THE Bishop of St Asaph has appointed the first two leaders of a new kind of Christian community being established in Wrexham.

1 Hope Street, a 1930s building and a former Burton’s clothes store in the town centre, was bought by the Diocese of St Asaph earlier this year.

A £1.9 million grant from the Church in Wales will help transform it into a Christian space designed particularly for young people and families.

Andy Kitchen and Rachel Kitchen are currently on the staff of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), in London and will be moving to Wrexham with their two children, 11-year-old Joel and nine-year-old Tia during the summer of 2020.

Andy worked as a town planning consultant for nine years, so will bring that expertise to the design and refurbishment of Hope Street.

Rachel worked for a short period for Christian charity Tearfund, and brings a heart for justice and compassion.

As well as recruiting other team members, including Welsh speakers, and developing relationships across the town, Andy and Rachel will be finishing their work and training at HTB.

They will share the role of Leader of Hope Street. Both have twenty years of experience investing their passion, time and energy in new and growing churches in London, the Midlands and Watford.

Rachel said: “For a long while we’ve sensed a call to church planting and, as we’ve prayerfully considered Bishop Gregory’s invitation to lead Hope Street, we’ve sensed this is also God’s invitation to us.

"Through scripture, prayer, prophecy, the wisdom of friends and looking at our own experience to this point we have a growing sense of excitement, faith and peace.

“We are excited to join with what God is already doing in St Asaph, to reach out to young people, students and families, and to partner with others to serve the surrounding area and see transformation.

"We are drawn to the pioneering nature of this project; it is a bold move to start a new and differently styled worshipping community right in the centre of Wrexham.

"We have been really excited and impressed by the work the Diocesan team has already put into this project and count it a privilege to join them to see what God wants to do.”

Refurbishment work on Hope Street is getting underway. Window displays will show the sort of work already being undertaken by churches in Wrexham and illustrate future ambitions for Hope Street.

To find out more about Hope Street, visit: