A NEW church pastor has plans to boost its impact in its community after helping transform lives in India.
Mark Jackson is now making himself more familiar to people in Hattersley after taking charge of the area’s Baptist church.
And he has ideas on making both the congregation bigger and the work it does more central – he cannot say he has not made an impact in other areas either.
For thanks to the efforts of him and others, a new orphanage they built themselves is set to open in the city of Rajahmundry.
Mark, who says he was ‘dragged up’ in the Harpurhey area of Manchester and is now based in Droylsden, said: “Making the congregation bigger would be very nice indeed.
“Over the last 20 years, I’ve done a lot of missionary work in India. I’ve travelled there 34 times, as well as five journeys to Sri Lanka and one to Nepal.
“The big project I’ve worked on is building an orphanage, on which we’ve just got a few things left to finish.
“It will house 35-40 children. We bought a plot of land and done a fresh new build from the ground up.
“Now I’ve been able to put my time and effort into Hattersley.
“And I’d love to get a coffee drop-in established here. A place where members of the local community can come and have a natter and a chat.
“I want to expand the meetings too as well as setting up a mums and tots group.”
Mark, 60, officially took over at Hattersley in January but as he puts it, ‘the Covid-19 situation meant things had to be low key.’
But now regulations are relaxing, he is looking to become further ensconced in his new area, with the help of improvements on its Melandra Crescent building.
The 60-year-old, who was an independent Christian minister for some 20 years before joining the Baptist faith about three years ago, added: “The building looked a bit tired so we’ve done a lot of improvements since I started.
“The roof was going so we’ve fixed all that. We’ve fixed the tiles too as well as painted and cleared out a lot of rubbish.”