James Willis

Eden Top Valley


It’s only been four months since Eden Top Valley launched in Nottingham. As the team hit the ground running sharing the love of Jesus in word and action, and they’re building strong relationships across their community.

One way they’re doing this is through hot chocolate sessions. We caught up with team leader, James, to hear about the impact these have been having.

‘The hot chocolate sessions first started because every Friday, we saw lots of young people walking past the church and we wanted to create something that they could come along to where they could hang out together and as a team, we could connect with them too.

‘So we came up with the idea of giving out free hot chocolates. The response has been amazing and already more than 100 young people coming along, and many keep telling us it’s the highlight of the week for them. We’ve even had the local MP and PSCO support the outreach work we’re doing here through Eden off the back of the sessions.

‘The sessions just keep getting bigger and better with us now also running fun competitions and playing frisbee alongside the hot chocolate stand. We are also working with a local youth worker, who has brought his homemade bike along that has a Nintendo switch on the front of it for the young people to play with. The hot chocolate sessions have grown so much that we’ve actually just started another one in Southglade Park on Wednesdays to reach out to more secondary school pupils.

‘Again this was a hit and already we’ve got to know 75 new young people in one month! One young person Zoe tells us how much the sessions mean to her and every time she walks away with a big smile on her face!

‘It’s been a great way for us to start to get to know more young people on our estate as well as connecting with their families. One family we met at the sessions came along to church and we’ve got plans to do even more events and connect with more young people and their families including a gospel music event in April. We’re so excited to have more gospel-filled conversations and see all God’s going to do on the estate so do keep praying that he’d move in the lives of the young people, showing them more of who they are in him and his love for them.’»

This Sunday is Eden Sunday where we’ll be exploring how we can cross social divides and follow Jesus’ example to raise up the poor. Find out more and get involved at message.org.uk/edensunday