Saint-Lô, La Mancha, Normandy
What are we planting
Saint-Lô is a city located in Normandy, northern France. The city, which is nearly nine square miles and a population about 20,000 inhabitants, has two protestant churches. Even more startling is that the two existing churches list congregations of less than 20 people, making the people of Saint-Lô vastly unreached.
Like many other places in the world, there exists a “Cultural Religion” among the people. Some of these claim a particular religion or sect but almost never attend a church and even worse, they don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord.
The population of Saint-Lô is a diverse one, and there’s a big need to spread the message of the gospel and to show God’s love, we intend to reach some of the major groups, especially among the elderly, kids, teenagers and with the immigrants and refugees.
Representing more than 28% of the population of the city, the elderly people is the biggest group. Many in this category reside in retreat homes forgotten by family and the society in which they live. A second group will be immigrants and refugees. There are many newcomers to France and to Saint-Lô, which has led to an influx of people arriving from Middle Eastern Countries. While Catholicism maintains its steady hold on the majority, we are also seeing a growing number of Muslims with the influx of people arriving from Islamic background. A third group we see in our community are those that, for various reasons, find themselves without sufficient financial resources. Many are receiving government assistance but take advantage of the system.
In France, more than 60% of the population is Catholic, there’s a 30% Atheist, 6% Muslims, 0.8% Jews and 1.3% Protestants (age 15 and over). Saint-Lô is only a small example of the current reality of religion in France. This represents a number of Protestants that can be estimated at about 700.000 of the 65 million French people in the country.
This reality is reflected not only in Saint-Lô, but also in the nearly 21,000 people in neighboring towns. In the 20 closest towns to Saint-Lô, there are no evangelical churches. This area is ripe for harvest and by God’s amazing grace, the Lord is sending workers and the Word of God is finally coming to them.