Bunnythorpe Family Church – The Journey

In 2012, with four young kids, it was time for a bigger house.

Despite hunting in what seemed like all the right locations (kids schooling, our workplaces and our church), the Lord directed us elsewhere – to Bunnythorpe, a small village 10 minutes outside of Palmerston North.

After a few years, we felt strongly that there needed to be an evangelical presence in the community. Was that of God or merely our own idea? To test it out, we continued to settle in Bunnythorpe, building friendships and praying that God would reveal what it was that He wanted us to do.

In late 2014, our desire to establish a ministry was spiked when the Bunnythorpe Methodist Church was placed on the market. Following several months of discussions, we reached an agreement whereby we could use the Methodist church building on Friday nights while it was on the market.

Why Friday? A Friday night service enabled us to start the weekend refreshed in God's Word. It also freed up the weekend for family time while allowing people to still attend Sunday services if they wished to. On 29th May 2015, we held our first church service and Bunnythorpe Family Church (BFC) was born.

We typically have 40-50 people from around the district come along. We provide a very family-friendly service, but do not hold back with preaching the Word of God verse by verse. We have seen a lot of spiritual growth and we are very blessed to be a part of what the Lord is doing in the Bunnythorpe community.

Bunnythorpe Family Church didn't start with just Rebekah and me. We were joined by a number of members from the Woodville Gospel Hall who have faithfully attended and supported us from the beginning. Kingston Community Church has also helped us, praying for us and providing much needed mentoring.

Reaching the Young

As the church took root, the Lord led us to start Every Boys and Girls Rally in October 2015. The Rally movement had a long standing in the community, however it had fallen away over the previous five years. When the local community learned that we were bringing it back, they were genuinely excited and got right behind it.

Also in October, our fledgling church hosted the first Bunnythorpe Light Party, a positive alternative to Halloween. Over 400 children attended! This single event was a clue as to how God could use our church to reach people, providing we relied on Him and worked as a team.

Losing our building?

After being on the market for some time, the Methodist church received and accepted an offer for purchase. Our time in this building was coming to an end. Were we disappointed? We were at first, as it seemed like a setback. But our God is a God of provision, and after some discussion, we moved our ministries into a permanent location at the Bunnythorpe Gospel Hall in March 2016.

Gaining Some Youth

In April 2016, we started the BFC Youth Group. This is run each fortnight with the Woodville Gospel Hall Youth Group and draws around 30-40 young people. A youth Bible study is also run at Bunnythorpe Family Church which has really helped our young people grow spiritually.

In August 2016 we started a community pantry. This is an initiative whereby the church family and members of the community put pantry items inside the box so that people within the community who are in need can help themselves. So far we have received great feedback and encouragement.

We have seen a lot of spiritual growth and we are very blessed to be a part of what the Lord is doing in the Bunnythorpe community.

Mike & Rebekah Mudford

Website: http://www.familychurch.org.nz/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BunnythorpeChurch/
Email: office@familychurch.org.nz
Phone: 027 264 6546


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