The Beginning of HOPES
In July 2020, when the future of the Coach House in Bexhill was very uncertain, proposals for the way ahead were being requested and received by the Servants with Jesus Board of Trustees who had managed and overseen the Coach House since the 1970s under their ministry.
A small group of us, Rev. Chris Sears, Katie Harrison and Susie Molina (all members of Hastings 24-7 Prayer), got together and prayerfully wrote up a vision statement for HOPES, the House of Prayer East Sussex. We very much felt that honouring the rich legacy and precious ministry of the Servants with Jesus was very important and needed to be built upon. Yet we felt that God wanted to do something new and fresh at the Coach House, whilst staying true to its original call “to serve the praise of God” (according to the King Offa Charter from 772AD).
We presented our written, three-fold vision (insert link to vision website section) to the Servants with Jesus Trustees, and from among all the proposals submitted by different groups, the vision of HOPES was unanimously voted for by all the Trustees. We were greatly humbled by this decision and deeply aware of the great responsibility the acceptance of taking on this vision entailed, mainly before Jesus our Lord and King, but also before the body of Christ locally and further afield.
The need for a married couple as live-in Custodians of the Coach House as part of the future ministry and work of HOPES was put before us, and within days, God highlighted His chosen couple to us: Carole and Andrew Dreeling. Carole and Andrew were both in a key divine transitional season, having served in various ministries and capacities in the Body of Christ for many years, having laid down everything to discover what God would have in store for them next. The vision of HOPES deeply resonated with them, and they felt God clearly leading them into this new place and calling as Custodians. They moved into the Coach House in February 2021.