Abundant Life Centre - New Breed Of British Church
14 August 2006
The Abundant Life Centre in Bradford, UK, is fast establishing a reputation for being one of Britain's most progressive and creative churches.
Under the leadership of Pastor Paul and Glenda Scanlon, the church has grown from just a few hundred to several thousand in a decade, all in the middle of one of Britain's most economically and socially challenged cities.
During the Industrial Revolution, Bradford was a booming mining centre. During the 70s and 80s, though, as mining lost its dominance as an industry, the city took on a troubled look. Today, the city is economically challenged and is also home to one of Britain's largest Asian populations. New attempts are being made to revive the city, with major input from churches like ALC.
Mal Fletcher recently visited the church to speak in the main Sunday morning services. After the visit, he said: 'I was very impressed with the fact that there's much more to this church than a great name.'
'The church features more than 170 separate ministries into the community, ranging from a bus ministry that brings in people from nearby housing estates, to an outreach into the red-light district of the city, to programmes for the elderly and much more.'
'At the same time, the church has a commitment to excellence of presentation which is evident in everything they do.'
'From the time I arrived, I felt right at home. If you think Sister Act was just a movie (or that "contemporary" churches are just a lot of froth and bubble) get down to ALC in Bradford... You'll quickly change your thinking!'
For more on Abundant Life Centre, Bradford, or Pastor Paul Scanlon's work, go to alm.org.uk.