Monday, December 19, 2011

Northampton Elim

The previous twelve months had not been the easiest in the Northampton church.  Apart from other things, a massive flood had damaged much of the facilities and created  huge challenges.

A year later, not only had the fabric of the building been restored but it was now exponentially in better shape than ever before.  I sensed that this was also paralleled in the spiritual life of the church as well.

In order to thank the church for the magnificent work that had been done in the past twelve months - a lavish celebratory meal was put on in appreciation of a number of key people who had a part in the restoration process.  Over ninety were in attendance.  Senior Pastor Jason Heron (pictured here with his wife Linda) compered the evening.

Other people from outside the local church were also present and who has been support to the church during that period including Regional Leader Gordon Neale and his wife Kay.

Marilyn and I were there as guests and, before I spoke at the close of the evening two of the best worship leaders in the UK took part in the celebration - Lara Martin (who is based at Elim Northampton) and Noel Robinson.

Cheltenham Elim

I have made a number of visits to the Cheltenham church in the thirty years since I was the pastor there.  It was great to find it at the strongest it has been during those years.

Three years ago Elim's Adminstrattive Centre, that was next door to the Elim Church, moved to Malvern and the offices were sold to the local church.

Between speaking at the two morning services Gareth Lewis, the current pastor (pictured here with his wife Janet) took me on the tour of our previous headquarters.  It was thrilling to see how the space had been utilised. 

The front of the premises is a charity shop that raises thousands of pounds annually for the work of International Missions.  Another part of the building is uses as a huge food bank for people in the community who are experiencing economic hardship (pictured with Gareth is Susan Sutton who runs the food bank).  Yet another part of the is used as a CAP centre (Christians Against Poverty)

The church has created the perfect balance of spiritual growth and community involvement.  I really appreciate all that Gareth and Janet are doing to make their dream a reality.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Farnworth Christian Fellowship was pioneered by retired Elim minister, and former General Superintendent, Eldin Corsie who, with his wife Vivien continue to attend the church.

In recent years FCW has been excellently led by Rob Case (pictured here with his wife Margaret).  The church meets in an ideally located hotel and I very much enjoyed my first visit to this fine Elim Church.

Some of the most valuable leaders we have in our Movement are our bi-vocational pastors - people who work in a secular sphere, full or part time, in order that a church can be established.  Rob Case is such a leader and continues part time within the NHS as the church continues to grow and develop.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ballyfermot, Dublin

When, several years ago, David and Sylvia Galvin (pictured) became Christians at Ballyfermot Elim Church they never could have imagined at that time that David would one day become the senior minister of the church.

But that is exactly what happened.  David worked closely with the previous minister, John Waller, as an Elder and then, when John and Trish Waller moved to Barking in London, David became the pastor of the church having earlier applied to become an Elim minister.  

The church has continued to grow over the years under his leadership.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weston Super Mare

At the time of writing I have no Sundays available for ministry until well into 2014 so it was unusual that I was back in Weston after just a few months.

The reason was because when I was there  last June I only managed to get half way through the message and so, when a Sunday became available, I got the opportunity to finish the subject!

The senior minister Claude Ellerington has been one of my closest friends for over 40 years.  The associate minister is his son, Richard.  His younger son, Steve,is on the pastoral staff of the Elim church in Bristol.

Every time I visit the Weston church it seems that something has 'gone up  a notch' either numerically or spiritually.  As always, Marilyn and I enjoyed our time at this great church.

NW Regional Conference

Over ninety people attended the NW Regional Conference over two days at a top Blackpool hotel.  NLT member and Regional leader for the area Kevin Peat (pictured here with his wife Margaret) hosted the event and it was a delight for Marilyn and I to be present for the occasion.

I spoke at the three sessions to a group of leaders and spouses who it was a total joy to be with and the interaction between the teaching sessions were every bit as important as the seminars themselves.

Kevin and Margaret have created an environment in their Regions that is conducive to good fellowship and strong relationships and, for our part, it was an opportunity to meet both long-term friends in ministry as well as being introduced to leaders of churches that have recently joined our Movement.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Penzance, Cornwall

The pioneering of a new church requires a huge amount of vision, commitment and sacrifice, so when Dan and Jo Rubens (pictured here with their daughters) left the leadership team at Derby Elim to commence a new church in Cornwall it was an exciting prospect.

