Monday, December 16, 2013

Lane End, Buckinghamshire

Anyone entering the small village of 'Lane End' on the outskirts of High Wycombe does not expect to see the fine modern building with a prominent Elim logo that looms up before them.

I very much enjoyed being with the church for their Sunday morning service that was followed by a lunch to which the whole congregation was invited.  

The picture is of the church leaders and includes the senior pastor Nick Whittome (third from left) and associate Alan Osborn (Centre)

Monday, December 09, 2013

Paisley, Scotland

Its always a pleasure to minister in Scotland where fifteen years of our ministry was spent either as a pastor or a Regional Leader.  When I first met Tom Paton who is now the  senior minister he was a single man.  On this visit so many years later three of his adult sons are in the Praise band with one of them, Callum, himself a 'Minister in Training'.

The church is was originally founded by one of Elim's primary Evangelists, Alex Tee, and today it is at its strongest both numerically and spiritually.  The weekend I was there marked twenty years since the current town centre building was first opened.
The picture shows Tom and  Jennifer (back row) with their son Neil.  Front row is daughter Hannah and sons Euan and Calum with his wife Kathryn.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Charismatic leaders Conference

For many years a Conference of Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders have met annually at the High Leigh Conference Centre.  It is currently led by Hugh Osgood and John Whitehead and I was  present as a speaker.  Not everyone is familiar with the word 'Charismatic' and in this context it refers to those, usually in traditional and historic Denominations, who have come into the same  'fulness of the spirit' as experienced by those of us in Pentecostal Churches.  Joel 2:28,29 promised how one day God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh and we thank God for contemporaty evidences of this across the world  with 640 million people who claim to have been Baptised in the Holy Spirit.

Lancaster - FM

As there is a two year lead-in time before I am able to visit a church, I have always prioritiesed engagements within our own Movement when accepting ministry invitations on a Sunday.

An exception to this was a visit to the Free Methodist church in Lancaster where I spoke at the morning and evening services and spent time with the pastor and local leaders over lunch.  The church has seen growth in recent months as a direct resukt of its engagement with the needs of the local community.

Monday, November 25, 2013

River Church, Exeter

Aftern ten very successful years as leader of Serious4God, Mark Pugh (pictured here with his wife Nita and Marilyn and I) has become the senior pastor of the River Church in Exeter.

Chris Cartwright, Regional Leader for the area, formally conducted the induction service at which I preached.

The church was packed with primarilly the local Elim congregation but there was representation from many other places where Mark had ministered including BCC, RTC and Derby.  Several ministers from Elim churches in the area were also present but one of the highlights of the was when local ministers from various Denominations in the City joined together in prayer.

Pictured below however are the team of local leaders in River Church that together with Mark and Nita will, under God, shape the exciting future that I believe is ahead.


Through an introduction via the Pastor of our church in Wimbledon Markus Bennet (third from left) Paul Hudson, Elim's International Missions Director, and myself visited the Conference of a group of Pentecostal Churches in Lisbon led by Pastor Hudson Silva (seventh from left)

Having flown in on Saturday morning I spoke at a leaders meeting in the afternoon and then to  a wider leadership meeting at night.  We flew home on the Sunday afternoon after I had spoken to the main church on the Sunday morning

Pictured above are the senior leadership of the Denomination who welcomed us warmly.  One of the members of the church is Brazilian International football star Bruno Cortez, currently on loan to Benfica, who powerfully closed the conference meetings in prayer.  It was great to be with this tremendous network of churches who are currently strengthening their links to our Movement.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Living Waters - Chorley

What a thrill see for the first time the fabulous new facilities at Living Waters in Chorley and to be there for the dedication of the building. It is a huge tribute to the church and the visionary leadership of John and Michelle Lacy (pictured).  The vision and values of this exciting church mirrors perfectly the DNA of our Movement - marrying as it is does clear and relevant biblical teaching, powerful worship and a passion for connecting in practical service within the community.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Elim North West Region

Kevin Peat (pictured here with his wife Margaret) is responsible for a very large geographical span of the UK that encompasses the whole of Scotland and the Northwest of England.

