‘Wow, 10 years! I can hardly believe it. It doesn’t seem 10 years ago that I, (Carolyn) stood in a function room at the prestigious All England Club and announced the launch of Third Space Ministries. I had no staff, hardly any money, and not much of an idea on how to run a charity. But I did have a network of people who would cheer me on, offer their services, provide office space, donate and begin to pray. And I had an unshakeable belief that this was what I was meant to do. This was more than pursuing a dream. It was a sense of calling and purpose, with the central aim of sharing the love of God. Whilst an actual party isn’t possible right now, I am truly celebrating 10 years. I always said I’d keep going until God said stop. I couldn’t envisage 10 years back then, but now I have an amazing team of staff, trustees and volunteers; we are impacting the world of music, nightlife and sport; sharing the vision at churches and conferences; and seeing people encounter God in unlikely places. These last 10 years have shown us that God is so faithful, and that all things are possible with Him.’
As we bring our festivities to a close, we hope that you have enjoyed the memories we have shared. For those who were able to join us for our birthday year launch in the Houses of Parliament, thank you for coming and helping us kick off our celebrations.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, we had to quickly adapt how we worked, and take all of our chaplaincy and events online. It has stretched us and allowed us to be creative in new ways and while it wasn’t the birthday year we had planned for we have loved the learning. Thank you to everyone who joined us for our virtual Love All Serve All this year, and the DJ Unity online Festival.
One of our goals for this year, was to give you a deeper insight into the day to day of being a chaplain in a third space. Our Nightlife Ministries Coordinator, Ellie Barrett, shares her birthday reflections:
‘It’s Third Space Ministries 10th birthday! Through various projects and events, we have been able to reach 100’s of individuals through handing out little sweet treats, offering practical help in a time of need or praying with people on dance floors, festival fields and more. Even during lockdown God has continued to be on the move. After years of prayer and pioneering our Strip Club ministry, Illuminate Soho, we are thankful to God for sustained relationships with women from 3 different strip clubs over lockdown. Many have needed support, love and prayer as their workplaces have been closed and like so many others they face times of uncertainty, change and challenge. In this ministry and many more over the years we have had the privilege of being a safe space for so many as they occupy nightlife third spaces as their place to work or place to unwind. We have been able to be present in these places to stand alongside people in the celebrations and the challenges of life. Even in a changing landscape of the nightlife industry, we are excited to see what God will do over the next 10 years!’
From nightclubs to festivals, from strip clubs to gyms, over the last 10 years there have been so many different ways to share the love of God in third spaces. One of our big goals is to see chaplaincy normalised in third spaces. This won’t happen overnight, but we are beginning to see shifts in culture where we are present, and as industries see the impact of chaplaincy and welcome us in. Luke, our DJ Ministry Coordinator, launched Soundcheck this year, to offer chaplaincy within the music industry across the UK and beyond. It is a bold, pioneering step towards seeing transformation in this third space. He shares:
‘I’m so grateful to be part of Third Space as it celebrates 10 years! Being part of an organisation that seeks to bring God’s goodness, love and transformative grace into new territories, cultures and environments is such a blessing and a privilege. My time on the team has genuinely led to some of the most formative, challenging and inspiring moments of my journey with God and I’m humbled to have been part of the Third Space story during my time here. I give God thanks for all that He has achieved through Third Space in the last 10 years and I’m excited for all He has in store for the next 10!’
We are all excited for the next 10 years! But before we look ahead, we wanted to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all of you, our partners, supporters, volunteers and friends – the wider Third Space Ministries family, without which none of what we do would be possible. Thank you for being on this journey with us. Thank you for cheering us on over the years. That you for every encouraging email, every financial gift, every hour of volunteer time, every prayer for us and our work. It means so much!
Carolyn and the Team