However, when the Derby church also released  two further families to join them - people who were willing to uproot their homes and resign their jobs to commence a new church, this was an demonstration not just of commitment but also of sacrifice.

The current venue is the modern and minimalist Penzance art gallery - a central and, currently, ideal location.

It was a joy to speak to the members of a church that was only months old but which had visibly grown in that short period.

If you plan to holiday in Cornwall during a Sunday in the summer - consider this church as one of your 'ports of call'

Brecon, South Wales

The opening of the new church building in Brecon is a huge tribute to the vision and faithfulness of the senior minister, Malcolm Jones, the local leadership and the church membership.

The celebration, at which the local MP attended, packed the new premises.  The photo shows a proportion of the congregation who were present for my official 'cutting of the tape' prior to the ceremony commencing.

Five members of Elim's National Leadership Team were present including the Regional Leader for the area, Chris Cartwright.  The speaker was NLT member Gordon Neale.  Brecon had been his first church when he entered the ministry over 40 years ago

Summit - on the road

Over the past twelve years there have been a number of Vision and Summit leadership conferences that have been held.  This year however the Summit conference went on the road travelling to venues such as Bristol, London (pictured), Scotland, Chorley and Coventry.  

The theme was 'Discipleship and Outreach' and the speakers were Gary Gibbs, Chris Jones, Mark Pugh, Nigel Tween and myself.  

The delegates had the opportunity, not just receive input, but to discuss the issues around the group tables as well as sharing their insights in a plenary setting.  The new-style summit ensured not only greater participation among those who attended but also a greater number of our churches around the country being involved.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Elim - Paisley

Its always a delight to be back in Scotland given that fourteen years of our ministry was in that country both as pastor and as Regional Leader.

My earliest memories of Paisely was of a congregation of around seventy people.  Today it is three tims that size with two morning services to accomodate the continued growth.

Wherever I travel on a Sunday there are two things that I value.  The first is visiting and ministering at one of our churches and the the other is spending time with the pastor and his family. 

This was especially true with regard to my time with Tom and Jennifer Paton and their family each of whom are fully involved in the local church.  Few things give more thrilling than seeing young adults, that you have known since they were first born, who are totally committed to serving God.

Back row left to right, Callum, Tom, Euan, Neil.  Front row Jennifer, Hannah, Kathryn (Callum's wife).

Festival of Life

Over thirty thousand people attended the 'Festival of Life' at the Excel Centre in London for an all-night celebration that lasted from 8pm to 5am.

It was held under the auspices of the 'Redeemed Christian Church of God'.  The other speaker  was Rev. Enoch Adeboye - the minister of the world's largest church in Lagos, Nigeria which has a membership of one million.  The walls of the church compound are three miles long

Monday, October 24, 2011


When senior accountant Kojo Wood, pictured here with his wife Caroline, entered his profession he would never have imagined that a few years later he would become an ordained Pentecostal minister. Yet, not only was that to happen, but he would also be involved in one of the most successful church plants in the Metropolitan Region.

It was veteran minister John Sainsbury that first recognised the call upon this emerging leader and created the initiative for the commencement of the Stevanage Elim church.  In the past three years under his leadership the congregation has tripled from 50 to 150 and the only limitation on further expansion is the size of the rented community centre at which the church meets.

During his ministry in Stevanage he has not received any salary choosing to support himself from his professional position.  While ministering at the church I learned one of the primary factors in this success story - his ability to build a high caliber team of leaders around him.  I was very much aware of witnessing a church on a journey towards a destiny yet to be realised.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Glasgow Elim

It is always a joy for Marilyn and I  to return to Scotland for any form of ministry as fifteen years of  my ministry has been spent there as either pastor in Kilsyth or as Regional leader.

Elim in Glasgow has had a succession of fine pastors in the past. James and Beryl Glass (pictured here with their family Alice, Nial and Johnny) have been at the church for the past two years and Kevin Peat, Regional Leader for Scotland, tells  me that it is currently at its strongest place numerically, in the church's long history.

My experience of Scotland is the generous heartedness and openness of its people and this is very much a characteristic of the membership of this Glasgow church

The pastoral leadership of the church has the added advantage of having Carl and Danielle Johnston on the team and they, together with the local Elders, provide an effective leadership focus for the Fellowship.

I met many friends I remember from my previous visits but I also encountered a crowd of people who have joined the church within just the last few months.

