Born and raised in Ghana, Nicholas Lebey (see photo) moved to the UK 14 years ago, working as a Pioneer Evangelist with young people in Bradford and South East London. Today, he brings this experience and passion with him as serves as Deacon in the Diocese of Southwark.
In 2013, Nicholas came to Thamesmead, Woolwich, and planted a church with young people who had no former connection with church.
He launched a Friday night youth club, a Tuesday night gathering, a Youth Alpha course and from this, a youth congregation that would meet on a Sunday evening.
Nicholas also worked with secondary schools and a youth charity on the estate in Abbey Wood, running football and lunch clubs.
Focused on getting young people off the streets and into a place where they could belong, connect with friends, and build relationships, Nicholas was able to mentor them, with Christian teaching.
“As relationships deepened, we began to see a community emerge. It came from the young people themselves” explains Nicholas.
“I have always had a passion for that sense of journeying with young people, helping them find faith, grow in it, and become followers of Jesus.
“I have a strong belief that we don’t do things for people, we do it with them” he continued.
Describing an earlier time of his life, Nicholas said: “I was brought up in a very remote village in Ghana. I grew up with my grandmother for the first 12 years of my life.
"My parents were not around. I remember there was a missionary who came to our village and planted a church.”
Today, looking ahead to the future, Nicholas is enthusiastic to be in “a place that is outward looking in mission and enriching people in the community.”
“I want to be a part of a church that has a bias towards young people and those on the margins.”