Sunday, December 12, 2010

Salisbury Elim

Salisbury Elim is a warm and welcoming family church that through the the adjacent building called 'The Factory' solidly connects with the local community. My visit coincided with the announcement that the pastor Gordon Malcolm, and his wife Jackie, would be leaving to take up a pastorate at a Pentecostal church in Canada.

Beauty for Ashes Conference

Sally Livingstone leads the three Livingstone House centres that minister to those who have suffered from the effects of addictive substances. The Beauty for Ashes Conference was held at Birmingham Christian Centre and it was a pleasure to accept the invitation to speak at the first of Sally's Conferences. The worship was lead by the remarkable Godfrey Birtle. The young men who have been 'radically saved' and are at the heart of this remarkable ministry brought their own spiritual energy to this day long conference. It was a powerful day.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wembley Christian Centre

How does she do it? Apart from leading a successful dental practice, Sokemun Ho is the pastor of Wembley Christian Centre - an Elim church and part of the London City network under the auspices of Kensington Temple.

I was present to preach at a special community service at which several community leaders were present. Brent is referred to as the most diverse borough in Britain. Pastor Sokemun expressed her churches appreciation for the community leaders, prayed with them and presented them with plaques to commemorate their presence with us. This included the current mayor, the previous mayor, head of the fire service, a representative of the police force and business leaders.

I cannot commend too highly the leadership that Sokemon Ho continues to give to the church in Wembley. She is one of our finest women pastors.
One of the greatest joys of my role is meeting our leaders during regional leadership Conferences and, given that fourteen years of our ministry has been spent in Scotland, it was a particular delight to spend two days with our pastors north of the border.

Despite the worst weather for many years with snow closing airports throughout the country and the roads being treacherous, there was an almost total turnout - one or two being absent only because it was physically impossible to get through.

Close friend, NLT member and Regional leader for the area, Kevin Peat (pictured here with his wife Margaret) invited Marilyn and I to join them and their pastors at a four star venue at Strathclyde Country park for the two days together.

St Helens Elim

I enjoyed an excellent Sunday with Phlip Fell and the team at St. Helens. Like so many of our churches across the UK, St Helens has realised that the purpose of the church is to to have a positive effect in local community and to see evangelism as going to where the people are - rather than reducing its impact to the limited ghetto of Sunday services. They also have a healthy and vibrant interaction with other churches in the surrounding area. At the close of the morning service the whole of the church stayed behind for a three course meal during which I learned of an exciting initiative that was being taken to hold services in a local pub. Well done St. Helens for thinking out of the box and getting out of the box.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

AoG Regional Day

I very much enjoyed conducting two days of leadership meetings with around eighty leaders from our sister fellowship the Assemblies of God. The venue was Exeter and the meetings were convened by Regional leader for the area, Tim Robertson.

There was a great atmosphere right from the start and there was a wide spectrum of leaders ranging from those who are emerging in pastoral roles through to those who have given many years of exceptional service within their denomination.

There was a fantastic buzz in all the meetings that auger very well for the future and I would want to thank them for the warm and honouring way that I was received during my two days with them.

Elim Bethnal Green

Always love being at Elim Bethnal Green, London with senior pastor Richard Jama and his wife Toyin. This is a lively and enthusiastic church at the heart of the capital.

The service featured the church's excellent choir and following the service I enjoyed time with the wider leadership of the church over a meal. If you live in the Bethnal Green area this would be a great church to make your spiritual home.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Burton on Trent

Robert and Julie Styles have done a phenomenal job since coming to Burton on Trent eleven years ago.

One of Rob's passions during his time there has been to network with other churches in the town and to ensure that the Elim church serves the community in every way that it can. He, and the tremendous leadership team he has around him, have fulfilled this objective with distinction.

The church itself has been modified to accommodate the growing congregation by the addition of two galleries but the building (pictured above) that I was present to participate in the opening of was on the opposite side of the road and aptly named 'The Corner'.

This facility, built to a very high standard, and for the use of the church and the community is one of the nominations for 'Best new buildings in Burton'.

Two church members who had been there since the church was opened fifty years ago cut the ribbon and present for the service was the Member of Parliament for the area, Andrew Griffiths who is pictured on the centre front row between Rob Styles and myself.

The Burton Story will feature more fully in a future edition of Direction.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chelmsford Elim

On the previous occasion that I spoke at Chelmsford Elim the morning service was packed to capacity. On this visit I was invited to bring the same message to two morning services that took place at 9:15 am and 11:15 am to accommodate the ever growing congregation.

