We are seeking to create community here in Mid Sussex, the place where God has put us, building relationships, finding friends and loving one another as Jesus commanded us. This means sharing our lives with each other, meeting together in small groups, loving one another in practical ways, and always being open to welcoming others into our communities.
There are so many who are struggling with the difficulties of life. Jesus brings hope. We have his Holy Spirit living in us and so we want to bring hope to the hopeless, to care for those in need, befriend the lonely and share God’s love with everyone we meet. We believe that the church should be a family and love must be our key characteristic.
We are called to follow Jesus, who gave his life for love of this world, who made a way for us to know God as our heavenly Father, especially those who seem furthest away. We were made for relationship with God, to discover and use the gifts he has given us as we work together for his glory.
The Point is part of the Church of England and began towards the end of 2004 with eight adults and 5 children. Anglican Vicar Will Kemp moved down from London with his wife Caroline and their three boys to join a small team already in the Hurstpierpoint area.
As Will explains, “Our time in London was coming to an end, and we were asking God where He wanted us to serve Him next. We looked at several openings, but none of them quite seemed to fit. Then out of the blue came a phone call from old friends, Matt and Beth Redman, and the idea of a churchplant in Mid-Sussex started to take shape. Before long we were sitting with the Bishop of Horsham, Lindsay Urwin, and the dream became a reality.
The group started meeting in the Kemps’ home in September 2004, praying and sharing together, and for the first few months focussed in on just one passage of scripture: Acts chapter two – a picture of what the early church looked like. These verses became key in determining how we would do church at The Point. Our aim from day one has been to take the heart of this two thousand year old model of church, and re-imagine it for today’s world.
God welcomes each one of us to come to Him. Jesus invites us in. We want The Point to reflect this. Being welcoming is more than just being friendly – it’s about making the newcomer a priority, and creating environments where our guests feel valued. This is why we always try to use language everyone understands and explain what we do in our gatherings – not assuming that everyone knows what’s going on.
We can do nothing without God. Prayer is a key characteristic of a people who walk closely with God: whether in private or when gathered together. We pray both to draw near to God and to receive His strength and direction for our lives. This is why we make praying together regularly a priority at The Point. We want everything we do to come out of prayer and be sustained by prayer.
Freely we have received and freely we must give. Everything we have belongs to God. As a church we want to find ways to give our time, energy and finances in response to the extravagant blessings that God has poured out upon our lives. This is why we always seek to be as generous as we can.
We serve God – and as we do so He calls us to serve each other and the communities around us. We aim to do this not out of mere duty, but with joyful hearts – gladly working hard in every situation. In the Kingdom of God everyone has a role to play, and this is why we encourage each other to find a place on the team.
As an act of worship we seek to bring God our best. In every meeting or project we undertake as a church we aim to do it as well as we possibly can – honouring God in even the smallest of details. Our wholeheartedness is also motivated by a desire to represent Jesus and His church in the most relevant and accessible way to those who have not encountered Him. This is why we sometimes spend a little more time and money to make sure we do things well.
At The Point we’re on an exciting journey of faith. God doesn’t reveal the whole route, but simply provides us with the next step. This makes for an adventure, and makes sure we stay humble and dependent on Him. This is why we are often taking risks (which won’t always work!), experimenting and trying new things at The Point.
We’re a group of people who are called by Jesus to share our lives with one another. How we treat each other is every bit as important as what we do. We need to get to know each other and support each other on the journey. This is why at all our gatherings we spend time just ‘hanging out’ together, building friendships.
Various teams make up the leadership of The Point. These include staff, clergy and trustees.
Will and Caroline moved to Mid Sussex with their three children, Jonny, Lukas and Joshua, in August 2004, to ‘plant’ The Point, a new Anglican Network Church for Mid Sussex. Will is the Vicar of the church and together with the trustees is responsible for overseeing the church. Will was ordained as a Minister in the Church of England in 1999, and worked for a church in London before moving to Mid Sussex. Caroline trained as a Clinical Psychologist and worked in the NHS before being a full time Mum for many years. She now works as the Centre Manager for The Haven Pregnancy Counselling Centre in Burgess Hill, which is a Christian charity providing support and counselling for women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy or struggling following a termination or pregnancy loss, as well as offering lessons about unplanned pregnancy for teenagers in local schools.
James is married to Neroli and they have 2 children; Gregory and Edward. James worked as an IT project manager for 25 years before joining The Point as Head of Operations in January 2021. He has served in many voluntary roles with The Point over the last 15 years including Trustee, Treasurer and kids team worker.
Ellie is married to Waldo and they have 3 children. She has been part of The Point since 2004 apart from when they lived in Mexico between 2008 to 2011. Ellie joined the staff team in June 2018 and is also part of the kids team.
Dean, his wife Eb and their two children started coming to The Point in 2015, and Dean joined The Point’s staff team as Youth and Schools Worker in September 2022. He is passionate about encouraging young people, building them up and helping them to grow in their faith and understanding of God’s love for them. Dean is a tennis nut, and would like to be a better singer and guitarist than he currently is. Before joining The Point, Dean worked for over 15 years in government and industry, and is a qualified secondary school languages teacher.
Liz joined the team in September 2015. Liz enjoys helping children discover who God is and helping them encounter him and his great love in a variety of ways. Liz has done a applied Bible theology degree with the University of Wales as well as a diploma in Christian Leadership.
Singer songwriter Stuart Barbour moved with his wife Andy to Hurstpierpoint in 2006 to join The Point. They have two children, Kyle and Holly. Stuart looks after the worship team and is part of the leadership team.
The Trustees meet once per month and have the ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the church, ensuring that it is well-run, financially sound and delivering its charitable outcomes.. The key topics that are discussed at the meetings are strategy, staffing, pastoral care, safeguarding and compliance as well as having an oversight of the day-to-day life of the church. However, the day to day running of the church is the responsibility of the staff team and the Operational Leadership Team. The Trustees are a key to the governance of the church and their knowledge, wisdom and prayer are hugely important to Will. Our current Trustees are Rev Will Kemp, Faith Fallon (Chair), Andy Gillbard, Ruth Sanders, Dale Marklew, Rob Kerr and Jean Cooke.
The Operational Leadership Team help with all the practical bits of running The Point. Our current OLT Team is made up of the Staff Team, Faith Fallon and Bob Brewer.
The Point is permitted to have four members of the Deanery Synod based on the size of the church. In the Church of England churches are grouped into Deaneries. The Point is part of the Hurst Deanery which comprises 10 local parishes and there is a meeting of the Hurst Deanery, known as the Deanery Synod, 3 times per year. The Deanery Synods have an overview of the witness and mission of the wider Church and take strategic decisions to advance mission and ministry in the Deanery and the Diocese. At the Deanery Synod meetings the members seek God’s will for the mission of the Church in the Deanery and hence are Christ-centred, prayerful and open to the Spirit’s guidance. Our Deanery Synod Reps are James Allen, Bob Brewer, Paul Goulding and Margaret Kay.