An inspiring meeting with activists

11th December 2017

by Beth Collingridge

In November I attended Janet Wolfe's Christian Singles Leaders Network (CSLN). I was really moved by everyone's passion for encouraging and equipping single people to live full lives. It was a great evening of sharing ideas and resources, and Jackie and I spoke about our campaign to help churches be more single friendly (Jackie speaking in the photo below). 

One couple that stood out to me were Tim and Shola Oladipo, who run an organisation called ‘Before and After I Do’ (on the right-hand side of the group photo below and Shola is talking to Jackie). They minister to both single people and married couples and have a particular heart for East African communities. They told us that in many churches in East Africa being single is highly stigmatised and there is little support — only pressure to get married. Through running workshops and seminars they are beginning to see attitudes change and single people empowered to live, work and serve. Esther Kuganja shared her own story on the topic, written up in her book ‘How a Single Woman can Overcome Stigmatisation’.

We also touched again on the gender imbalance in churches -- particularly in singles events and how we can meet the needs of single Christian men. Pastor Seyi Eyitayo from The One Event in Croydon said that simply changing the name of the event (and removing the word ‘single’!) had encouraged more men to attend, as it immediately sounded more low key and relaxed.

CSLN describe themselves as a group of singles ministry leaders who want to help single Christians live their lives with purpose, and grow in relationship with God and other people. I went along as the new campaigner for Single Friendly Church to meet some of the leaders who are actively supporting single adults in church – a rare ministry in many UK churches  (that’s me second from the left in the second photo).  If you’re interested, then this is a great network with whom to get trained up and connected with others. You can find out more and get in touch with them through their Facebook page:

Beth Collingridge 10 November 2017