Spring 1900. An English missionary, enjoying some rest and study time at home from the mission field, started a youth group after a chance encounter in a North London park. Without knowing it, he began a long walk that we are all still on today. Albert Kestin responded to a need in 1900 and many other faithful disciples have done likewise ever since.
Fast forward 119 years and Urban Saints continues to follow in Kestin’s footsteps, starting local groups in communities and offering young people the chance to belong and explore faith together. As a movement we have been and remain committed to this 'long walk in the same direction' and we are focused on nurturing disciple-making disciples above all else.
The Urban Saints team were inspired to do something in 2019 to mark this significant journey. So on our own Founder’s Day, March 29th, team members from across the different Urban Saints' ministries, will take on their very own 'long walk' to raise money for Urban Saints. Starting from the park in Crouch End where Albert Kestin founded the first Urban Saints Group, together we will walk the near 28 miles to our current home in Luton, via our previous home in St Albans too for good measure.
The 2019 ‘Long Walk in the Same Direction’ is a symbolic act. It represents our commitment to continue journeying with young people as they discover faith and explore their own discipleship adventure. We will do the journey together because that is what we are called to do – to live out our faith in community with others.
Hebrews 12: 1-2 tells us: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
We will literally follow in the footsteps of our founder and predecessors as we continue to run (or walk!) the race towards the bright future God has for Urban Saints and the many thousands of children and young people who will be supported, stretched and inspired by the new batch of Urban Saints' Groups.
“Urban Saints are committed to walking the journey of faith with young people. This sponsored walk symbolises that commitment that goes back to our very beginnings and will continue to be our calling for many years to come." - Richard Langmead (CEO of Urban Saints)
If that’s not enough reason for this tiring adventure then we will also be looking to raise a few quid for future new Urban Saints' Groups. Some of the team members will be raising funds for their ministry areas so if you would rather support the long term development of Camps or help more young people have the opportunity to go on an Overseas Adventure or provide for those with additional needs that can see them marginalised in their local communities or… well, you get the idea!
"Please give to this fantastic cause which enables the discipleship of young people across the nation - do it for the 95% of young people in the UK who don't yet know Jesus" - Becca Ambrose (Impact Team Leader, Edinburgh)
"I have witnessed the impact that Urban Saints has in transforming the lives of young people up and down the country - and we don't want any of them to not be able to come on an Urban Saints Camp because they lack the money to do so." - Ben Williams (Urban Saints Camps team)
"I'm walking because Urban Saints has been a huge part of my life since I was 13 years old. They gave me a family when I needed one the most and always cared. Without the work of this charity many young people would be lost and would not have some much needed support." - Emily (local group leader)
If you would like to support the team, we would really appreciate your prayers and you can donate to the team fundraising target or choose to sponsor an individual team member.