Saturday morning was spent with around thirty of the departmental leaders in the church and I concluded my time there by speaking at the Sunday morning service on the following day.

Regional Day

Over one hundred leaders and spouses gathered from the "Wales and southwest midlands" and "Southern Regions" at a residential two-day conference at the Webbington Hotel in Loxton, Somerset.

The event was hosted by Chris Cartwright the Regional Leader for the area.  Input on the first day had been given by Simon Foster (Bristol) and Mike Robins (Newquay) and it was obvious that by the time I arrived to do three sessions of the second day, that everyone there had already had an enriching and beneficial time.

Although Chris Cartwright is relatively new to the role, it was very evident that he and his wife Annie have been universally and enthusiastically welcomed by the churches represented and there was a great sense of excitement about the days ahead.  The message that I brought over the day was on a subject that is of very great importance to me and it was a joy to share it with men and women who are clearly open to receive everything that God has for them.  As I said on my Facebook page at the time, the potential and calibre of the leaders in these Elim regions is exceptional.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Newport, Isle of Wight

Tony and Sally Murphy (pictured here with their daughter Jodie and son James) are the kind of people who, through tenacity and commitment, create a culture in which church growthtakes place

Twelve years ago Tony, a teacher, took over a church that was around a third the size it is today and during that period worked as a bi-vocational pastor.  Now Tony and Sally have taken a 'step of faith' to go full-time at 'Church on the roundabout' one of the two Elim churches on the island.

The first impression you get when entering the church building is the sense of inclusivism - a wide spectrum of the community worshiping and relating together in a relaxed family atmosphere in which singles are as much 'at home' as anyone else.

Nor is this a church where young people exist on the margins.  The worship leader is fifteen and her band are almost all around the same age.  I really enjoyed my time at Newport and look forward to the next time I am with them.

Friday, October 07, 2011

LivingLife Church, Shirley

Livinglife church is a brand new church in Shirley near Solihull, West Midlands.

It was my pleasure to be the first visiting speaker since the church had been planted eight weeks earlier.

LivingLife is ably led by James and Lindsey Booth (pictured here with their daughters Holly and Abbie).  James is a visionary leader and his wife Lindsey an exceptional worship leader.

The service, held in a local school, was well attended with several Elim churches in the area represented.  I have every confidence that this new church will growth both in size and depth in the days that lie ahead..

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Regents Theological College

One of the great advantages of the new location of the Elim International Centre being in Malvern is that Regents Theological College is on the same site.

It was great therefore to be the speaker at the first Students Devotions that incorporated the new 'first years' together the second and third year students and it is evident that this year's intake looks as good in quality as it does in size.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Church of Pentecost

No Denomination is closer to us than the Church of Pentecost - based in Ghana and with over 1.4 million members world wide.

The meeting that I attended in London was the ceremony which handed over leadership from Apostle Martin Seth Appiah the outgoing head of CoP (UK) and the inauguration of the new incumbent Apostle Newton Ofosyhene Nyarko.

The service that lasted for over four and a half hours incorporated many sincere tributes to Apostle Appiah for his work over the five years in which the Church has grown both numerically and spiritually.

The co-officiating minister with myself was Apostle Emmanuel Gyesi-Addo the International Missions Director who had travelled from Ghana for the proceedings.

The enthusiastic congregation prayed much for their new leader and his family as they took up their role in leading the Church of Pentecost in the UK.  On behalf of Elim I brought the good wishes of our people and expressed solidarity and support for all that CoP were doing in this country and led in prayer for God's blessing on them in the future.


The opening of the new church building in the town of Asbourne was a big community event incorporating a Barbecue and Bouncy Castle at which many local people from the Waterside area attended.  As I cut the tape, I was accompanied by the local mayor and the MP for the area.  The opening service was attended by local Elim ministers and and those from churches of other Denominations in the town

The service was convened by the pastor of the church Ben Brown who, together with his leadership team,  had overseen the whole building process.  The former minister, now retired, Alec Prail spoke of the time when he had the vision for a new place and paid tribute to Ben Brown for seeing the vision through.  Before I brought the message, Regional Leader Gordon Neale spoke of the huge part the Asbourne membership had played to bring the concept to fruition.  Everyone was thankful to God that, in recessionary times, such a facility could be built.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vazon - Centenary celebrations

There are three Elim churches on the small island of Guernsey the oldest one of which is Vazon - currently pastored by Steve Mudge (pictured here with his wife Angela).