Mike and Elizabeth Sherwood have been among our closest friends for over forty years. I first met them when we were Bible college students in 1968. Mike has served as a Regional leader in the past as well as serving for many years on the National Leadership Team. He is one of our Movement's most gifted leaders.

Our visit coincided with the announcement of courageous extension plans which that week were being presented to the congregation for acceptance.

After the second meeting of the morning Marilyn and I enjoyed lunch with the entire pastoral team and their spouses before returning home. It had been a great day with a great church.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Summit Confrence

The Summit Conference held in the phenomenal Conference Centre in Telford will be reported on in depth in other parts of the magazine but had to feature on this page given that it was two of the best days I have experienced in the past twelve months.

Five hundred of our leaders assembled to hear speaks such as Malcolm Duncan, Mark Green, Mile Pillavachi among others. Elim Sound led the worship and made a great contribution to the Conference. My special thanks to the organisers of the event Nigel Tween, Mark Pugh, Gary Gibbs and Chris Jones.

The Bridge

The Bridge is the name given to a group of around thirty people who I invite to our International Centre in Malvern on two occasions during the year. Although most are from our larger churches in the cities the group constitutes a cross-section of our Movement in terms of ethnicity and gender and there are people present from rural areas as well as towns. The 32 who gathered on the first of these meetings represent a congregations totalling over 17,000 of the 67,000 Elim people in the UK.

The purpose of the group is to form a connection between the work that the NLT and myself are doing and what is being accomplished in the most important part of our Movement - the local church. It was great to interact with the high quality of leaders that are typical of the those who lead our churches across the country.

Cape Town, South Africa

Forty years ago Billy Graham convened a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, to address the issue of Global Evangelism. Twenty years later a second conference was held for the same reason in Manilla.

Lausanne III took place in Cape Town, South Africa and I was invited as one of the participants. The buget for the eight days was £6 million - half of which was dedicated to providing bursaries so that people in economically challenged parts of the world could attend.

Four thousand people gathered from one hundred and ninety countries and the whole proceeding was translated into 28 languages via the booths of the interpreters and the headphones of the delegates.

Among the most moving moments of the congress was the opening night where we learned that, at the last minute, the Chinese government had refused the Chinese delegation visas while putting them all under house arrest - emphasising the continued persecution of the Church under Communism. Despite the harassment of the government the church continues to explode with many millions of Christians coming to faith in Christ in recent years.

As an act of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in China, all 4000 delegates stepped away from their chairs at a signal from the platform to send out the message, "There is a place for you at this conference even though you have been denied the opportunity to take it."

During the same service a teenage girl from north Korea told how her family had become Christians in one of the most closed and brutal nations in the world. Her father had 'disappeared' but she was going to return to the country to reach people for Christ even though it would mean almost certain martyrdom.

Much of the worship was Pentecostal in style though on the last evening a communion service was led by the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda.

Every possible means of communication imaginable was used during the week including - preaching, drama, mime, dance (traditional and contemporary) music and state-of-the-art computer graphics.

Despite increased persecution around the world, the Church is unstoppable

Kensington Temple

Kensington Temple, London, is Elim's largest church and under the leadership of senior minister Colin Dye continues to grow in numbers and depth. Over the years it has spawned a network of congregations around the capital which are designated 'London City Church'. I always look forward to the time in year when I spend an evening with all the highly committed and motivated leaders from KT.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Acocks Green - Birmingham

Twenty three years ago George Canty, the 99 year old pastor who featured on this page recently, pioneer the church in Acocks Green. In the years that followed the church underwent a period of decline and by the time that Jamys Carter and his wife, Dr. Emma Carter, arrived at the church five years ago there was only a handful of people there.

During the time that Jamys has been the pastor there has been a transformation both numerically and spiritually. The clear impression that I had of the fellowship was that of a large church that was small at the moment. The DNA of growth is already in the church which now covers a wide spectrum of age ranges.

Marilyn and I immensely enjoyed our time there. All the ingredients for continued development are already in place and we wish this church well.


It was a pleasure to speak at the opening of the extension of the church building in Aldershot. Also participating in the service was David Campbell, Regional Leader for the area, and present a number of Elim ministers in the locality who joined with the local congregation and invited guests for this service of celebration

Mike and Sylvia Keeping have done a wonderful job since taking over the pastorate in Aldershot and, as he paid tribute to the work of others in bringing the church to this point, tribute was also paid to him for the leadership and personal sacrifice that had been involved in reaching this stage in the churches development. Mike is a bi-vocational minister whose secular role involves working on the building of Britain's latest aircraft carrier.

Alex Tee - celebrating his life

A memorial service to commemorate the life and ministry of Alex Tee was attended by hundreds of people at the Lighthouse Christian Centre in Manchester.

