The GlaxoSmithKline Christian Community
There has been a Christian Community in GSK (including its predecessor companies) for over 70 years. GSK House in Brentford, West London is the headquarters of GSK, where more than 4000 GSK employees and contract workers are based.
In GSK House about fifty people from a variety of Christian traditions are on the Christian Community e-mailing list, and about half a dozen of us meet regularly at GSK House on Monday lunchtime for prayer and Thursday lunchtime for a Bible study, a DVD or a talk etc. We are blessed in that GSK allows us to use its facilities such as e-mail, the building’s information screens and rooms etc. We are burdened with the awareness that the Lord has no-one else in this huge building to represent Him and share His gospel.
At Christmas and Easter GSK allows us to advertise and hold a Christmas and Easter service in the building’s auditorium, open to everyone, and usually about 30-40 come. Sometimes we’ve had outside speakers such as the ministers of our churches.
GSK also has a Multi-Faith Network Group set up by Human Resources in recognition that in a multi-national company such as GSK there are many different nationalities and faiths eg Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians – among of course the many without a faith or religious belief. The GSK Christian Community is affiliated to this network. Through this network we were able to invite in prominent speakers from our various faiths and we were able to have Rico Tice and John Blanchard in to address audiences of about 50-60 in our big auditorium. This Group has also held a yearly Multi-Faith Stall in the main concourse of GSK House displaying information about the various faiths, at which we have made Gideon Bibles available.
In GSK House although we have opportunities we also have pressures. Many in GSK House are on short term contracts so there is constant turnover as people come and go. As GSK operates across many global time zones and we interact with colleagues all over the world, even lunch time doesn’t suit everyone who would like to join us. And we are always so busy with our work!
There are also Christian Communities at GSK’s UK sites at Stockley Park, Stevenage and Ware, and at other sites at GSK worldwide. We have a quarterly “virtual meeting” teleconference between the sites around the world, to share news and to pray for each other. Please continue to pray for us.