The first Pentecostal Church was commenced in 1911 by Welshman, Robert Davies - in a packing shed.  In 1920 the church applied to be part of Elim and in 1926 George Jeffreys held a Crusade there attended by 900 people

The centenary celebrations began with a meal at a local four-star hotel at which around 200 people attended. On the Sunday both  services were packed to capacity.  It was 'standing room only' in the evening when other churches joined Vazon for these special meetings.

Several former ministers of the Vazon church travelled to the Island for the celebrations.  

Today Vazon is a great church with a fine leadership and whose services have a good blend of traditional and contemporary music.  All three Elim churches work together as a coherent team on a island that measures only nine miles between its furthest points.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hayes - Elim Church

It was good to be with the friends at the Elim Church in Hayes.  For the past six years it has been pastored by Ra Smith pictured here with his wife Helen and church Elder Steve Blake and his wife Jane

Ray had been ministering recently on the work of the Holy Spirit and asked if, at the end of my message on the Sunday morning, I would especially pray for those who wished to receive their baptism.  It is always awesome to witness people baptised in the Holy Spirit and come  through into an experience with God for which they had been praying for so long.

WellSpring - Peterbough

Forty years ago the late Alexander Tee planted the first Elim church in Peterbrough.  Today there are three of our churches in the town.

My visit was planned to coincided with the weekend celebrations at at which a number of former ministers were present including John Cave who was the first pastor  and Gordon Neale who is now the Regional leader for the area.
Wellspring is a great church and currently pastored by David Ashton pictured here with his wife Susannah and daughter Rebekah.

Monday, August 29, 2011

River Camp


Rivercamp, held near Evesham and in its tenth year, attracted over two thousand people for the six day event. Its growth and success is is due to the excellent leadership of David Campbell and his team.

One of the highlights for me, apart from listening to my fellow speakers, was the final day when the children and youth workers reported on the spiritual impact that had been made across all age spectrums. Rivercamp is, without doubt, one of Elim's most significant summer camps.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ignite Camp

The Ignite camp was held in the beautiful Welsh countryside at Cefn Lea near Newtown.

It is held under the auspices of Elim's Northwest Region led by Regional leader Kevin Peat, pictured here with his wife Margaret. Tribute was paid to Steve Yates, pastor of Elim Bootle, for the work that he had done to see that this holiday conference ran smoothly.

Other speakers included Simon Foster, Paul Hallam and Kevin Peat.

I never fail to enjoy being with a group of people who are open to all that God has for them and who are authentic and transparent in the way that they express their Christian lives.

Funeral of Matthew Weaver

Matt Weaver was only 29 years of age when he was taken home to be with the Lord. Over 500 people packed the church service that celebrated his life and 1300 messages of condolence were received.

Matt leaves behind his wife Sarah and two small boys. He is the son of Phil and Helen Weaver, and brother to Nathan who are the leaders of Newsprings church - one of two Elim congregations in Loughborough.

Most funeral services are moving but this one was exceptional in the degree that it expressed joy and celebration on a man who was massively committed to God, his family and the local church. One of those who gave tribute commented on the fact that the way the family responded to events around the passing of Matt following a routine operation - was a powerful expression of the existence of God in the lives of those family and friends who loved him.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rev. Archie Biddle

It was a delight to spend a few hours recently with Archie Biddle who is now well into his 90's and has been a Elim minister for over fifty years. Though now in a residential care home, in his earlier years he pastored some of our key churches and served as Elim's President in the days when that annual office was in place. He was also a member of the National Leadership Team - then known as the Executive Council.

He was a great pastor and an excellent preacher - speaking on two occasions at Elim's Easter celebrations in London's Royal Albert Hall.

It was very evident that he is held in the highest regard in his Torquay home. The staff refer to him as the 'father of the house'.

I try whenever I am able to visit those who have served our Movement for so many years - not just for their sake but for my own - to remind myself that, were it not for their input and sacrifice, Elim would not be what it is today.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Infuse is one of several family camps that Elim hold around the country during the summer. Most people who attend Infuse come from churches around the Midlands and the South West. This year the venue was the Three Counties Showground in Malvern - a fabulous venue and just a few miles away from our International Offices.

For the first time in the history of Infuse the number of young people attending exceeded the number of adults. In a camp of this nature a huge amount of work in done by volunteers - those very special people in our Movement who give freely of their vacation to work in the kitchens and arrange stewarding etc.

