sea, the culture, the potato bread (farls), the Guinness, the Aviva stadium and so much more. We enjoy the city and are glad to call it our new home. Additionally the kids have settled in well and are starting to make friends. We feel very excited to be here and are looking forward to being here for the long-term.
In terms of church, whilst only at the beginning of what we are doing, we feel very aware of the need. One of the reasons we came to Dublin was that it seems to be a time in Irish history where new expressions of church are needed to engage the younger (18-35s) generation, and that is certainly what we have found. From talking to people at work, down the pub, in the shops or playgroups we have often spoken to people who haven’t necessarily given up on God but aren’t connecting with the church of their childhood.
A recent article in the Irish times revealed that only 17% of 18-34-year-olds attend weekly mass but 87% of them did believe in God. Whilst a hunger for God exists, many people no longer pursue a journey into knowing God through the church. Our prayer is that people’s search for God will once again lead them into life-giving Christian Community.
We currently gather every week in our home in Stillorgan (just off the N11 and near the Sandyford LUAS stop) for food, games, sung worship, bible study and prayer and can see the start of the church that we have always dreamed of.
As our About Us page says, we are seeking to bring spiritual, cultural and social renewal to the city of Dublin and want our church to be defined by mission, discipleship, community and leadership.
If you are interested or intrigued then do get in contact and come and check us out. We have a “Love Dublin” night on Saturday 16th March for any who are interested in asking questions and finding out more about the vision and values of the church. Do come along.
Part 1 – Summer 2012
For a number of years we (Steve & Leanne) have wanted to head off and start something from scratch where we could dream about the kind of Christian community we would love to see. As you read the book of Acts in the New Testament the church seems to be this vibrant, diverse-yet-united, outward looking, joyful people that in spite of severe suffering go and tell others the good news about Jesus through their lives and their words. And though only a small community they were able to be a blessing and make a difference not just in individual lives but also to the cities and cultures of their day. And that is our hearts’ desire.
During the summer of 2011 God started to stir us that maybe it was time to move on from Leeds where Steve had been a full time Pastor at Mosaic Church. We have had a great time at Mosaic Church; God has taught us many things, formed our characters and instilled a greater passion for his church and for forming Christian communities that are both biblically rooted but relevant to the culture. We both sensed the stirring of the Holy Spirit to move on and as we began to explore ‘where would you send us Lord?’, Dublin was laid on our hearts.
We think Dublin is a fantastic city – both its beauty and bustling-nature attract us. It feels like a great city to raise our two young children, Jacob and Annabelle. Additionally Steve is half-Irish and has over 400 years of family history in Dublin itself – linking into the Jameson family. However, Dublin captured our hearts on a deeper level. With all the economic, political and religious turmoil that has occurred over the last few decades in Dublin it feels like people are asking questions – questions about where to find hope, identity, meaning and security. There seems to be a need for communities that will embody and speak the message of God’s grace, hope and forgiveness that is found in Christ.
So after various visits, much prayer, lots of conversations with family and friends and numerous conversations with church leaders in Dublin itself (who were all extremely welcoming) we made the decision to ‘go for it.’
The journey has only just begun and we are full of both excitement and trepidation as we move forward, but we are trusting in God every step along the way.
If you feel you would like to join us on that journey please do get in contact.
Steve & Leanne Vaughan