Each of Thurrock’s three Bar’N’Bus teams pulled out all the stockings (!) to bring Christmas to the young people on the borough’s streets.

DSC00334On Tuesday night, the Grays Beach team put on a party, complete with fairy lights, cake and other refreshments, and even Father Christmas himself! Played by team leader and bus driver Gary Jones (left) – with the help of the odd cushion or two – this enduring symbol of Christmas was found dishing out the hot chocolates at the hatch.

A bitter Wednesday night, and it was the West Thurrock team’s opportunity to spread a bit of Christmas cheer.

Presentations were made by Malc Mackinnon and Steve Morley. Malc used some art to reveal an aspect of the Christmas story, stripping away bits of a picture to cleverly reveal a hidden festive Biblical image.

Steve came with a bucket of gunge! He invited a volunteer to find a ‘treasure’ in the gunge – a £1 coin – to make the point that Christ came into this ‘messy’ world to seek ‘treasures’ – you and me. And if we are all treasures, then we should treat each other as such.

The talks had a reasonably good reception, given the excitement of the occasion!

PICT0473The snow lay all about and deep and crisp and even on Thursday night at Corringham Town Centre car park off Gordon Road. A group of excitable youths hurled snowballs at the bus while on board it was packed to the rafters. The team had provided extra food for the evening. Team members – including the 24-7 Prayer Transit students (who come from around the world) – were talking to the young people, building relationships and reflecting the love of Jesus to them.

Team leader Andy Biddle was more than happy with the turn out despite the decidedly inclement weather. “Everyone’s packed onto the bus because it’s just too cold to be outside,” he explained. He said that in the New Year they’re planning to invite some of the young people to an Alpha Course, and have received a grant of £500 towards the food.

The Bar’N’Bus takes two weeks off over Christmas and the New Year.

Please keep praying for this frontline ministry where the rubber literally hits the road! Pray for:

  • the young people
  • the three teams’ members (drawn from a variety of local churches)
  • more team members!
  • more drivers!
  • the bus itself
  • new teams to develop
  • finance
  • Jesus to be glorified in every aspect

Operations Manager Stuart Christian and Thurrock Teams’ Co-ordinator Tim Harrold at the Bar’N’Bus Trust would like to thank all the three teams’ members for their tireless work throughout 2009, bringing the healing love and mending hope of Jesus to a hurting world and a broken generation.

If you’re interested in Bar’N’Bus, please contact Tim Harrold on tim@transformationthurrock.com. See also www.barnbus.org.uk.