A Glimpse of Downtown, St. John's
When you think of downtown, St. John's, a number of things go through your mind: jellybean row, the shops and restaurants, George Street, Mile One Stadium, Signal Hill, The Battery, and the waterfront. It’s a beautiful place to visit and spend an evening. One thing that probably doesn’t enter your mind is the actual neighborhood of downtown St. John’s.
Mile One Mission is always looking at our city with its neighborhoods in mind. Our goal is to see local churches planted in communities across this city and, ultimately, our province. We don’t want to just plant churches that people are driving across town to attend. We want local churches with planters and their teams living in those communities.
This means that we have to look at the downtown area and draw boundaries. We have to know where the people consider downtown ends and center city begins (Georgestown, Rabbittown, Buckmaster’s Circle, etc.) so we can properly study the demographic. And let’s be honest, if you’ve ever visited St. John’s then you know this can be hard.
The neighborhoods seem to blend into each other, but the people still identify with their area. Someone from Buckmaster’s Circle or Georgestown won’t right out say they live downtown. They will first identify with their neighborhoods, which means having a neighborhood church would serve Newfoundlanders well. You may have to go “downtown” to go to Georgestown, but that doesn’t mean you are actually in the downtown neighborhood.
You might know of the colored houses, restaurants, shops, and sights but do you know the people?
That’s why we’re studying the area. We want to know the people, the area, and the issues they face. We want to know what kinds of people we’ll find, what struggles they will likely be facing, and how we can apply the gospel to their lives.
Here’s what we’ve found so far:
7,047 people in a 1KM radius.
There is no evangelical church in the neighborhood.
There have been multiple failed church plants in the last few years.
The average age is 37.
You come face to face with homelessness.
This is a place in our city that desperately needs a church. There is one evangelical church that is just outside of the boundary of the neighborhood, Cornerstone Ministry Centre, that is doing work in the area, but even if we included them in the boundary that would still only mean one evangelical church in over 7,000 people. This is just a snapshot of the area. In the coming year we will continue to study the area and learn more about the people there.
Welcome to downtown St John’s.