Alexander Tee had been an Elim minister for an astonishing 58 years. During that period he had planted numerous churches around the UK, been national Youth Director (when I was in my teens), President of the Movement and apart from pastoring several key churches had served on Elim's Executive Council for a total of twelve years.

Tribute was paid to Winifred Tee who had served with him throughout his ministry and to Margaret and Sharon his two daughters. The service was convened by his son-in-law Paul Hallam, senior minister of LCC and the preacher was Malcolm Hathaway, pastor of our Southport Church where Alex had lived in retirement. I brought a tribute on behalf of the Movement. A more in depth account of this special service will be published in a future edition of Direction.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Irish Ordination Service

Each year I preach at the ordination service for those pastors in the province who have successfully completed their 'minister in training' period. On this occasion the venue was the newly refurbished Hillsborough Elim church which was packed to capacity for this special event.

Featured in the photo, top row, are David Campbell and Simon Foster (NLT members) and Eric McComb the Irish Superintendent. On the bottom row are the ordinands together with their partners. Left to right Richard Preston, Geoffrey Moore, Jonathan McKee, John Fitzimmons and David Galvin.
All present wished these ministers well on their continued ministry in Ireland.

Teen Challenge

One of the highlights of my month was without doubt my visit to the Teen Challenge HQ outside Swansea and to spend time with its Executive Director, and Elim Minister, Jay Fallon

Jay and Fiona Fallon are passionate about caring for and discipling young people who have suffered by involvement with addictive and controlling substances - most especially illegal drugs.

I was not surprised by the extent of their work but I was hugely impressed by the way that the facilities have been maintained to the very highest standards of build quality and equipment. Jay believes this to be central to the culture of personal affirmation of all who attend there.

During my visit I toured both the women's and men's separate residences, a market garden and a factory unit - the latter two which provided the skills training that is part of the program.

A focal point would have been witnessing a seminar conducted by Fiona for police officers at which a number of the residents gave clear testimony of the change in their life-style subsequent to their encounter with Christ via the ministry of the centre,

I cannot commend too highly the work that Jay, Fiona and their team around the UK are doing.


This was my fourth visit to the remarkable L'Evidence church in the centre of Paris pastored by Francois Forschel. I say remarkable because there are up to two thousand people worshipping in the church every Sunday in multiple and parallel services that cater for French, African, Russian, Portuguese and Romanian people.

I was invited to speak at a youth service on the Saturday evening that was followed by ministry at three services on the following day. The first was the French Service, the second to a French-speaking African congregation and finally to six hundred Romanian Pentecostals who gathered in the evening.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Metropolitan Region

There is always a huge turnout at a Metropolitan Regional Day and my recent visit was no exception. I would have to say that it was one of the most exceptional Regional days that I have participated in in my eleven years in office. David Campbell, pictured with his wife Mandy, is responsible for Elim's two Metropolitan Regions and serves alongside me on the National Leadership Team, He is also a close and valued friend.

The worship team was extraordinary and contributed hugely to the success of the day. I enjoyed immensely the opportunity to minister to the high calibre leaders who had gathered for the event.

Visit of George Canty

Every week I receive in my office those who are visiting our International Centre in Malvern. As the numbers are too numerous to mention on these pages, the visits of Denominational leaders, para-church leaders and those from within politics and the media are rarely mentioned.

I make an exception this month however for Rev. George Canty who at 99 years of age is the oldest minister is our Movement having joined Elim over eighty years ago. He pioneered his latest church when in his Seventies and has been a prolific writer and broadcaster. When an evangelist he was most well known for doing an oil painting while he preached and which he gave away at end of the service. When I mentioned his visit to me on Facebook several people responded by saying that they still have one of his paintings to this day. It was a joy and a privilege to have visit with us.

Evangelical Alliance Council

There are an estimated two million evangelicals in the UK. Many of these Christians, who are reflected in a wide spectrum of Denominations and networks, are represented by the Evangelical Alliance. It speaks to the media and to parliament about issues that concern the Christian faith as well as acting as a comprehensive resource to the local and national Church.

Though Elim is registered as a Denominational member I would encourage every Elim church to register as a church.

The EA council, on which I have considered it a privilege to serve for the past six years. meets every few months in order to conduct its business. At its most recent meeting I had the honour to be elected to serve for a further six years

Monday, September 13, 2010


There are three Elim Churches in Peterborough and it was my pleasure to be speaking at the congregation in Midland Road. Jonathan and Lucisha Featherstone have led the church for the past three years and what a thrill it was to enter a meeting and be faced with a wall of sound emanating from an atmosphere of dynamic worship.