Other speakers at the adult venue included Stuart Blount, Colin Dye, Simon Foster, Jason Heron Gordon Neale, Mark Pugh and Mark Ryan.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Merthyr Tydfil

The church building in Merthyr was built one hundred years ago and the centenary celebrations were held to commemorate that fact. Over the four nights of special services the speakers included Chris Cartwright, Geoff Feasey, Denis Phillips and myself.

The church was packed on the evening that I was there and visitors came from as far as St.Mellons, Swindon, Mountain Ash and Dowlais.

During the meeting pastor Jason Tugwell, pictured with his wife Lynn, paid tribute to all the ministers who had led the church from its earliest days. It was very evident that Jason and Lynn are as committed to their congregation as their people are to them.

MiT Conference

The Elim 'Ministers in Training Conference" is among my favourite three days of the calendar and the time when around a hundred of our leaders who are working towards ordination come to Malvern to hear speakers who we believe will sharpen and hone their leadership and ministry gift.

This year the speakers were Carol Alexander, Simon Foster, James Galloway, Maldwyn Jones, Mark Stibbe, Nigel Tween, Sarah Wittleston and myself.

There can be no better venue than the Elim International Centre situated on 32 acres of the Malvern Hills and the the content of input was equal to the mid-summer surroundings

I do not need a prophecy to tell me about the bright future of our Movement - the quality of the young, and sometimes not-so-young, leaders that are emerging says it all.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Just great to be in Weston-super-mare with our good friends Claude and Sue Ellerington - seems amazing that it is 43 years since we first met when we were in Bible College.

Weston in a great church and, apart from Claude, is also ably led by Richard and Regi Ellerington. Richard is associate pastor as well as being on the Movement's Serious4God core team.

This vibrant family church is planting out into the wider area around Weston.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Breathe City Church

Breathe City Church is an exciting and innovative congregation in Stoke on Trent pastored by James Galloway who has seen the congregation expand from 60 people to 600 people within just four years.

The purpose of my visit was to speak with the sixty leaders who form the basis of this remarkable church. As with every dramatic rise in growth, culture change has to take place and Breathe has transitioned to a church that has attracted a wide age range but which has a high percentage of people in their twenties and thirties. There is a dynamic and infectious enthusiasm that is married to a strong commitment to vision and values. I very much enjoyed my time at BCC and the opportunity to engage with the phenomenal calibre of their new and emerging leadership.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Street pastors

One of the things I enjoy so much about the my role as General Superintendent is the opportunity to forge new relationships and make new friends in the wider Church.

When Les Isaacs, CEO of Ascension Trust and Street Pastors, came to spend time in our International Offices in Malvern it was a opportunity to hear more about one of the most exciting developments taking place in the UK

Street pastors is an interdenominational church response to the problem of urban society which has trained over 7000 volunteers since its commencement in 2003.

Look out for a major feature in a future edition of Direction

Normandy, France

My recent weekend in France was spent with leaders from Normandy throughout the Saturday at the church venue pictured. Sunday morning was spent at the Elim church in Yvetot pastored by Gilles Lesieur (pictured with his wife, Mirelle) who arranged my itinerary.

Sunday afternoon was spent at a combined meeting of two local Pentecostal churches.

In my experience whenever Pentecostal leaders meet, in whatever part of the world that may be, there is an immediate affinity. I very much enjoyed being with my colleagues in France and renewing fellowship with the President of Elim France and his wife - David and Christine Thabot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Purposed Life Church, Wigan

Philip and Helen Woods (pictured) have pastored the Elim Church in Wigan for several years and have seen such growth in that period that the only limitation on the development of this fine congregation is the capacity of their building

Purposed Life Church is as intentional in its vision as its name suggests and the first thing that a visitor encounters is the warmth of the atmosphere which is welcoming without being intrusive. The team of musicians add a great dimension to the worship and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect being part of this growing and dynamic church during my time there.

Monday, May 09, 2011


Elim has four fine churches in the Liverpool area. On this occasion I was speaking at the congregation pastored by Paul Dunne (pictured) who has led this church in the Kensington area of the city for several years

This was the second time that I had preached since Paul has been the minister and it was good to witness the growth since last I was there. Paul and Lynne, through their transparency and warmth of personality, have a congregation who mirror these very same traits.