On alternate years I have the privilege of speaking at a residential retreat in these two areas and on this occasion Marilyn and I spent two days with around a hundred leaders and spouses from Elim churches situated in the the North West - the venue being a top hotel in Blackpool.

One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is engaging with people who are hungry for all that God has for them and their churches and, as so often is the case, when I spend time with Elim pastors I am drawn to the conclusion that we have an 'embarrassment of riches' in this regard.  Our time in the North West was certainly no exception.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Elim's long-established church in Chelmsford is situation in the heart of the city and is pastored by Keith Jackson (pictured here with his wife Barbie)

Life Church, as it is known locally, is yet another church that has to have two morning services to accommodate the growing congregation.  The first service was well attended and the second service very full indeed - including the balcony.  Keith is building a fine pastoral team around him and I was able to meet with the wider leadership over a Chinese meal for lunch - a session set up so I could share the wider vision and values of our Movement.

Monday, November 04, 2013


It was good to be with Keith Wilson (pictured here with his wife Sharon) who is the pastor of Chippenham Elim.  Sharon is a teacher and Keith is also an accomplished artist.

Joining the regular congregation on the morning I was there were two Nepalese Pentecostal congregations and at the close of the service everyone enjoyed some good Nepalese food together.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Harrow International Christian Centre

Michael Carr (pictured here with his wife Pat) is senior minister of HICC - a church he pioneered twenty years ago and now has a regular congregation of 400 people in its two Sunday morning services

Michael was one  of Elim's first Regional Leaders.  He is an exceptional Bible teacher  and  a man of great wisdom and insight.

HICC is a great church to minister to and it was a pleasure to be with them  for  the day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Malaga, Spain

It was two years  since my previous visit to 'Elim Family Fellowship" in Malaga and it was good to see the evident growth and development inperiod since I was last there

During my 36 hours in Spain I spoke to a leaders meeting on Saturday afternoon and at the church service on Sunday morning.

Howard and Susan Coley (pictured right) have been serving the church there for over twenty years and, apart from establishing the church, are involved in producing programs for Revelation TV.  Both are ordained Elim ministers as is their son-in-law David Hodgson (pictured left with his wife Naomi and their daughter Melissa).  David has a far-reaching radio ministry in Spain.  As so often is the case, I particularly enjoyed my time with our leaders there outside the busy schedule of my itinerary and remain grateful for the calibre of leaders in our Movement who serve the Lord sacrificially in order to establish church in their locality.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Plymouth Christian Centre

Every seat in the newly refurbished church was filled for the celebratory celebration service that marked the completion of the second phase in an extensive and expensive project

PCC  has one of the most high profile locations of any Elim church building  in a city and the remodelling of the exterior had been completed at the end of phase one.

Senior minister, Geoff Lee (pictured here with his wife Jenny) led the service which was attended by the mayor of Plymouth and a number of former ministers including David Beresford, John Smyth and Maldwyn Jones

It was a joy to be invited to preach at the service, not just in my role as General Superintendent, but because my grandfather had been the minister of this church over seventy years ago. 

The leadership and membership have done a tremendous job in the development of this significant church.  All gave thanks to God at the close of the service as one of the members of parliament for the area, Gary Streeter MP, closed the meeting in prayer.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Loughborough Elim

Elim Loughborough have marked another stage in their growth and development by celebrating the opening of their new church building.  Regional leader Gordon Neale expressed appreciation on behalf of the National Leadership team for the work that Paul and Annette Stevens, their team and the congregation had put in to bring the vision to pass.  The £1.6 million development that houses a facility on several floors is a perfect blending of 'old church building with stained glass windows' with a modern and contemporary church complex.  It was a pleasure to be present at the occasion and preach at the service.