There are 550 Elim churches throught the UK. The 69,000 people who make up our Denomination represent many diferent formats and flavours of worship. I enjoy them all because I am aware that God is more concerned with content than with style. Having said that, Marilyn and I felt very much at home with this great church as the vibrance of the worship was matched by their engagement with the word of God.

We enjoyed lunch with two of the Peterborough leadership teams. But the day was far from over for the two churches that were represented. One group of leaders, ably led by senior pastor John Harrison went away tp prepare for their evening service while the leaders of Midland Road returned to their church to cook the weekly meal they make for fifty homeless people. The more I travel the more I continue to appreciate the leaders and congregations that represent Elim across the UK


Lighthouse Christian Centre

The church that I grew up in was pioneered by my father, pastor Jack Glass. After a period of twenty years, though the congregation now had a church building and a manse the congregation was never large. After his retirement, the church fell into numerical decline and when Paul and Mags arrived they commenced with just a very small group of people.

That was twenty-four years ago and the journey since that date would require a report the size of a book. However, the story that took them from those beginnings to the opening of an 25,000 square foot complex in one of the most significant areas of the city will feature in a future Direction article. What is certain is that excellence at every level and a great deal of personal sacrifice has been the hallmark of their ministry in Manchester.

The new centre that incorporates an 800 seater auditorium, five star Confrence Centre, cafe and bistro could not more strategically placed. Their new neighbours will the the BBC's Media City.

The opening celebration was attended by a packed house. Several Elim churches were represented as were local churches. The Mayor of Salford was present as was the local MP, Hazel Blears.

One of the most important guests were Rev and Mrs Alexander Tee who, apart rom being one of the most successful evangelists that Elim has every had, are also the parents of Mags Hallam.

It was a delight to speak at this great celebration and to spend time after it was over with the leaders who, together with the senior pastors had brought he dream into a reality.

At every opportunity Paul and Mags gave glory to God for making the miracle possible but no one who was there was in any doubt about the part that they had played through their courageous tenacity in bringing a local congregation on such a remarkable journey.

From this one church has sprung orphanages in Romania and more than sixty thriving churches in India. The best days of the Lighthouse are yet to come.

Missions Training

Each year new groups of dedicated people set out via Elim Missions to serve God around the world. Part of their preparatory induction is to spend a a few days at our International Centre in Malvern where a number of our leaders are invited to bring various levels of input.

I always consider this a special occasion and, again this year, it was a joy to meet those who, at some sacrifice to themselves, had volunteered to serve God abroad. We appreciate them and I encourage you to uphold them in your prayers.

Elam 29th Anniversary

If there is any name that is likely to get confused with Elim it is Elam. The latter however is a ministry into Iran and Chris Jones our International Missions Director and myself were present for its 20th Anniversary held at its UK base in the south of England.

It was a moving occasion on many levels. One young leader was unable to be present as he was martyred as a Christian just a few weeks earlier. One of the Elam leaders introduced me to a young lady in her Thirties and asked her to tell me her story.

She had been a Muslim at the point of being married but a few years later was converted to Christianity. The Muslim authorities said that she must choose between Christ and her two year old daughter who she would never see again unless she reconverted to Islam. She was unwilling to denounce Christ and her daughter is now ten and she has not seen her for the past eight years. There are multiplied thousands of untold stories like this within the persecuted Church around the world. They are of course recorded in heaven and stand as a constant challenge to our commitment.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Elim Festival

Elim Festival is the new name for what used to be called the 'Fraisthorpe Camp', After decades of being on the East Yorkshire Coast it has now moved inland to a new venue which, though not having the beach as feature, does possess many improved amenities

One of the reasons I had been asked to the be the opening speaker of the two-week camp was because I had attended the first ever Fraisthorpe when I was fourteen years of age.

There are several Elim camps of this nature now across the country catering for several thousand people who come for holidays and spiritual input. Without doubt the heroes and heroines are those who work tirelessly behind the scenes as volunteers. Many of these amazing people give up their own holiday in order to serve other people. Their value and importance is incalculable.

Friday, July 30, 2010

New NLT team

When I record my appointments on this page they refer primarily to speaking engagements. Committees, interviews and other areas of my role are rarely included.

I am making an exception on this occasion by highlighting a recent meeting of the National Leadership Team. The NLT, as it is usually known, governs the Movement between Conferences. It comprises of Regional Leaders (who each have responsibility for around 100 churches in the UK) and ministers of some of our largest churches. Every four years I am required by Conference to nominate ministers who are then ratified by a vote at our annual Bible Week.

Deciding who to nominate on this occasion was a very difficult decision as there are so many leaders within our Movement who have the calibre to be considered suitable as a member.