Comissioning day at RTC

There are two very important moments in the calendar of Regents Theological College based at our International Centre in Malvern. The first is the Graduation ceremony at which successful students receive their degrees. The other is the less formal commissioning service that celebrates all students of both the college and the school of ministry as they return to their various spheres of service having completed their various courses.

There were so many people involved, as family and friends gathered to pay tribute to the success of the students on this special day, that it was necessary to have two services in the theatre on our site. A fuller account, with accompanying pictures, will be feature in Direction. I mention it here as I had the honour this year of being invited to be the speaker at the event.

Honouring the past

I would like to think that one of the hallmarks of our Movement is that, while being focused on the future, we want to always celebrate those who were the pioneers of Elim in its earliest days.

George Kingston (1869-1948) was a very significant figure in our history. Desmond Cartwright our historian relates some interesting facts and points out that it was this man who first invited George Jeffreys to plant a church in England and this resulted in the first Elim church being established here in 1921

Andrew Kingston, who works at Oxford University, is the great grandson of George Kingston and he is pictured here handing over a silver chalice that was presented to his great grandfather - a man who was the first President of our Movement.

Des Cartwright was present in Malvern for the presentation and pointed out why he felt the moment was particularly historic. It appears that the issue of the Elim Evangel (the magazine that preceded Direction) that recorded the death of George Kingston on 28th December 1948 also recorded the birth of the current General Superintendent two days earlier.

Teen Challenge UK

One of the most powerful ministries that serves those who have been involved in drug abuse is Teen Challenge. It was first founded in New York by the late David Wilkerson and has since spread around the world. The UK Director is Jay Fallon (pictured). He and his wife Fiona are two totally awesome people. It was a huge privielege for me to accept their invitation to speak to all their staff and leaders at their UK HQ which is currently based in Wales.

Many of those who now are core leaders were once on the program themselves - something that gives, in my view, a great deal of added credibility to the vital ministry in which they are now engaged. Whenever I visited Teen Challenge, and other similar ministries, I find it a humbling and moving experience. I never fail to thank God for the redemptive effect of the Gospel that is now evident in the powerful transformation of these very special people.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Together for the Harvest

Together for the Harvest is a network of Christians leaders from a whole spectrum of Denominations in the wider Liverpool area - though members come from much further afield.

TFH is chaired by John and Marie Manwell and this was my second invitation to speak at this great event. Networking with those from other Movements and Streams is something that I always enjoy, but I was also especially glad to have the opportunity to be with the many of our own Elim leaders who attended.

United Christian Broadcasters

In my view UCB is one of the most important Christian organisations in the UK today. From time to time leaders around the country are invited to an event that is filmed in their TV studios. It was my privilege to be the speaker on this occasion and I thoroughly enjoyed being with them.

On the following morning I was invited to lead a session with members of the UCB Board and their Heads of Department. UCB now have a free iphone app on which you can get access to their various radio channels.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Crawley Elim Chuch

Phil and Elaine Johnston have been friends of ours for very many years and so it was a particularly good to be at their church in Crawley.

Though my appointment was arranged eighteen months earlier, it coincided with the 40th anniversary of he church and, during the morning, images that spanned those four decades were displayed.

Some years ago, the initial building was too small to house the growing congregation and so the church moved into a school. In a few months time the church will move into a larger church building vacated by another Denomination.

As I travel around week by week I sometimes ask myself if, had I not been a pastor, would I want to be part of the church that I visiting if I lived in the locality. In most places it is a resounding 'yes' and in Crawley's case it would certainly be so. Excellent leaders - both pastorally and in Eldership, great worship group and good people. An excellent church with a fine future.


There are now 650 million people in the world who would describe themselves as Pentecostal or Charismatics.

A couple of years ago a decision was made to form cabinets in every Continent of the world that would comprise of both Pentecostals and Charismatics. These cabinets would relate to the world Cabinet that is co-chaired by Jack Hayford and Billy Wilson

I had been invited to be a part of the eleven member cabinet for Europe whichheld their inaugural meeting in Germany. The initial agenda included enhancing fellowship between Pentecostals and Charismatics, accelerating the growth and influence of the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches and affirming the emergence of the next generation of young leaders.

Enable - Men's Conference

There is nothing quite like 650 men worshipping, laughing and learning together!

