Gap Year: Southall – Interfaith Living

Your gap year placement

Wander/Wonder year title - a hand holding a compass
This placement is part of our unique new Wonder gap year experience.

Southall is a vibrant and extraordinarily diverse area of West London. We believe that God is doing new and exciting things in this community and, in partnership with St John’s Church, we want to find people prepared to live and learn alongside this committed group of believers.

This placement would especially suit someone with an interest in South East Asia; a passion for inter-faith, multi-ethnic work in the UK; local and global mission.

The opportunities for service in Southall are many, including:

  • In the missional life of the church through discipling new converts, Muslim engagement, Messy Church, and a new church plant called The Table, which focuses on those with no church background.
  • In the worship life of the church through preparation of Sunday services, the Alpha Course, weekday prayer, the Asian-language service, youth Bible sessions, prayer team ministry and Sunday evening contemplative services.
  • In the church’s engagement with the community through the Foodbank, a homeless night shelter and day centre, Little Angels parent-and-toddler group, informal community meals, and more.

There are a number of activities hosted and run by St John’s that only women will be allowed to assist with, due to cultural reasons, such as the 1-2-1 Bible studies with Sikh women, the English language classes, and the women’s exercise class, hosted at the church.

Southall & St John’s

Church Mission Society is recognised by Global Connections as operating under the Code of Best Practice in Short-Term Mission 2019 and 2020

Southall is a locality within the outer west London Borough of Ealing, five miles from Heathrow Airport. This locality is unique in having 94 per cent ethnic diversity. The largest religious group in the area are Sikhs, making 37 per cent of the population, with Muslims at 26 per cent and increasing, shown by Muslim pupils being the majority in many local schools. Christians are in a large minority, at 16 per cent of the population, as are Hindus with 13 per cent of the population. You will also notice that Christianity is a minority religion here.

Southall is also an area suffering significant deprivation: 34 per cent of children under 16 live in poverty and it is within the 10 per cent most deprived localities nationally. Additionally, only 16 per cent of the population are in management or professional jobs, so few people are confident to step into leadership.

The parish church, St John’s Southall Green, is thriving and growing. It has 291 on the electoral roll and an average attendance of 215 on a Sunday morning. Additionally, there are many weekday activities within the church buildings, run by church members: Messy Church, a parent-and-toddler group, an over-60s group, coffee mornings, women’s English classes, a women’s fitness class, a women’s listening service, a night shelter for local homeless people. These activities provide a bridge into the local community.

Find out more

Hit the button below, email Susann on vro@churchmissionsociety.org or call us on 01865 787415.

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