Monday, March 26, 2007
I came to conclusionon, on this my first ever visit to Lane End, that it is one of our Movement's best kept secrets. John Richards (pictured between his two associate pastors) has been there for 25 years. Lane End has a population of only 3000 but the church complex would do credit to any city centre. As so often is the case, a first class worship group led the service which had a high proportion of teenagers in the congregation. At the conclusion of the service everyone stayed behind for a meal together. John and Marion and the team have done a fantastic job over the years and this church planted the Princes Risborough church several years ago which continues to grow under the leadership of Geoff and Jane Blease.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I mentioned in a previous posting that I had been asked to take part in the 70th anniversary of the church. This occasion however was a banquet to celebrate the event. Senior minister, Maldwyn Jones, one of our finest Pastors, hosted a large number of guests. Also present was the Regional Leader of the area, Gordon Neale, and his wife Kaye. Maldwyn, Gordon and I were in College together in the Sixties and Maldwyn and my wife Marilyn attended the same Grammar School.
Its rare that I take Sunday engagements outside our own Denomination but YCC was an exception. One of my relatives is a member of the leadership and my cousin and her husband, who also attend the church, had asked me to dedicate their new baby daughter while preaching at the morning service. YCC is a growing church that meets in two locations across the city.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Until recently Steve Kempton had been the senior minister of the Gloucester church. Now he and his wife Helen are preparing to move to Asia under the auspices of Elim International missions. Under his leadership the church has seen growth in every area including the adding of facilities and the complete refurbishment of the building. In the interim, assistant pastor Sarah Whittleston has been doing a tremendous job leading the church along with the Eldership. It was Sarah who lead the Impact meeting at which I had been invited to speak. While missing their previous minister and wife, the congregation is clearly looking forward expectantly to all that God has in store for them in the days that lie ahead.
Those pictured, with the exception of the course leader Sarah Bale (far right), had completed the course preparing them to be stationed to various parts of the world under the auspices of Elim International Missions. I had been with them on the final day. All of them spoke warmly of the streling work that Sarah had done to bring the period of preparation to fruition and steering it through.
Clapham Christian Fellowship commenced as a church plant of Kensington Temple and I was present as the speaker as they celebrated their tenth anniversary. Roger Stedman has pastored the church since its inception in 1997 and I know that he was delighted not only to see a full compliment of his congregation present but also several visitors who had been impacted by the life of the fellowship over the years
Sunday, March 11, 2007
It was 50 years since the Romford Elim church was founded and during the anniversary service, held in hired venue to accommodate the extra numbers, messages were brought from previous ministers to add their best wishes on this special occasion. Glen and Gill Podd have led the church for several years and the expanding congregation has far outgrown its current building. As well as being senior minister of the church, Glen is also a member of Elim's Serious4God national youth team.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Wherever I visit there is also something that stands out as memorable and which I would want to commend - perhaps the warmth of the people or the music ministry. Both of these would be applicable to the church in Bethnal Green pastored by Richard and Toyin Jama (pictured) but the things that will stay in my memory after my day in this excellent church was the great relationship among the leaders that was evident as we shared a meal together after the service. The church has tripled over the past ten years and I have no doubt that it is on course for accelerated growth in the days that lie ahead.