Story

Malt Cross Vision

There are two words that seem to describe the Malt Cross and our purpose in the city:Sanctuary
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them”.
Exodus 25:8

Beacon
I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.
Isaiah 42:6Both of these words have been confirmed to me over a period of time since then and really has confirmed what I believe we are already doing.We have always had the intention to the café bar being a “safe place” in the city and people often comment on this and have actually called it a sanctuary. We have not wanted to stop there though, but have wanted to be active in the community and lives of those around us, a beacon of light in the darkness.So from the safe place, people are offered the chance to explore, creative space, thinking space, relational space and sacred space, giving an holistic reflection of the nature of God.Our vision at the Malt Cross is three-fold.
Three different notes of a musical chord that join together to make one, to serve Nottingham city centre. This is where we live and this is where we love to be…The first note is the Malt Cross Café-bar, which we opened in Nov 2003. “Let’s be the best hosts we possibly can be: let’s try to be a blessing to everyone we meet today”. Our vision is informed by our key core values; to be authentic, transparent and to act with integrity in all aspects of our daily lives in and out of work. This means that we aim to value everyone who comes through the door as the beloved human being they really are, and not just view them as a sale. It means we’re genuine with our friendships and relationships regardless of religious background, race, age or social status. It does not matter to us if they’re close to ‘becoming a Christian’ or if they never will – all that matters is that where we can, we invest and express the love of God. As St Francis of Assisi is once rumored to have said “I’m going now to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and if necessary I’ll use words.” We are committed to seeking God, to letting him influence and change our lives and to cry out to him for our peers” Come Holy God, let your presence fill this place, use us as you are at work here.”

The second note is to try to give something back to the city. Soon after opening the Café-Bar we started the community outreach. The vision for these guys is to be hanging out in the day, and also on those busy nights when the City Centre isn’t necessarily at its best! The outreach teams are there to help those of us who maybe have had a bit too much, to help them get home, phone for the ambulances, or help those who’ve gotten caught up in a fight etc… They are also there to offer support and advice to people with alcohol and drug dependency problems, as well as those who find themselves living on the streets of Nottingham, or simply those of us needing someone to look out for them and offer them a listening ear. Giving it back!!

The third note ties everything else together and informs our values. We are looking at a way of being a Christ centred community in Nottingham city centre. We really see ourselves as being a contemporary monastery or friary, a kind of spiritual growth community. We are developing a lifestyle of faith, realising that it is about more than just ‘Sundays’. This doesn’t mean that there is any expectation on people who enjoy the Malt Cross to get all spiritual; belonging is far from an “all or nothing” proposition. Some people are neighbours, seen only in passing; some are regular party-goers who are just here for the tunes? The vibe? Some are committed to work with each other and contribute to the life of the place; and some people don’t really care and just want a coffee right now! …and that’s fine with us. Regardless of which category a person is in, he or she is welcomed as part of what we are doing, as long as it is comfortable and on some level meaningful for them.We are a growing community of people who are pursuing lifestyles of walking in the presence of God, following Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit, a way of life based on; Being Still, Being Holy and Being Available and seven practices of Intimacy, Intercession, Integrity, Inspiration, Investment, Influence and Invitation. This is worked out in reality by individuals developing a spiritual fitness programme based on these areas and then becoming accountable to a group of anything from 2 – 8 people (PODSPraying, being Open, Developing and then serving in area that they as a group feel called to. Times of prayer, meditation, creativity and discussion through the week months and year are growing in seasons as the work of God grows and needs arise.