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 in the very park 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!
If you would like to support us, there are many ways you can get involved. You can give one (or all?) of our team members a donation and sponsor them to “keep on keeping on”. You can pray for us – both before and during the day. Many of us are far more familiar with sitting at a desk than we are with walking marathon distances so we’ll need all the prayer and encouragement we can get. You can even join us for some of the walk if you are able. We don’t expect people necessarily to sign up for the whole thing but we’d love the company at different stages along the way. Even if it is just for a few miles, you too can express your desire to be part of this long walk in the same direction we are all on.