Q & A with Steve Small, Eden Merseybank, Manchester

Steve and his wife Sarah started Eden Merseybank (Greater Manchester) in 2012. The team now consists of more than ten people including members of the local community and the recent addition of their son.

What does ‘incarnational living’ mean to you?

I first heard of this when I was at Soul Survivor and Andy Hawthorne shared about Christians moving to live on the toughest estates. It didn’t have the label of incarnational then but that’s what it was. I was living in Coventry at the time and I’d never heard of anything like it before.

They’d realised the only way to disciple some young people was to be there day after day as neighbours, facing the same highs and lows and always ready to share the gospel.

Why did you join Eden?

A few years later when I was teaching, I would bump into my students out of school and discover some of the struggles they were wrestling with. With the riots in London and Manchester on the news at the time, it dawned on me that reaching out to the young people outside of work was of more interest to me than teaching them for an hour a day at school.

Through a string of conversations, I was invited to lead a team and after much prayer and discussion, Eden Merseybank was started.

How does your Eden team operate locally?

Initially just the two of us moved onto Merseybank and the first year consisted of a lot of listening to the community, observing and helping out. There was a youth group on the estate so I got stuck in and started volunteering. Some of the kids from school recognized me, which was weird for them at first, but after a few months they soon stopped calling me ‘Sir’!

Since then we have been joined by amazing members of our community along with families who joined us from the other side of the country. Even though some of us might not be that gifted in ‘youth work’ it doesn’t matter. We are there to be family and invest ourselves in helping rebuild the community in many different ways.

Join Eden today.  Find out more at: joineden.org