The NLT meet at our International centre in Malvern for three days five times a year. My reason for including the above picture is that it was taken at the first meeting of the team who were elected at Conference earlier this year and who were highlighted in the August edition of Direction.

Retiring from the team were Mike Sherwood (ten years). Barry Killick (ten years), Geoff Feasey (18 years) and Eric McComb (25 years) each once of whom have brought to the NLT their own distinctive contribution which, in every case has been a valuable asset to our Movement.

Any change in a team brings with it a new dynamic. The first meeting of the new NLT was one of the best I can ever remember and there was an immediate sense of 'oneness' and unity that augurs very well for the days that lie ahead. It is a delight to work alongside leaders such as these.

Friday, July 02, 2010

MiT Conference

The three-day Conference for Ministers in Training was held for the first time in Elim's new International Centre in Malvern. Around eighty men and women gathered at this ideal venue on the top of the Malvern Hills in what turned out to be a period of glorious summer sunshine.

The speakers included Carl Beech, Chris Cartwright, Jemma Chesman, Paul and Mags Hallam, Phil Hills, Jonny Lee, Caleb Nyanni, Mark Ryan, Nigel Tween and myself.

The seminar format consists of an hours teaching followed by an hours interaction with the speaker. I apprecaited all those who contributed to the success of our time together including Simo Festadius who led the worship, Graham Tedds who operated the sound and media together with my P.A. Sharon Millar who handled the administration.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Harrow International Christian Centre has a prime four storey location in the centre of the town and is pastored by Michael and Pat Carr. Michael, was formerly an associate minister at Kensignton Temple and Regional leader within Elim. The church and gallery were packed for the Sunday service which attracts a congregation comprised of forty nations.

United Christian Broadcasters

UCB are at the cutting edge of Christian Broadcasting and in the UK and, in my view, are one of the most significant and effective organisations in our country.

It was my privilege to take part in a Celebration and Dedication service to commemorate the answer to a 23 year prayer - the granting of a national broadcasting license - now in DAB

People travelled from as far as New Zealand and the USA and the speaker at the event was Bob Gas, author of 'Word for Today'. Chris Bowater led the worship.


The Barnet church commenced with a Nurses Christian fellowship that was encouraged to commence a congregation by Wynne Lewis who was then the senior pastor of Kensington Temple. Subsequent significant input was given by Colin Dye the current senior pastor of KT.

The church has been led during that period by Diane Druce and Doreen Skelton - two amazing women. It was my privilege to speak at the 25th Anniversary weekend.

There are a number of reasons why I appreciate the leaders and congregation at Barnet. One of them is that they cover me in prayer as I travel around the country. At the beginning of every year I provide them with my diary and, over the past ten years, several of the congregation have committed to pray daily for Marilyn and myself.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Wembley Christian Centre

Eighteen years ago a small group of women planted a church in the heart of Wembley. At the forefront of that initiative was Sokemun Ho and Vanessa Richardson. From that day Sokemun, for several years an ordained Elim minister, has pastored the church.

Twelve months ago the congregation purchased a third of an acre of land that included a building, now used as a church, and a detached house. Subsequent to the commitment of a wonderful congregation the complex has been renovated and it was my privilege to speak at the dedication of the land. Local Elim ministers were present as was the mayor and the newly elected MP for the area.

Far from being complacent at the completion of this dream, an artists impression of the future development of the site was displayed during the service. This is a great achievement by one of our Movement's finest women pastors who, apart from giving leadership to the church, also heads a local dental practice.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Connect Centre - Wells

When I was originally booked to be in Wells it was for the official opening of the exciting Connect Centre, otherwise known as the 'white building' in the heart of the city. Due to building delays this has had to be postponed for a few months but I spoke at this innovative church on the Sunday morning anyway

The church is led by Stephen and Jill Fowler (pictured) and they are assisted by their son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Sue.

Direction magazine will be featuring Connect once the project is well underway but, suffice to say, the vision is to act as a catalyst to a multiplicity of community projects in this area of Somerset. It is a hub of community action and care and a model of what effective and compassionate Christianity is all about.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coatbridge, Scotland

My time in Coatbridge commenced with an evening celebration attended by Elim churches in the area and was followed by speaking at the Sunday morning service. The music at both meetings was a provided by Chris Mercer who has achieved a great deal of recognition on both sides of the Atlantic as a Gospel recording artist.

The development of the Coatbridge church is an evidence of the faithful and dedicated work of David and Linda Bell and their family who re-pioneered the church some years ago. It is always good to be both with them and with the church.


