Bingham and Magdalene are schemes to the north of Niddrie in Edinburgh. We’ve been in discussions with a small church in Bingham called Southfield Hall about revitalising the work there and have had a team involved in ministry there since August 2016. Just recently we concluded the handover of the church building, allowing the ministry there to develop.
Leading the team in Bingham and Magdalene is Paul Mcloughlan, who has been training with 20schemes for a couple of years now. Together with his wife, Rachel and their little daughter, Rebekah, they’ve moved into Magdalene and are excited about the development of the work out there.
We put a few questions to Paul to introduce him to you and give you a bit more information about the work in Bingham and Magdalene.
Tell us a little about yourself
Paul: My name is Paul. I’ve been married to my wife, Rachel, for nearly seven years. We have a four-year-old daughter, Rebekah, and we have another child on the way, due in September. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, having nice meals, reading Christian books and supporting Glasgow Celtic.
Tell us how you became a Christian
Paul: I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour in May 2006 whilst in a recovery centre for addiction issues. My life had become a mess due to the lifestyle I was living. I was living a shallow, hopeless life and the way I was going it was going to be a short life. However, I sought help and moved into a Christian recovery centre. The staff supported me well and relentlessly pointed me to Jesus every day. After about 5 or 6 weeks of hearing the gospel, I repented of my past and trusted in Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Right from point of conversion I had a passion to make Jesus known. I knew right away I wanted to give my life to gospel work.
How did you get involved with 20schemes?
Paul: In 2008 I had a meeting with Mez and he asked me to come and work with him. But, I didn’t think the time was right and chose to go to Bible College. But I always liked what Mez did in the schemes. However, in 2013 I came across the 20schemes website and I liked the vision right away. I knew Mez. I grew up in a scheme. I know the scheme culture and I know there is very little gospel witness in the schemes. So, I started to pray about getting involved in this great work. And on top of this people kept pointing me to Mez and encouraging me to go and chat to him about this. A meeting was arranged and I knew within 5 minutes of chatting to him I wanted to be involved. So, we got the ball rolling and I started working for 20schemes in August 2015.
Tell us a little about Bingham and Magdalene, Edinburgh.
Paul: Over the last year and a half, I’ve been working in the Bingham/Magdalene scheme. This area has a population of just under 3100. On the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation this area is in the lowest 5% of deprived areas in Scotland. It has a huge amount of substance misuse, broken homes and mental health issues. But the most alarming issue is there’s no gospel witness in the area. The people are hopeless and there has been no one pointing them to Jesus. That is why I am trying to plant a gospel proclaiming church here.
Who is working with you in Bingham and Magdalene and what are they doing?
Paul: At the minute, I lead a small team of my wife Rachel, and two 20schemes interns, Emily and Graeme. We also have another family coming on board. At the moment, Rachel and Emily work with the ladies in the community. They do Bible studies and woman’s social events. Through this work they have seen the Lord saving three of these women who are now being discipled by Rachel and Emily. We also run a café and a monthly children’s event which is very popular. Graeme and myself try and reach the men in the community which is slow, but we are gradually making progress and are getting known in the area.
Why are you committed to gospel ministry in Bingham and Magdalene?
Paul: I am totally committed to seeing this area won for Christ. My family and I know to win the people, you need to live among the people and get to know the culture, and that is why my family and I recently moved into the area to make maximum impact. We have settled into our new home and are slowly getting to know the people around us.
What are are you most excited about as you embark on this work?
Paul: The work in Bingham/Magdalene is very exciting because we see God at work, opening doors and touching hearts. At the moment, I am most excited about having moved into the area and getting to know my neighbours and building contacts for gospel opportunities. I am also excited that we have just taken over an old church building which we hope to refurbish and use for our church meetings in due time.
Give us 3 things we can be praying for you and Rachel:
Paul: We would hugely appreciate your prayers for this endeavour and if you could pray for the following we would be most grateful:
- Please pray we continue to build relations in Bingham/Magdalene and pray we see more men and woman come to faith in Christ.
- My family and I live by faith, please pray the Lord provides for us as a family as well as providing funding for the ministry.
- Please pray God blesses our vision to see a thriving gospel centred church in the heart of this scheme where the mighty name of Jesus is worshipped and glorified.