Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It is very fitting indeed that the last post on this page, as I complete my tenure as General Superintendent, is of our home Church in Cheltenham.

Given that this is a monthly magazine, and when you count the number of places I visit, it will not come as a surprise to learn that I am very rarely 'at home' on a weekend.  Marilyn who very often travels with me also however spends a proportion of her weekends in Cheltenham.

We value Gareth and Janet and immensely and I am always challenged and blessed when I hear him preach.

I was booked for the Easter Sunday morning  service but this fortuitously coincided with the opening of the completely renovated and extended church facilities that took almost a year to complete.  Previous ministers had talked about the possibility of putting a gallery in and have worked towards it - especially the previous pastor Phil Johnston.  But it is during the years that Gareth has been in Cheltenham that the property portfolio has increased not only for this development but also in the acquisition of Elim's previous Headquarters offices.  

Thank you Gareth for your rich ministry and the fine example that you and Janet set for the church that you lead.  Thanks too to the sacrificial support that the congregation has rendered in order to make this dream a reality.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

One Church, Norwich

Dominic and Catherine De Souza were only recently featured on this page when I had the joy of speaking at their induction into their new Church in Norwich

My visit on this occasion was the launch of their new church name "One Church Norwich"  something that,  far from being a cosmetic exercise, is a clear expression of their vision for this fine congregation.

They had left a thriving church family in Letchworth in order to take on the challenge on a new church that was about to enter a new cultural season.

Dominic and Catherine are excellent leaders who already are seeing marked evidence of  fruitfulness both numerically and spiritually.

Marilyn and I were very warmly received by the church. This would not have been unusual in a church that had been in our Movement for many years.  It was however a very gracious expression in congregation that had only recently become part of the Elim family.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Paul Hudson (pictured far left), our International Missions Director, organised the first Elim Global Conference in South America and it was a huge success with several countries represented.  His full report is featured later in our magazine. The picture mostly features the worship team but also included is Martyn Davidson who acted as my interpreter and who for many years was an Elim missionary in the Amazon. He is shortly to move to Yate, Bristol as senior pastor of the church there.  Also pictured are our missionaries in Paraguay and Bolivia (Top right).  I spoke on seven occasions over the four days and much credit must go to Pastor Silvio of Sao Paulo Elim who organised so much of the conference locally.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Letchworth Garden City Church

Although Carl and Danielle Johnston had only taken up their new pastorate at LGCC two months before my arrival, Marilyn and I were delighted to see how quickly their church had taken them to their hearts and how well they had bonded with those they were now committed to serve to lead and to serve

I recently mentioned, when reporting on my visit to Bude, that I had known the pastor and his wife since they were born and the same applies to Carl and Danielle given that their parents have have been friends of ours for very many years.

Danielle's father was a young leader in Llantrisant when I, at  21 years of age, became the pastor of my first church in 1970.

LGCC though in a small town has a great church and I have no doubt whatever that God will continue to bless Carl and Danielle as they minister there in the years that lie ahead.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Livingston, Scotland

 The Livingston was the first of three churches that Marilyn and I planted during the time that I was the Regional leader for Scotland. To be present at their 30 year celebrations was a particular honour

The church  commenced with just nine people and after a year Roy and Jackie Monks took over the pastorate.  Their input was foundational to the development of the church and under their ministry land was purchased that would later house the the current church complex.  Ministering next was Geoff and Jane Blease under whose fine leadership the building commenced.  They were followed by Pete and Sue Rimmer who for  five years pastored the church until John and Clare Henson (pictured) were inducted into leadership eight years ago. Scores of people have been added to the church through John and Clare's pastoral and teaching ministry.

The weekend began with an Aspire Banquet attended by 120 of the women in the church and at which Marilyn spoke.  The leaders of Livingston Aspire are pictured below.

On Sunday morning I had the pleasure of speaking at the anniversary service.  Roy, who was present with his wife Jackie, brought a powerful prophetic word during the meeting.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ryedale church, Malton

Situated in the picturesque Yorkshire town of Malton, Elim Ryedale is currently pastored by Andy and Andrea Boxall (pictured left) and their assistant Graeme Stewart pictured with his wife Jessie

Having long outgrown its original building, the church now meets in a local school.

Andy has previously been the worship leader at KT and Letchworth before coming as lead pastor to Malton ten years ago

A couple of years ago Andy shared at the Elim Leaders Summit his vision for impacting local schools with good Christian education and has since raised hundreds of thousands of pounds which now assists scores of schools on this part of Yorkshire - a huge vision based out of a town with a population of just 13,000 people.

I received a great reception  from this warm and welcoming Yorkshire congregation and enjoyed quality time with Andy and Andrea after the service - great to be with pastors and church alike.

Monday, February 15, 2016

All Nations Church, Wolverhampton

I reserve most of my weekend appointments for Elim churches but there are some exceptions and one of those was when visiting the AoG church in Wolverhampton.  I first met its senior leader Steve Uphall, pictured here with his wife Esther, about twelve years ago at a Council meeting of the Evangelical Alliance.  I spoke at all three consecutive morning services and had the pleasure of viewing the construction of a 1000 seater auditorium that is in the process of construction.  On the previous evening Marilyn and I met with the core leaders over a curry at Steve and Esther's home.