There could hardly be a more picturesque location for a church than Ambilly, Switzerland nestled under the shadow of Mont Blanc.

Michel and Balbina Rimbert, after a successful career in banking, planted the church and built a remarkable 2000 seater facility built to the very highest specification.

Though the current congregation has a long way to go to make the fullest use of the centre, it stands as a testimony to faith and vision.

On the Saturday morning I spoke to a men's meeting and in the evening to a main church celebration. The Sunday morning was a very special event and one in which Michel Rimbert, who will retire from senior leadership in a year's time, announced that the churches' new pastor would be Christophe Saez (pictured here with his wife Sabina and their family). The news was greeted with much applause - partly in recognition of the work that Michel and Balbina had done and partly in enthusiasm for the excellent choice that had been made for succession.

I got to know the Saez family very well during my time there and I am very optimistic for the future of the church in the years that lie ahead.

Elim Midlands Region

There was a capacity turnout for the meeting of the Elim Leaders in the Midlands Region and it is always a joy to be with them. The venue was the Nettle Hill Conference Centre near Coventry and was lead by Gordon Neale who is the Regional Leader.

AoG Conference

I very much enjoyed being part of the Assemblies of God Conference held in Huddersfield and considered it a privilege to be invited to address 900 of their pastors and leaders.

The venue was the new £13 million pound home of Huddersfield Christian Fellowship - an independent Pentecostal church which has one of the best church facilities in the country.

The mood of the Conference was one of faith and expectancy as they welcomed their new General Superintendent, John Partington. He will be a speaker at the 2010 Elim Conference. We pray God's richest blessing on our sister Fellowship with whom we have enjoyed such close relationship over very many years.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Clydebank 50th Anniversary

It was a pleasure to participate in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Elim Church in Clydebank. The church was pioneered by one of Elim's premier and highly respected evangelists Rev. Alex Tee. His health did not allow him to be present but on the Saturday evening meal held in a local golf club he brought an inspiring greeting via DVD.

The church is currently pastored by Gordon and Heather Allan (pictured here centre and right) together which Becky Haldane who is the associate minister.

I knew the Clydebank church well due to the fact that I was once the Regional Leader for Scotland for a nine year period, so it was a special delight to witness on the Sunday morning how it had grown numerically since the last time I had been there. There were people present in the congregation who were there 50 years ago when it started and several that I met that had joined the church in the past twelve months.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blackpool (Clifton)

Sandy and Patricia Kirkwood (pictured) have had a wide and varied ministry and a little over a year ago took over the pastorate at Clifton - one of the three Elim Churches in the Blackpool area.

The excellent facilities are kept in immaculate condition but 'church' is not about buildings its about people. While I was there I met five ladies who had been at the church since its earliest days. They told me they had a combined age of 414 years and that two of them have been missionary secretaries for a massive 43 years! While thanking God for the growth in our Movement among young and middle-aged people, my visit to Clifton gave me reason again to thank God for the stalwarts in our churches who have served God over very many years. We appreciate them so very much.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Ian and Liz Nicholson, pictured here with their son David and daughter Rachel, have pastored Worcester Elim church for eleven years. It was five years since I had last spoken at the church and it was clear that there are been developments in several dimensions of the churches life since that time. Ian has a strong pastoral gift and Marilyn and I enjoyed our time with the family during the day. Rachel and David are both in the worship team and play their own part in the life of the church.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Five minutes old

If you were to ask me to chose between preaching to five thousand people or leading one person to Christ - there is no contest.

After the close of one of my meetings in France I chatted, through my interpreter, to some of those who had attended. Among them was Pierre. When I asked him if he was a Christian he said that he was not but that he was only a few steps away. Enquiring what it would take for him to make a commitment he told me that he was partly Jewish. I had the pleasure of telling him that the Gospel was, "To the Jew first and then to the Gentile" and that he was not rejecting his roots by coming to Christ but completing the purpose that God had for him. We talked further and prayed together. This photo with my new French friend shows him five minutes after his New Birth,

Gaston Claudel

Gaston Claudel is a remarkable man by any standards. He was one of the 300,000 children around Europe snatched by the Nazis to create their master race simply because, at the age of three, he had blond hair and blue eyes. He tells his story in the "Les enfants sur la lune" (The children under the moon).

He entered Elim Bible College in 1964 and after one of our Easter meetings in the Royal Albert Hall noticed a man in a London street injecting drugs. "Immediately", he says, "I knew what my life mission would be". Returning to France he has spent the past 45 years in that ministry and has received about every award that from the Government and civil bodies that a civilian can get. Now 74 and still in ministry he was proud to show me his Elim credentials that he carries with him at all times. His amazing story will be the subject of a future Direction feature.

