The church that grew out of a lockdown WhatsApp group


A church that was formed from a WhatsApp group during lockdown now meets every fortnight.


Lay pioneer minister Venessa Pinto distributed postcards during lockdown to her neighbours in Leicester, inviting them to join the group as a way of staying in touch during the restrictions. 

“Within a couple of days we had received lots of messages from people – mainly young adults,” Venessa said.

“We started engaging via WhatsApp on questions of spirituality and faith and out of that we began meeting on Zoom for social activities and to talk about faith. Gradually that transformed into something more formal and into an inter cultural worshipping community that we call Roots.”

Venessa is a lay pioneer minister in the Diocese of Leicester and a Church Army Evangelist. She is working with lay pioneer minister Kat Gibson, as part of the Inter Cultural Worship Communities project, funded partly by the Church of England’s Strategic Development Funding.

“I am really passionate about helping people not just to explore faith but also about inter cultural ministry, where people from different cultures learn from one another and explore faith together,” she said.

More information:

  • The Church of England's Vision and Strategy for the 2020s is helping us to be a Church which proclaims and lives out the Good News of Jesus Christ afresh in every generation.