Kings Heath estate was built in the 1940’s and 50’s and originally consisted of predominantly Council-owned housing. In its early days it won awards for its design incorporating green spaces and a “village” feel, but like many outer estates there was a decline in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s when the estate gained a bad reputation. While many problems still exist we believe that the majority of residents on the estate are people of goodwill who want to see the community thrive. There is great spiritual need but we pray that through Church on the Heath God will establish a growing worshipping community with vision and hope for transformation.
Key moments in our recent history have been:
- In the late 1990’s a prayer group based at St Giles Anglican Church in central Northampton began to pray for “King Jesus’ Heath”.
- The small Kings Heath Baptist congregation recognized that there should be mission and outreach into the community, so they prayed and asked other churches for help.
- In 2006 St Augustine’s Anglican Church was closed.
- In January 2007 a small group from St Giles joined Kings Heath Baptist Church for worship, fellowship and mission, and Church on the Heath was born.
- A formal agreement between the two denominations to work together on Kings Heath was concluded in September 2008. Since that time other Baptists, Anglicans and those with no denominational affiliation have joined the church, including those who have recently come to faith.
- In September 2008 a Youth and Community Worker was appointed to work with young people on the estate, as well as those within the church community.
- Late in 2009, the “New2You” shop opened at 2 Park Square. Run by volunteers from the church, it offered second hand goods and a friendly environment for local people.
- 2012 saw the first baptisms of local adults recently come to faith in Jesus.
- In 2016 the ‘Local Ecumenical Partnership’ (of Anglicans and Baptists) was formalised and a Growth Action Plan ut together which to give a focus for the next few years (see Our Vision for more details).
- Also in 2016 a Parish Nurse was appointed for 3 years.
- In December 2016 New2You became Here4You which provided the Parish nurse with a base, and comprised a drop-in centre, a small charity shop and a food bank. Here4You was a place where Christians from Church on the Heath were able to connect with people from the estate.
- In May 2020, due in part to the pandemic, it was decided to close Here4You.
- In January 2021 an offer to buy the Baptist Church building was accepted, and on November 28th 2021 the final service was held in Kings Heath Baptist Church. This was the first part of a longstanding plan to sell the Baptist site and with the proceeds to renovate the St Augustine’s Church building on Avon Drive.