A new ministry based from a double decker bus in Dewsbury has been officially declared open for passengers by Bishop of Huddersfield Jonathan Gibbs.
On Wednesday December 4 the Bishop joined the team running the new ministry, Destination 211, for worship and prayer on the bus before the first after school session began.
Dewsbury Team Parish and Dewsbury Church of the Nazarene have set up a partnership with the Christian Nightlife Initiatives to form the ministry.
Their vision is to use the bus in order to build up community, to reach out to people on housing estates with the good news of Jesus whilst offering practical support, such as access to food banks and Christians Against Poverty.
Revd Neil Walpole, who heads up the project, said: “This is a really exciting ministry, with over twenty people from different churches in Dewsbury taking a part in different ways as we reach out with the love of Jesus through our words and action.”
The bus opens to the public in time for the end of Orchard Primary School’s day, when it becomes a drop in for parents and their children who are served with cake and drinks.
The drop-in session includes a Bible story and craft, some games and songs.
In the New Year the ministry will also begin outreach to young people with the aim of starting a youth church on the bus.
The ministry has already been active, with a light party held on Halloween and a presence at the Christmas light switch on in Dewsbury, where hundreds of people enjoyed Christmas crafts.
Bishop Jonathan said: “It was a real joy to be with Neil Walpole and the rest of the team in Chickenley for the official opening of the Destination 211 Bus.
“This is a fantastic new ministry among the children and young people in a community that faces many challenges – taking the Christian message out from the church and onto the streets – quite literally!
“Christians from a number of churches in Dewsbury have come together to purchase and kit out the bus as a brilliant venue for children and families to meet, eat, have fun and learn more about the love of Jesus Christ.
“It was a very cold afternoon but we were well fed and warmed with hot tea, hot dogs and seemingly endless cakes.
“Huge congratulations and very best wishes to everyone for the future of this very exciting project.”