Sunday, May 17, 2009

City Gates - Ilford

Steve and Julia Derbyshire (pictured) have pastored the church in Ilford for seventeen years and in the past seven have been in the process of finding suitable premises to house the burgeoning congregation that is now approaching a thousand people. There have been some obstacles along the way but their tenacity, together with that of their people, has meant that they have never given up hope.

The Sunday at which I preached at the two morning services that were packed to capacity coincided with the announcement that the council had voted unanimously to pass their plans for a six million pounds new complex. Needless to say, the atmosphere was electrifying and Steve and Julia received standing ovations for the energy and faithful persistence with which they had led the church over the years that they have been there.

Given that I preach at scores of Elim churches every year its very rare that I would use the adjective 'best' when writing in this column. However, when it comes to congregational singing I have to say that its the only superlative that can be used.
The music is lead by one of the country's best worship leaders, Steve Thompson, who in the past has featured in several Spring Harvest programs.

Steve Derbyshire is one of our Movement's finest leaders and he, together with Julia, is doing a ground-breaking job by building one of the nation's most significant churches.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


It would be hard to find warmer people than those from Liverpool. Elim has two fine churches in the Kensington area of the city and on this occasion it was my pleasure to spend the day with the one pastored by Paul and Lynn Dunne

It was great, yet again, to be with a church that engages closely with the community. Midweek the church makes it premises available to those who have fallen outside the school system and a major scheme in the city, supported by many media agencies, to counter gun and knife crime is being headed by a member of the church Liam Moore.

Paul's strong pastoral gifting is reflected in the people who see church as more than a focus of blessing for themselves but a base from which to minister to those in their vicinity.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Elim Italia Conference

The Elim Italia Conference this year was the largest ever. I was the speaker there in 2008 but the 2009 event had to be moved to the largest venue in the facility. Elim in Italy has grown significantly under the leadership of Giuseppe Piccolo with over a hundred churches affiliated to our Movement. The photos above depict a section of the youth event and the Conference worship team. A 'late night special' featured musicians from the churches in attendance and I do not know of a time when I have witnessed so much talent under one roof. It was incredible. When we left that event some time after midnight the concert was still going strong led by the popular band 'Worship Station'. I was the speaker at each of the evening celebrations and Marilyn ministered to the women's meeting. On each occasion our excellent interpreter was Luciana Comastri who, apart from being a senior police officer, is also the pastor of the Elim church in Pesaro.


The Elim Church in Blackburn is pastored by Bob Clarke (pictured). Blackburn Elim is a thriving congegation that fills to capacity the building that is prominantly situated within the town. The church is shortly to add a youth pastor to the team as it positions itself for further expansion.

It was a particular pleasure to spend time after the morning service with Bob and Rita and members of their family,