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.