The venue was Birmingham Christian Centre and the event was the third Conference initiated by Regional leader Gordon Neale and incredibly well organised by Robin Baker, Duncan Clark and Iain Hesketh. Apart from myself the speakers were David Ritchie, Simon Jarvis and Dave Smith

Although most people came from the Midlands Region there were groups of men from as far north as Fraserburgh Scotland who had travelled eight hours to get there and those from the south of England.

Bude, Cornwall

What an amazing weekend at Bude Christian Fellowship. When Roger and Janice Rowland (pictured here with Heidi, one of their three daughters) came to Bude eight years ago they commenced with a small number of committed people. Today there is a large vibrant fellowship whose greatest hallmark is of serving their community with the whole spectrum of the Gospel that affects body soul and Spirit.

Someone once said, when comparing the disciples who were arguing about who was the greatest and the following action of Jesus in washing the feet of his disciples, that people are usually more willing to fight over thrones than towels - not so in Bude. The whole leadership models servanthood and it is consequently part of the DNA of the entire church.

The purpose of me being there on the Saturday was to open their "New Life Centre" together with the member of parliament for the area who is also a committed Christian. The building houses a cafe area, counselling suites, accommodation and shower area for the homeless, a food bank and special accommodation for couples on the brink of divorce who needed a neutral space to address their issues. This short report is inadequate to cover the scope of the ministry and a larger article will appear Direction in due course.

On Sunday morning Marilyn and I were with the local congregation that serves this beautiful coastal resort. On team is 'retired' minister John Smyth who with his wife Mary served the Movement for 45 years in many senior roles. As one might expect they are are huge asset to the church and are fully supportive of the vision that Roger and Janice have for the future.

Monday, March 21, 2011


There had been a huge transformation in the Newcastle Elim church since my previous visit two years ago. The church building had been extended to accommodate the growing congregation and a gallery had been added and rooms removed to create additional space on the ground floor. The church had also successfully transitioned to two morning services - both of which were comfortably filled.

Simon Lawton (pictured here with his wife Julia and his daughter Amy) is confident that these developments are simply an additional stage in the ongoing progress of this warm and vibrant congregation.

Our weekend commenced with an Aspire event organised on the Saturday morning by Julia Lawton and at which Marilyn spoke. In the evening I was invited to speak with thirty of the core leaders before speaking the following day at both of the morning services. Great leadership - excellent church.

Monday, March 14, 2011


There has been an Elim church in Blackburn for a very long time and the current building stands in a prominent position overlooking the local retail park

I have never ministered in this church in recent years without there being a capacity congregation and this visit to their Sunday morning service was no exception

The church is ably led by Bob Clark (pictured left) who with his wife Rita have worked faithfully for many years. Recently he has been joined by associate minister Simon Pastorello from Italy who is shortly to be married to his fiancee Valentina who will be coming from Florence to work in Blackburn - now that's the call of God!

Delancey, Guernsey

There are three Elim churches on the Island of Guernsey. Delancey, Eldad and Vazon. I had the pleasure of speaking at Delancey on the Sunday morning the senior pastor which is Martin O'Brien (pictured here with his wife Sally). It was an excellent service and it is great to see the growth in this fine church situated right on the beautiful coast of the Island.

Over lunch I enjoyed meeting up with the leaders of all threee Elim Churches and in the evening we had a joint meeting at Delancey at which two important things took place. The first was the opening of the new youth suite and the second was a baptismal service at which several young people were baptised. Just great to hear the testimonies of changed lives and fresh starts..

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Gathering

Though this major event has been highlighted in detail already in our magazine, I could not possibly leave this out of my itinerary. It was a privilege to be invited by the Serious4God team, led by Mark Pugh, to speak on the final Sunday morning of the three day event.

Around 1700 of our young people were present. At the final meeting on the Sunday morning at which I spoke I gave one of the most challenging appeals for commitment I have given in over forty years as a minister. It was moving to witness the hundreds of young people who stood to their feet in positive response.

There has never been a time when the youth section of our Movement has been stronger than it is today and I cannot applaud to highly the calibre of young men and women who give leadership to this dynamic initiative within Elim.

