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God is Moving in France

Michael Gowen

Just 22 miles from our shores lies a country with a totally different spiritual heritage from Britain. Vast swathes of France have no Protestant church within 30 miles. Catholic churches lie dormant, no longer used in many villages. Many French people still pride themselves on having destroyed the power of organised religion in their revolution 200 years ago. The French state is deeply suspicious of any religion which it considers vulnerable to extremism — and that includes much evangelical and charismatic Christianity.

For many years, members of Vineyard churches have been working in France to plant and build up churches. Now recently, there has been a surge of interest in churches wishing to join Vineyard: two in Caen, and one in each of Tours, the Vendée and Limoges. Each of these churches is steadily growing. In Caen the church has a strong ministry to asylum seekers and sex workers, who are concentrated in a run-down industrial area on the edge of the city. In Limoges, a Vineyard couple have retired there and offer a number of holiday gîtes, and they are finding that God has spontaneously brought together a group of people who want to meet together and worship — exciting!

Is it a coincidence that this has started to happen after we launched monthly online prayer meetings for France two years ago? Definitely not. There is much unploughed ground in France, and it is made ready for sowing the word of God in it through prayer. If you have a heart for France, come and join in with British and French Christians on the second Tuesday of each month. Details are on the website You need no knowledge of the French language to participate.

If, however, you do have some fluency in French, then there may well be other opportunities for God to use you in France. If you are interested, please contact Alex Griffin, Senior Pastor of Sheffield Vineyard, who is the lead for the UK-France Vineyard partnership, or Michael Gowen, VCUKI European Missions Coordinator and a member of Birmingham Vineyard. God is on the move in France, and we would love for lots more Vineyard people to be involved in helping things move forward.

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