Wednesday, November 19, 2008

St. Albans

I have known Phil and Elaine Johnston for a very long time. When I was Regional Leader for Scotland Phil was pastoring in Glasgow - the church where their son Carl now serves as assistant minister. Several years later when I moved to my current role he was the pastor in Cheltenham - the place that Marilyn and I considered our home church - it was a joy to sit under his ministry on the occasions when I was not preaching elsewhere.

It was a therefore a pleasure to be with Phil and Elaine in St Albans - the fellowship that he curently leads. The design of the St Alban's building, with it's cafe areas gives te church a sense of warmth and felowship. The service was very ably lead by Joel Pridmore - one of Elim's finest worship leaders.

Robinswood Church - Inspire Conference

Robinswood Church is one of the fastest growing and, in my view, one of the most innovative churches in the country. Simon Jarvis, together with his wife Ali, have seen it develop from around 150 to almost 600 in just three years. Before accepting the pastorate Simon headed up the youth department for the Assemblies of God.

I was there as the speaker at the Inspire Conference which they held over three days. As I was not able to be with them for the Sunday they transfered the two Sunday meetings to Saturday without any loss of numerical support - that's creativity.

Robinswood is one of the longest established pentecostal churches in the country and was pastored for many years by Albert Garner who, though retired, attends the church and is thrilled with the accelerating growth.

To be able to acheive what has been done has required a quantum leap in culture change. That this has been done in such a small space of time is remarkable to say the least.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Newcastle Elim is a fabulous church - great worship, warm and welcoming people, and continuing numerical growth.

Simon and Julia Lawton, pictured here with their lovely daughter Amy, had only recently moved into the pastorate of the church but it felt as if they had been there a great deal longer. They clearly love the church and it was very evident that this was reciprocated by the congregation.

I have no doubt that there is a great future ahead for this exciting church.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Princes Risborough

There are some churches that, as soon as you enter the door, exude a 'buzz' of expectancy and warmth - Chiltern Christian Fellowship, Elim's congregation in Princes Risborough is such a place.

Geoff and Jane Blease have done a tremendous job since they first came several years ago and there is little wonder why so many people have recently joined the fellowship and made this church their spiritual home.

After the service Geoff and Jane afforded me the opportunity to meet the Elders and their wives over a meal. This team constitutes a group of high caliber leaders with the acumen to take this church to many times its current size.


There was much celebration at the official opening of the new complex in Wimbledon. The preparation and construction took over three years during which the Pastor, Marcus Bennet tenaciously worked with planners and builders to bring the building to completion - facility which now provides a much larger sanctuary area together with office and counselling rooms.

There were two services at which I had been invited to speak during the day. The first was the official opening that was attended by the local MP and Mayor and Elim's Regional leader for the area, David Campbell.. The second was an evening celebration service in which Marcus geneourously commended former minister Robert Styles, who was among several Elim pastors present, referring to him as his pastor and mentor and the person who had first expressed the need for new premises to be built.