60 years in ministry

It was a delight for Marilyn and I to attend the special celebration that had been arranged in Bude to celebrate John and Mary Smyth's 60 years in the Elim ministry. 

John Smyth has been one of the most influential figures in our Movements history.  He has served  with distinction in many of the highest offices in the Denomination including Administrator, Financial Director, Field Superintendent and Bible College Principal.  He has also pastored some of our largest churches.

John is not only known for his administrative skills and business acumen but for his teaching ministry and perhaps most of all for his pastors heart.  Several letters of appreciation were read from those who were unable to attend - all of which served to emphasise the regard with which this great couple enjoy within our Movement.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Midlands Regional Conference

Hosted in the Coventry Church and convened by the Regional leader Gordon Neale. The theme of the for the day conference was 'Between the Bow and the Target' -  a subject designed to examine the strategy of moving from an initial vision through to completion and examining why some 'arrows' become stuck in flight.  This theme will hosted in every Region throughout the Movement over the next twelve months.  All Regional leaders were present for the presentation and the speakers on this occasion were David Campbell, Chris Cartwright and myself.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sandy - church plant

In my previous post I mentioned the commitment of LGCC - Letchworth Elim - to the church planting vision that is at the core of our Movement.

An expression of this is the church plant that is being birthed in the town of Sandy  that is led by Michael Sijuwade (pictured here with his wife Ola) who is also on the pastoral team of the Letchworth church.

It was my privilege to speak at a Sunday service and to meet the people personally.  We thank God for the faithful and tenacious leadership that people such as Michael and Ola bring to to the extension of the Kingdom of God by planting our into new areas.

LGCC - Elim Letchworth

Dominic De Souza (pictured) is the senior minister of Letchworth Garden City Church better known as LGCC.  

Prior to coming to Letchworth Dominic was on the pastoral team of Kensington Temple, Elim's largest church. In the five years that he has been the senior leader of LGCC the church has experienced constant growth both numerically and in depth

Around 400 people were present for the morning service and, given the commitment that this great congregation church has for our Movements church planting vision, around 500 people will have been connected with LGCC during the day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Elim / AoG leadership

Elim and Assemblies of God are the two largest Pentecostal Denominations in the UK with well over a thousand churches among them. The only difference between our two Movements is the way that we are structured and there has always been close fellowship between us

John Partington (National Leader of AoG) and myself were both  friends many years before either of us were called to serve our respective groups in leadership.

On this occasion the two National Leadership Teams held their respective meetings at the Elim International Centre in Malvern but also held a joint meeting at which we looked at ways in which our two groups could work even more closely together in the days that lie ahead.  We wish our sister fellowship God's richest blessing in everything they are endeavouring to do to extend the Kingdom of God in our nation.

CLM Coventry

Coventry Elim is one of our finest churches with three morning services to accommodate their growing congregation.

However, on this occasion I was not with our own church in the city but with Christian Life Ministries led by Martin and Esther Storey (pictured)

CLM is part of our sister      fellowship,Assemblies of God, and their state-of-the-art modern complex houses a large auditorium, conference centre and office suite.

It was a delight to be with Martin and Esther not just in the context of the church service but later in their home where I was able to spend time with them and their young family.  Although they have not been in Coventry for a great length of time their leadership gifting and pastoral heart has already had an impact on this fine congregation.  Also on the team is John Partington the National Leader of AoG

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kensington Temple, London

Kensington Temple is Elim's largest congregation and via its network - London City Church - reaches several thousand people every week.  The senior minister Colin Dye is a member of our Movement's National Leadership Team.  KT as it is more generally known has a heart to reach 'London and the world for Christ' and its influence, reflecting this, is felt in many countries of the world.  Its wider pastoral and leadership team is comprised of very many gifted men and women and its multicultural congregation adds a very positive dimension to the expression of the Christian Church in our nation's capital.  I ministered on this occasion at its morning service.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I spent four days in Romania visiting  Ioan Ceuta (pictured here, second from left, with his wife and two daughters and their son-in-law) who heads a network of Pentecostal Churches in the Country.

