24 Years and running…
During the 70s, a church planting team from YWAM Holmstead Manor, Sussex, travelled to Pembroke, South Wales and established a small church there. The church, having grown, and still running today, provided a momentum for further visits during that decade – and on into the 80s – which gave an impetus to consider the possibility of planting long term YWAM work in Wales.
During the later half of the 80s several people began to seriously explore the idea of planting a permanent work in the South of the country which duly resulted in 3 couples beginning a work in Porth, right in the heart of the South Wales valleys in 1990-91.
Further staff joined and by 1993 a small team pioneered a second work in the market town of Llangollen up in the North of the country. With a continued emphasis on church work, discipleship groups were formed along with Alpha and 2nd level leadership courses. Over the subsequent years, YWAM schools such as the Operation Year and PCYM were also implemented.
By the turn of the millennium, the work in the North had turned its focus toward the nearby border town of Wrexham. Meanwhile, the work in the South was on the point of incorporating into its own church plant which subsequently launched as ‘The Bridge’ in the early years of the decade. This marked the end of direct YWAM work in the South (for now!) but close links were maintained between the continuing work in the North and the new church, ‘The Bridge’, in the South.
At about that time, in 2002, more workers joined in the North Wales team to replace those that had moved on and in 2003 Wales’ first 6 months DTS was held in Wrexham. This was quickly followed by another DTS in 2004 held in a Welsh speaking chapel in the North of the town.
Work since then has taken on both a Wrexham and National focus as relational ties with other workers and movements around the country began to develop and flourish. This first 10 month DTS ran in 2010/2011 and the team started a weekly ministry called Healing on the Streets in March 2011. A 10 month DTS has been running every year since, up until June 2015.