Elim France

Each time I visit the church in Thonon, France I see growth numerically and in depth. Luc Favre has also transformed the building and is pictured here in the cafe entrance to the church which is a hub for the people before and after the services.

After a weekend with the Thonon church I spoke at the Conference for Elim pastors throughout France. Though only a small group at the moment the President David Thabot is encouraged by the number of leaders from independent groups who have shown an interest in linking with Elim in this spiritually needy nation.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Mark and Cheryl Witherden (pictured) have been in Driffield for two years. This church, like several others in our Movement, has long outgrown the original building and worships in a school which retaining the original facility for youth and childrens work. This was my first visit to the congregation. It was an enjoyable day at this long-established Elim Church in the heart of Yorkshire.

Emerging leaders

This group of Elim ministers that met for a three day conference at our International Centre in Malvern were participating in an ongoing leadership program led by Nigel Tween and Chris Cartwright. These seminars are not for those who are emerging 'into' leadership but for those who are emerging into a new dimension of leadership and are seeking to enhance the skills and abilities that they already possess. It was great to engage in the interaction that followed the two sessions that I had been invited to take.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Newquay Christian Centre

The first time I visited Elim in Newquay was over twenty years ago. In those days the congregation numbered around 35 people. I have spoken at Newquay Christian Centre many times since and especially during the years that Mike and Shelagh Robins (pictured) have been there. It seems that on every occasion new facilities have been purchased, people added to the team or another threshold has been reached.

I left home at 4:30am in the morning for the first of the two Sunday morning services that now accommodate this constantly growing church. Arriving at 7:45am I was met by the musicians who were waiting for the church to open so that they could set up prior to the first service at 9 a.m. - that's commitment!

The complex already consists of a sanctuary, youth centre, administration block, restaurant and purpose-built residential accommodation. At the close of the second service Mike took me to view a 700 seater facility adjacent to their current complex the front of which faces into the main street of the town and is one of the most high profile buildings in Newquay. They had completed on the sale only a few days earlier. Mike and Shelagh, and the team around them, continue to make a major impact in the town and surrounding area.


My admiration for Bob and Edith McDonald knows no bounds!

Having pastored in Elim the UK for forty years, and approaching the age of retirement, many would assume that it was now time for them to slow down.

Through remarkable events that will be featured in Direction magazine at a later date, they decided instead to sell up home to live in one of the most economic-disadvantaged areas of Romania.

However, when around thirty-five children and young people began meeting in their home it was clear that their vision need to be enlarged.

The reason for my visit was to officially open a purpose-built youth centre on two floors. This excellent building is the only centre for young people for several miles around. It was a delight for Bob and Edith to witness during the two dedication services on the day, over 300 parents and children in attendance. Several teams from Elim churches in the UK have gone out to work short-term with the McDonald's and at the opening ceremony there was was representation from the Elim churches in Bradford and Dundee as well as Pastor Robin Baker from Redditch.

Pentecostal churches are spreading rapidly across Romania and already number around two thousand. In the nearby city of Cluj there are several Pentecostal churches with over a thousand in attendance. Before leaving I was asked to address a meeting at one of the largest centres which comprised of senior Pentecostal leaders in the area.

The sacrificial love and commitment that Bob and Edith have shown to some of the poorest people in the country is mirrored in the hearts and lives of the young people who have come to see them as spiritual parents. Remember them, and those they serve, in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Chaplains Conference

Elim Chaplains gathered at Elim's International Centre for their second annual conference in Malvern. The venue was hosted by Nigel Tween, Director of Training. The chaplains work in a wide variety of ministry ranging from hospitals, prisons, the fire service, the police service, airports and the armed forces. It was delight to speak at the opening session.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Formby Elim Church

Malcolm and Denise Dyer (pictured) came to Formby after a fruitful period in Malcolm's ministry as a senior lecturer at Regents Theological College. Feeling a call to pastoral ministry he accepted the pastorate of the church located in the Liverpool/Southport area.

Some weeks prior to my visit the church had entered a process of re-visioning and, by the time I arrived, it was clear that there was a very clear dynamic of faith and expectancy that permeated the whole congregation.

It was an absolute joy to spend time at Formby and to meet a group of people who were evidently looking forward to everything that God has in store for them in the future.

