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