Hannah Britten, 25, lives in a Christian community house on Briar Hill, a council estate on the outskirts of Northampton.
YOU’VE obviously got a vision for mission: how does living in community help this?
I find it’s easier to build relationships with those living in the local area now I live in community. There are other people around in the house and that makes for safety when we invite people in – especially if we don’t know them very well. We also aim at making friends together and that stops any of us getting drained.
I used to live in a village (very different from living on a council estate) and I find I can relate to people better on the estate now I’m living among them.
But surely, as a young person, you want to travel and ‘see life’ – not be tied down by a community lifestyle?
I’m happy living in community. I’ve found my ministry; I feel fulfilled. I love to help young girls find a relationship with God as well as a place in the church. This includes girls bought up in the church and girls from the estate. I’ve also been to Zambia recently to help teach IT in a school and that was an eye-opening experience.
Yes, there’s a sacrifice in community: I don’t have so much personal space, for instance, but living in community has made me more outward-looking. I’ve become more aware of those around me and their needs. I used to be quite shy and inward-looking, fearful of new experiences, different situations and people. God has helped me out of these things and given me more confidence.
What is your vision for the young people you work with?
I want the young girls who visit our house to deepen so they really find God more. I long for them to go to God first with their difficulties rather than me and depend on Him. Some of them have not had the security of a good father; I long for them to find God as Father. I’d like them to find a ministry like I’ve done in years to come – in their own way. I want them to reach their full potential and not waste their lives.
What is the best thing about church?
We’re people with a vision, we’re going forward together. This is a passionate church. We ‘do’ church all through the week, not just Sunday – church is a lifestyle!