20schemes is partnering with the Free Church of Scotland to bring the light of the gospel to Scotland’s poorest communities.
Meet Andy Robertson, a 20schemes presbyterian church planter who is in the early stages of planting a church in Charleston, a scheme in Dundee.
My name is Andy Robertson…
I am married to Caireen and we have a wee one-year-old boy called Finlay, and a newborn son named Lewis. My wife and I are currently living in a housing scheme in Dundee called Charleston and we are in the process of planting a church here through the Free Church of Scotland. Although originally from Dundee, I spent six years in Edinburgh, training from 2011-2016 with Chalmers Church Edinburgh and Edinburgh Theological Seminary. In 2017, we moved to Dundee to begin this church plant in connection with St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland.
Charleston is an area of Dundee with a population of just over 4,500 people. Like most housing schemes in Scotland it has high unemployment, a high crime rate, and high instances of drug and alcohol abuse. Around 35% of the residents in Charleston are unemployed and 60% of them live in the bracket of the 15% most socially deprived people in Scotland. This is an area of great social need but the reason we are planting a church here is because of the great spiritual need. The 4500+ people in this area need the truth and hope of the gospel more than anything else.
We passionately believe that God’s plan to the reach the lost of this nation with the good news of Jesus is through His local church. That is why we are seeking to plant one here in Charleston. We want it to be a church made up of people from Charleston that will do four key things: REACH the lost with the gospel, TEACH people how to live obediently to Jesus, TRAIN future gospel leaders and SEND them out to other parts of Dundee and Scotland.
Since starting in 2017, we have assembled a small launch team of ten people. Most of the team will live in Charleston and our desire in the first year is to get integrated into the local community so that we can most effectively share the good news of Jesus. We have been involved in schools, the community centre, local businesses and various community projects. We recently rented an old building in the scheme that used to be the post office. We have renovated this building and it is now used as the basis for the work we do as a church throughout the week. We use it as a place for people to drop in, a café, an office and a base for our Sunday Bible study for the residents of Charleston. We also run a variety of youth programmes from babies to teenagers. We have been blessed so far to see a good number of locals attending our Sunday Bible study with a couple of them recently making a profession of faith.
In order to do this ministry, we need to raise money and we are looking to increase our budget this year through hiring a women’s worker after the summer. We have a great financial need but we also need people–people who would be willing to move into Charleston to be involved in this ministry. Above all we need prayer. If you would like to receive regular prayer updates or more information please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.