Andy and Rachel Kitchen
“We moved in on 9th April 2016. This was a life changing moment for us as a family and we are hugely grateful to God and Mission Housing.”
Andy and Rachel Kitchen are part of the leadership team of KXC, a church situated in Kings Cross. Their role in this new church plant has been to pioneer engagement in the local community, which, partnering with other local churches, now sees young people being mentored, a weekly brunch for rough sleepers and a drop-in for sex workers. The church is also involved with a local food bank and co-working space, and has plans to establish a debt advice centre in Kings Cross.
Alongside this community outreach Andy and Rachel are passionate about people finding a place to belong in the church. ‘The theme of “homecoming” is key to the network of small groups which we oversee,’ says Andy. ‘In addition to this, we are hugely excited about the next few months as we seek to establish a morning congregation which will reach out to families in the local area.’
A key part of the vision God has given Andy and Rachel is to see transformation in the local area, so having a permanent presence there has been very important for them. ‘While our housing situation has been part of the journey of faith we’ve been on,’ says Andy, ‘having moved a total of five times in five years has also been a distraction as we’ve experienced the challenges that many families are facing in the London rental market.’
In 2015 Mission Housing agreed to help Andy and Rachel with a shared-equity purchase of a property in Kings Cross. Andy explains how God and Mission Housing responded to their needs: ‘After several months of making quite slow progress we had a dramatic breakthrough when one individual agreed to invest a large sum. His confirmation email arrived five minutes before the start of Mission Housing’s monthly board meeting, where they were able to agree to an offer being made.
‘The next day, Rachel showed me a text message she’d received from a friend which read: “As I was walking down Caledonian Road I felt the Holy Spirit on me and thought of you … I looked up and saw a for sale sign on a house. I felt like God might be saying, ‘This is your house’.” This was the same property that we had just made an offer on – what an incredible encouragement that was to us! We moved in on 9th April 2016. This was a life changing moment for us as a family and we are hugely grateful to God and Mission Housing.’