Ioan and I are members of the European Council of Empowered21 - a group committed to effectively linking Pentecostal and Charismatic churches throughout Europe.

As our friendship has developed over time Ioan and his National Leadership Team felt it right to link his churches into "Elim Global" an international group set up to embraces previously formed churches to our Movement and who identify with Elim's vision and values and wish to be connected with us.

The purpose of my visit was to meet his NLT for the first time, to preach in a number of the their churches and take part in a  radio broadcast.

It was a fruitful and memorable time.  One of the highlights was touring the magnificent facility that is the central hub of the organisation and incorporates their Headquarters, a theological College and infants school that is built and run to the very highest standards.  The church campus is based there and the church feeds 500 of the poorest families in Bucharest with a hot meal five days a week.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Hoddesdon is a long established Elim Church - once known as Rye Park.  It has been pastored for the past three years by Jamie Lavery - pictured here with his wife Sophie and their daughter Lilly.

This was my first visit to the church and it was great, as usually is the case, to meet those who had been there for many years as well as those who had more recently become part of the church.

Jamie and Sophie are typical of the excellent calibre of young leaders who lead our churches around the UK with a passion for God and a love for the people they they have been called to serve.

Launceston, Devon

There are some people who dedicate themselves to the planting and pioneering of new congregations and I so much enjoyed being with John and Sally Berriman who, having worked faithfully in St Ives, moved to Launceston in Devon  to plant an Elim church in that area.

Meeting in the town hall in the centre of this small picturesque town the congregation is now firmly established in the area.  John and Sally and the church that they lead and doing a fabulous job and it was a delight to be with them for their Sunday service

Hope Chapel, Birmingham

Hope Chapel in Birmingham was founded by Sally Livingstone who is also the founder of the Livingstone House group of residential centres that she established to care for those who have been challenged by life-controlling issues such as substance abuse.

This dynamic and entrepreneurial woman has impacted the lives of many hundreds of people and it is always a joy to be connected with her inspirational ministry.  I was the guest speaker at a packed gathering at this new and growing congregation.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Liverpool (Kensington)

It had been two years since I had last visited Liverpool (Kensington) led  by Paul Dunne (pictured with his wife Lynne) and it was great to witness again the great pastoral heart this fine couple bring to this warm and lively congregation

Growth in the congregation and improvements to the building were obvious since my last visit and its always a joy to see the number of ways that the local church increases its contact with the surrounding community.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weston Super Mare

Holy Trinity, Weston Super Mare, is an Elim Church pastored my close friend of 40 years, Claude Ellerington, (pictured here with his wife Susan). 

Holy Trinity is a great church and I always enjoy ministering there.  One previous occasions Claude's two sons, Richard and Steve, who are both Elim ministers have been on the team locally but now Steve is pastoring on the team in Bristol and Richard and his wife Regi are planting a surfers church in France.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Hope Church, Corby

There are not many churches that grow from a handful of people to a regular congregation of around 230 in just five years.  But that is what has happened at the Elim congregation in Corby.

Damian Carr, pictured here with his wife Maggie, moved from Selly Oak to his home town with a vision to plant a church and, and through faithful pastoral care and wise leadership, this fine congregation has become flagship for how church planting should be done.

Though catering for all ages, anyone visiting will become immediately aware of the number of young people and young families that are present.

They currently meet in a local school but their vision is to have their own building.  Hope Church is an exciting and dynamic congregation with a great future.

Daniel Stanley

Elim is not just comprised of churches but also trans-local ministries.  Such groups include evangelistic organisations and chaplaincies.

On this occasion I was spending time with Daniel and Sunitha Stanley (pictured here with sister Ramadevi and daughter Rachel) who is overseeing a number of Tamil Indian congregations around the UK.

