You know history is not such a bad thing! Knowing how we got here, what went on to get us where we are today etc. So that’s why I thought it would be good for you to find out some thing about roadHoG‘s history. If you weren’t interested why click this link, hey? Here goes then….
In 2001, youth workers, Tony Coe and Stuart Griffiths, were travelling to Haven High Technical College, in Boston, talking about the isolation of youth in South Lincolnshire and the increasing difficulties of reaching these young people with the Good News about Jesus Christ. In a throw away line, Stuart said wouldn’t it be good if the church could go to where young people are and not wait for them to come to the church. At that point, the phrase “The House of God on the road” came to Tony.
This conversation lead them to look at other bus ministries including the CYBER BUS (Oxfordshire) and the EDEN BUS (Manchester).
Meanwhile, Stuart took on the pastoral leadership of Boston’s New Life Fellowship and Tony continued his ministry from Holy Trinity Church to the schools and to the surrounding Anglican Deanery. It was here that he experienced the church’s lack of confidence and resources to work with young people.
In 2005, a survey was conducted asking 1550 local young people if they would like to see a mobile youth centre visit there village. An overwhelming 77% of young people said that they would.
In July 2006, Tony asked Holy Trinity Church permission to develop the project as part of his pastoral responsibility to young people in the Boston Area. This was granted and as a result he spent much time developing a Steering Group to move the project forward. After constant set backs, the Steering Group approached Lincolnshire Youth Mission Ltd, with a similar vision to reach Lincolnshire youth, to explore the possibility of affiliating with them and guaranteeing a start to what had been a very exciting journey so far. On this journey, we keep that clear vision before us, that when people see roadHoG going past, they will see the church getting out and going to where young people are.
In June 2007, a small Steering Group of Robert Dring, Armstrong Leworthy, Clare Holden and Tony Coe started the conversation of coming under the banner of LYM Ltd. LYM Ltd would only be interested in the project if it was an expression of many churches working together. Time was spent encouring a number of local churches if they would become partners and as a result of this the Methodist Church, Boston Baptist Church, New Life Fellowship and the Holland East Deanery (including Holy Trinity and St Guthlac’s) became our partner churches.
In July 2008, the project was officially owned by LYM Ltd.
Tony Coe worked voluntarily to raise funds for nine months and was appointed the project’s Youth Missioner on 14th May 2009.
On 4th June 2009, a bus was purchased from Stagecoach and was then delivered to the coach fitters for its conversion on 24th June 2009.
The bus was launched on Thursday 1st October 2009 and dedicated by the then Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Rev John Saxbee on the grounds of the Giles Academy. None of this could have been done without the work of our partner churches, which include: The Methodist church, the Anglican church, New Life Fellowship, Boston Baptist, Beacon Church, St Guthlac’s Church and Holy Trinity Church.
History in the making in 2013
Since the launch of the project, roadHoG has welcomed onboard over 13,000 young people and have been asked to pray with 800 young people. As history writes itself it is a tremendous priviledge to be part of HIS STORY.
End of our first 5 years and the start of the next…..
At the end of our first 5 years we had welcomed nearly 21,000 young people and had been asked to pray with just under 1000 young people. The directorship changed in 2014 with 5 directors leaving and 3 new directors coming on board. We had a new reconditioned engine fitted by Walsh’s Engineering Ltd in Eccles. Tony Coe finished his planned 5 years on the road and the project welcomed Alan King as the new LYM Youth Missioner to take the project forward. Friday 7th November marked the start of Alan’s ministry and our good byes to Tony at a service in Centenary Church, Boston.
So the story continues…
Change in 2016…
September 2016 Alan King felt the need to find other employment. To cope with this, The Steering Group had to metamorphasise to enable it to assume full management of the project, and so the Local Project Management Team came in to being.
The teams on the various routes, have now appointed Team Leaders, and now manage themselves on a daily basis, under guidance from the Management Team. The Management Team itself is now chaired directly by a director of LYM Ltd, with members of the team being responsible for various areas of the project such as organising teams of drivers, bus maintenance, stocking the craft and tuck shop, maintaining the web and social media pages etc.
2018 and onwards…
In Decmember 2018, Tony Coe became our Schools Worker. Since then, Tony has received many invitations to work in a number of local Junior Schools, particularly with Year 6 Students – we thank God for these opportunities to share our faith with young people – and look forward to Tony being able to expand his work into Secondary Schools in the fullness of time.
Because RoadHoG only works on an ecumenical basis, rather than with a specific Church / denomination alone, we are particularly excited at being asked to share our vision for outreach amongst young people with Spalding and District Churches Together. We have been invited to make a presentation to them at their next Meeting in March, so that we can seek God’s will for youth outreach in the Spalding area.
Thank you for your prayers – the project cannot succeed without them. It has been said that the RoadHoG Bus is a prototype Hybrid vehicle, needing both Prayer and Diesel to work – take away either and it will fail!!