Crossway United Reformed Church
Crossway United Reformed Church has served the Elephant and Castle under differing denomination titles for over 150 years. The original building in New Kent Road was replaced with a modern building in 1973 before regeneration of the area resulted in this third incarnation. The common feature of the church has been to serve the community. In the early 20th century this involved jobs clubs, midwifery services, social meeting places and welfare programmes. The context in the early 21st century has changed and the ethnic diversity of the area with the need for first generation immigrants to worship together means the United Reformed Church has reflected on the ministry it offers.
The report Being Built Together (University of Roehampton June 2013 pp91ff) features the work of Crossway as a case study of new ecumenism. It highlights the theology of hospitality that underpins the ministry of Crossway in sharing its valuable resource of space with others. There are currently 10 congregations using the building and three day centres with more to follow. The minister Peter Stevenson explains that Crossway United Reformed Church is following the example described in Exodus 12:4 “If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbour, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.”
The new building is designed and arranged to enable smaller congregation to get started and ‘seeds’ the future worshipping communities from all over London.