Before taking up this role Daniel was a senior executive with a multi-national bank based in India.  It was a huge and sacrificial step for the him to resign his position but he has done so without regret knowing with certainty the clear call of God upon his life.

Acocks Green, Elim

The  church in Acocks Green, Birmingham was planted twenty-five years ago by the late George Canty one of Elim's foremost evangelists.  The reason for my visit was to celebrate this special anniversary.  Also present for the service was the Regional leader for the area, Gordon Neale and Stan Taylor a previous pastor.

Until recently the minister at the church was Jamys Carter (pictured centre) but the congregation is now pastored by Terry Jennings (pictured left) who ably led the meeting and is on target to take the church forward.

Anniversaries always provide opportunities to celebrate the input of leaders past and present and especially the faithfulness of the membership of the congregation.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Epping Forest Elim Church

Lee and Alison Carmichael, pictured here with their daughter Martha, have served sacrificially in Epping for several years having been bi-vocational in order to ensure the growth and development of the church.  

Leaders that serve the church by holding down two roles are among the heroes in our Movement and we thank God for them.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kennet Christian Centre

My time at  Kennet Christian Centre was another 'first visit' and it did not take me long to realise that this excellent church in Newbury was one of Elim's 'best kept secrets'.  

Though I arrived early the church was already filling up and by the start of the service stewards were struggling to find seats for the people who were continuing to arrive.  This was not because I was there - it is like that every week.

Ian Gardiner (pictured here with his wife Marion) has led the church for over twenty years and it is very evident that the incredible atmosphere that makes this church so attractive is largely down to their influence over the years.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Treorchy, South Wales

It is always a pleasure to speak at Elim churches but especially when it is my first visit to them. 

So, when preaching at the Elim Church in Treorchy, in the Rhondda Valley it was great be with Jeff Evans (pictured here with his wife Sue) who has pastored the church there for the past twenty three years.

It was to be expected that any church in South Wales would be a welcoming environment what I was not anticipating was the exceptionally gifted way in which Sue led the worship.    I would also want to honour leaders such as Jeff who have invested so much of their life, often sacrificially, into local church over such an extended period of time.

Friday, April 12, 2013

AoG Leaders

There has always been a close affinity with our Sister fellowship, the Assemblies of God.  Both our Movements were formed almost a century ago and our doctrines and beliefs are identical.  The only thing that differentiates us is our form of church government.  The two previous Superintendents of AoG have been close personal friends as is the current National Leader, John Partington

It was a pleasure and a privilege to speak to their National Leadership Team, Regional Leaders and Regional Teams at their excellent venue in Coventry.  Both our Fellowships are looking at every opportunity in which we can work closer together in the days that lie ahead.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


It hardly seems four years since Simon Foster (pictured) became the senior leader of Elim@Bristol.  The long established congregation, formerly known as the City Temple, has always been a strong church but it has never been stronger, in size and depth, than it is today.

I spoke at the two morning services.  The first was well attended and in the second the main auditorium and the balcony was packed.  The guest worship leader for the day was Noel Robinson one the primary Christian singer/song writers in the UK.

Simon is a member of Elim's National Leadership Team and has built a great team of leaders around him in Bristol - a church that is leading the way in 'The Big centenary Ask' by planting three other churches out of this strong and exciting Bristol base.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Archbishop of Canterbury