NTCOG Conference

The New Testament Church of God is a classical Pentecostal Denomination the membership of which is primarily Afro-Caribbean. For the past number of years it has been led by Bishop Eric Brown. Though we have only known one another for a relatively short period of time we have become close friends and it was a privilege to be invited to speak to the hundreds of leaders that were present at their recent Conference. One of the current features of the Denomination is an initiative called 'The Big Move' which outlines the Bishop's powerful vision for the future. I spoke on the Friday and the Saturday before going to speak at The Gathering on the following Sunday morning.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clacton on Sea

Three things remain in my memory of my visit to Clacton. The first was the leader's prayer time that preceded the morning service. It was a far from perfunctory occasion and very much set the scene for the day. The second was the noticeable growth in the congregation since my last visit three years ago. Finally it was pleasure to spend an extended lunch with the Smith family before return home later in the afternoon. (Left to right Stephen and Elizabeth Smith, Annie, Sarah and Mark)

Regents Theological College

One of the great advantages of the move to Malvern was the combining on one 32 acre site of our International offices and our theological college

During this month I had the pleasure of speaking to the entire student body at their weekly Devotions - the largest in our 96 year history as a Movement - and then to a small group (pictured) for an informal 'Question and Answer' time. Dr Keith Warrington (far left) chaired the discussion.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Malaga, Spain

Howard and Sue Coley (second and third from right) planted the church in Malaga around six years ago. Their two daughters (Naomi, far left and Lucy third from left) and son Sam (far right) are all involved in the life of the church which is situated right in the centre of the local shopping Mall. Dave Hodgson (second from left), who is married to Naomi joined the ministry team two years ago.

I was there to speak at leadership seminars on the Saturday and to preach at the church on the Sunday.

Through sacrificial commitment the church has grown to the point that their building is the only thing that limits their growth. I greatly enjoyed my time with them. It is always a pleasure to spend time with those who so clearly carry the DNA of our Movement whether in this country or abroad.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Westcliffe Elim Community Church, Scunthorpe

Karl and Susan Jones (pictured here with Regional leader Gordon Neale) came to Scunthorpe two years ago. At that time their small, but faithful, congregation met in one of the worst buildings in the city

The reason for my visit was to speak at the opening of their new facility. The ribbon was cut by the deputy mayor of Scunthorpe and the service was attended by a number of local ministers.

When describing the journey of the past two years Karl publicly thanked Regional Leader, Gordon Neale, for the wisdom and input that he had brought to the process. I have no doubt that Karl and Susan will see steady and consistent growth in the days that lie ahead.

Onechurch, Gloucster

Virtually all of my speaking engagements during the year I restrict to our own Denomination. There are however a few exceptions and OneChurch in Gloucester is one of them due to the relationship that Marilyn and I have had over recent years with their senior leaders, Simon and Ally Jarvis.

Onechurch is a phenomenal church by any standards. When Simon jarvis was invited to pastor the church four years ago it had around 150 people in attendance. Today, due to the creative and visionary leadership that Simon has brought, that figure is nearer 600.

On the morning I was there I spoke the same message at three successive morning services. Those who attend cover a wide spectrum though my guess would be that the overall average would be around 30 - 35. Growth of this nature does not occur without strong and intentional culture shift. Anyone wanting to create a dynamic contemporary congregation that engages with community should seriously consider the model that Onechurch is developing.

Ealing Christian Centre

One of the most exciting Saturdays I have spent so far this year was with the ninety leaders of Ealing Christian Centre - the average age of which was around thirty. This great 1300 strong congregation led by Richard and Rajindark Buxton (pictured) is one of three Elim Church in the Ealing area.

The morning began with vibrant worship and it was a total joy to spend time with this engaging and dynamic group. Given the quality and acumen of its leadership base, ECC has a huge future.

Elim & Pioneer

One of the exciting developments in Elim over the past few years has been the relational links that our Movement has established with other Christian groups and Streams across the UK.

Over a recent twenty four hour period the leadership of Pioneer met with some key leaders from Elim at our International Centre in Malvern. It was a memorable time together and a great opportunity for both groups to get to know one another. Pioneer is experiencing great times and renewed vision under their new primary leader Billy Kennedy (third from right). We trust that this first meeting will prove to be the beginning of an ongoing and developing relationship between our two groups.

Romford Elim

The first time that I visited Romford Elim the c ongregation worshiped in a church building. On the last two occasions however the venue has been at their new location that has been hired to accommodate the growing congregation. Glen and Gill Podd have given great leadership to the church during the years that they have been there and, apart from his work as pastor of the church, Glen is the longest serving member on the Serious4God team - Elim's youth department led by Mark Pugh.