Onehope Conference - Miami, Florida

One of the most amazing and successful missions organisations in the world is also, remarkably, one of the least known. Onehope publish the "The Book of Hope" which is an evangelistic tool that has a version for children and for teenagers. It puts the gospel in clear graphical form and has recently distributed its six hundredth million copy: making it the biggest publication after the Bible itself. Many thousands of people have been reached for Christ through this ministry which now has a digital animation DVD called The God-man - produced by Hanna Barbara - probably the best know cartoon creators in the world. . Another amazing statistic is that everything is made available free of charge to the local church at the point of contact. I was invited to Miami for their annual conference. It was a powerful missions opportunity.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

True Vine -Luton

A few months ago I spoke at the opening of our church in Dunstable that had taken over the main night-club to create a 1000 seater worship facility.

On this occasion I was just a few miles down the road at one of Elim's three churches in Luton which had just taken over one of the main casinos in the area.

True Vine Fellowship was pioneered several years ago with a very small group of people. Under the leadership of senior pastor Vicky Gee (pictured here with her son Michael who is also on the team as an Elim minister) it has grown to the point that it was able to take over and refurbish this new complex. The church, which is on several floors, features the worship area, committee rooms, restaurant, children/youth areas - all finished to a very high standard.

Several local churches were represented at the opening ceremony which was also attended by the two Members of Parliament for the area. The full story of the development of this church is to be featured in a forthcoming edition of Direction.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Yeovil Elim

Howard Davenport, pictured here with his wife Emma and their children Ava and Boaz, is the senior minister of the Elim Church in Yeovil Somerset.

A packed church was evidence of the growth that this church has seen during the period in which he has been the pastor. He has built a strong leadership team around him and invested heavily in children and youth ministry - a reflection of his involvement with Elim's National youth department Serious4God

The congregation covered a wide age spectrum and the style of worship was such that anyone participating would have felt connected and involved - not an easy balance to achieve but managed well in this warm and welcoming church.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Elim - North East Region

The Insight Conference is held annually and attended by ministers and spouses from Elim churches in the north-east of England and was chaired by Gordon Neale who is Regional leader for the area. The venue was a country house hotel on the Scarborough coast and the event was ably organised by the minister of the Scarborough Elimchurch - Graeme Parkins.

I spoke on six occasions during the three-day conference and enjoyed, as always, the times of interaction with my fellow leaders and between the sessions and during the evenings. This region has excellent leaders across a wide spectrum of age and experience. It was great for Marilyn and I to be with Gordon and Kay and all our colleagues in the area.

Weston Super Mare

Its always a pleasure to minister at Holy Trinity in Weston not least because it is led by my good friend Claude Ellerington and his two sons Richard and Steve. Elim in Weston is a warm, creative an innovative church and, apart from preaching on Sunday morning there was a slot in the service where Richard interviewed his father and myself - drawing on stories from when we met at Bible College in 1968 to some contemporary challenges that Church is called to deal with today.

During the service I prayed publicly with Steve and Natasha (pictured) as they prepare to leave the team at Weston and join the ministry team at Elim@Bristol which is led by Simon Foster. They both will be greatly missed at their current church but will also make a very positive contribution to the progress of the church in Bristol.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kensignton Temple Vision Conference

Pastor Colin Dye,senior minister of Kensington Temple and apostolic leader of the 'London City Church' network pastors Elm's largest congregation in the UK. One however cannot measure the church only with a numerical benchmark - though it is several thousand strong - as the church under his leadership has grown commensurately in depth through its comprehensive discipleship structure. Every year KT holds a vision conference, and I was delighted to accept the invitation to speak at the celebration servive at the conclusion of the conference. Colin Dye is not only a colleague, in that he serves with me as a senior member of Elim's National Leadership Team, but aalso a close personal friend. My visit to KT was another opportunity for me to witness first hand what is being accomplished in this significant spiritual centre in the capital of our country and to enjoy ministering to the tremendous people who are part of the KT network.

Armed Forces Chaplaincy Conference

During the past ten years that I have occupied the role of General Superintendent I have had the opportunity in minister in a wide variety of contexts in this country and around the the world. It was however the first time I had been asked to speak to the United Board Conference of Chaplains who serve the Army, Navy and Royal Air force. Many will know the courageous work they they do - exposed to the most dangers theatres of world conflict such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Though often in the line of fire they never carry arms themselves but remain continually available to those around them that often face the extreme levels of battlefield stress and trauma and injury. Their conference was held at one of their bases in Hampshire and I had been invited to speak at two of their sessions as well as at the concluding joint communion service.

Smethwick leadership Forum

Pastor Joseph Chinnalyan, senior minister of the Elim Church in Smethwick holds monthly leadership seminars for ministers from a variety of Denominations in the Black Country area of the West Midlands. It was through this initiative that I was able to be with him and the leaders that had gathered to speak on the subject of 'Authority in the Church - its limits and its scope'. By thinking beyond his locality he has consistently provided a resource for other curchs in the area.