What kind of church are
We are an independent church which means we are not connected to any other denomination. We are however an evangelical church which means that we believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and has something to say to every person in any situation.
What makes your church different from others?
We believe that our Christian faith is something to be enjoyed and that our expressions of praise to God should be the best that we can give, after all He gave the best for us. We also believe that every person has a contribution to make to that process and that the whole family should be involved.
Does that mean you have a different message to put out?
No, not at all. Our message will be the same as any other Bible believing church it is just the way in which we present that message that is different.
So how do you present it?
Well we meet in a café setting where people are seated around tables and can get refreshments all the way through the service. The presentation of our weekly theme is from the front using modern technology, DVD clips, interviews, drama sketches, games etc. Our singing is led by a full praise band including drums so the program is lively, interactive and fast moving.
Where is Dingwall and where are you located within it?
Dingwall is a small market town about 12 miles north of the city of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The town only has a population of around 5500 people and also has a number of other churches. We are located in a former furniture warehouse in Hill Street.
If it already has other churches why is there a need for yours?
The need exists because there is a large number of people in the town who do not attend any church. We are not interested in taking people away from their own churches but we believe that God has given us this particular work to reach out to those who perhaps have never really heard the full message of the Gospel.
Is it just on a Sunday that you meet?
No we have a weekly prayer meeting on Wednesday evenings. We meet twice on Sunday mornings. Our first sessions at 9.30am is a Bible Teaching Time which lasts for 35-40 minutes. Then there is a break during which folks can get refreshments and then we have the café church at 11am. The younger children meet in the morning and we call that SundayzKool where the aim is to promote spiritual growth and transformation of the children in a safe environment where each child is valued. We use the medium of play to help the children relate to Jesus and this is done by a dedicated and experienced team led by a qualified professional in this field. We open on Friday afternoons at 1pm for anyone who wants to come along. This is known as Chill n' Chat and that is exactly what it is - a place where folks of any age can relax and chill out or they can play games, read, drink tea or coffee, hot chocolate and enjoy some home baking. It is early days for us in these new surroundings but we hope to open up with different activities most days of the week. Keep looking back to the web site for developments.
Do you have a lot of people coming along?
At the moment we are not large but we hope that many more will come along to see what we have on offer. Over the summer months we get visitors from all across the world. Anyone is welcome at Hub, 10 Hill Street.
You mentioned Hub, what is that all about?
That is the name we have given to our centre. A hub is the centre of something and we believe that the church and the message it proclaims needs to be at the centre of the community and at the centre of all our lives.
Does the church do anything else?
Every Sunday now we provide a simple lunch so folks can continue to fellowship together in this informal way. We have a service on the beach on Easter morning and we conduct services in the local hospital and also a nearby nursing home. At other times we can be found taking the assemblies in the local secondary school or singing carols in the local supermarket. In fact wherever there is an opportunity we try to be there. We also have a street evangelist who goes onto the streets of the town meeting and talking with shoppers on a Saturday morning throughout the year.
So how many paid staff do you have?
We do not have any paid staff. All those involved at DEC are volunteers and do what they do because they believe that is what God has called them to.
Does that mean then that you cannot perform some of the things other churches do like weddings and funerals?
We are a full church in every sense of the word and we do all that any other church will do so we perform weddings, funerals, baptisms etc, whatever is required. Over the years we have performed many of these services.
You say “over the years” I thought your church was new?
What is new is the fact that we now have our own building but the church has been meeting in the local community centre for many years. It is just that now we can expand all aspects of our work.
What are your dreams for the future then?
Our main dream is simply to have a centre where people will feel welcome and where they will come to hear the good news that God loves them so much that He gave His son to die on the cross for them thus paying the penalty we deserve. Although He died on the cross three days later He rose again in a demonstration of God’s power even over death. He wants all people everywhere to accept what He did on the cross and surrender their lives to Him.
Do you plan to open more churches like this?
That would be wonderful but at the moment we are to concentrate on Dingwall although our main teaching times are recorded and put on our internet site so that anyone can access them From feedback that we receive we know that these are being listened to across the world.
So how can we access these?
Go to www.dingwallevangelicalchurch.co.uk and access the audio sermons page from the list at the top. A list of over 150 sermons will appear and you only need to click on the one you wish to listen to. Can I add that we operate a Prayer Partners scheme which is open to anyone to join you do not have to be part of our church. The only requirement is that you undertake to pray for urgent items which will be e mailed to you as they come in. This is a very useful tool and very re-assuring for those in urgent need of prayer.