The installation of Rev. Justin Welby in Canterbury Cathedral was a remarkable event.  The then Bishop of Durham had not been likely a choice for a number of reasons not least because he had only been a bishop for a comparatively short period of time.  Dr. Welby is clearly an evangelical and this was reflected not only in the poignant address that he brought but also in the choice of hymns which included “And Can be that I should gain and interest in the Saviours blood”.  And, as the congregation sang a piece written by Tim Hughes, Steve Clifford (leader of the Evangelical Alliance) and I turned to one another and expressed the same thought, “Who would have thought that the inauguration of anew Archbishop would include music written by the worship leader of a charismatic Anglican Church such as HTB.  Later that evening in at a celebratory meal in Canterbury the Dr. Welby was to publicly refer to Nicky Gumble as his ‘mentors’. 
I have long advocated our Movement’s involvement with Christians from traditions other than our own.  My position on the Council of the Evangelical Alliance and other similar groups remains an expression of this. 
In a letter responding to my good wishes on his election , and prior to my invitation as the first General Superintendent of Elim to be invited to Canterbury for such an occasion, the new Archbishop had kindly written that he had been “much blessed by Elim” over the years.
We pray God’s riches blessing on him as he commences this new and challenging role in leading the many millions of Anglicans around the world.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Birkenhead, Elim

I would not know what the average length of a time a minister  commits to one single congregation but forty years is outstanding by any standard.  And that is the period of ministry that Paul and Evelyn Epton have accomplished in Birkenhead.  

Starting from a handful of people in the most modest of accommodation the three hundred strong church now exists at multiple sites in the town.  It is a tribute to a long and faithful ministry.  

However, Paul's ministry has not been limited to any geographical area - though the Wirral has always been where his heart lies.  As one of Elim's foremost evangelists over the years his ministry has taken him all over the world and, at the special service to mark the occasion at which I was the speaker, there folk who had come from as far away as Nigeria - for the event.

Apart from a very from a very full church, there was a strong representation of ministers who had been assistants during Paul's tenure and who now were pastoring significant churches of their own.  One of them Simon Foster, lead pastor of Elim at Bristol and NLT member, preached at the Sunday services as the anniversary continued over the weekend.

The service was ably convened by Greg Epton, Paul and Evelyn's son, who will be continuing to lead the congregation after Paul's retirement as senior pastor

Monday, March 18, 2013

Newcastle, Elim

An increasing number of Elim churches that I visit have needed to move to two morning services in order to accommodate their growth and this is true of our congregation in Newcastle whose senior pastor is Simon Lawton (pictured here with his wife Julia and daughter Amy)

It was two years since I was last in Newcastle and it was a joy to see the growth in size and overall influence of the church.

Newcastle people are by nature warm and welcoming and this is very much reflected in the style and the atmosphere of the church.  The worship was led by accomplished musician and song-writer, Sarah White.  I thoroughly enjoyed my most  recent visit to this great Fellowship.

New Wine Conference

'New Wine' is  a group of mainly Anglican Charismatic churches and it was pleasure to participate as a speaker in their recent Conference held in Ealing, London.  The two venues used were the local Anglican church, St Pauls, led by Mark Melluish and Ealing Christian Centre (Elim) which is just a few hundred yards away.  

It was also good to share fellowship with Mark Bailey, another New Wine coordinator, who is senior minister of Trinity Cheltenham - the second largest Anglican Church in the UK after Holy Trinity Brompton.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Leicester Elim

It had been forty years since I had last preached at Leicester Elim and I was told by some members who could still remember the visit that I brought with me a worship leader in his late teens who they described as 'Noel Richards' before he was Noel Richards.  I knew what they meant as the young man who accompanied me was later to become one of the best known Christian singer song-writers in the country.

The church now was in a totally different venue since those days and their relatively new pastor Ian Nicholson, pictured here with his wife Liz, is already having a very positive effect on this fine congregation.  Ian has a faithful track record in our Movement and is a wise leader with a great pastoral heart.  Thank you Leicester for your warm welcome.  I very much enjoyed my time with you.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Ambilly & Thonon

I can remember the earliest days in which Luke and Rachel Favre pioneered a church in Thonon, France. 

During my five visits overt the years I have witnessed its growth and development as they have worked sacrificially to make the dream a reality.

In my latest visit I ministered at the church on Friday and Saturday night and on Sunday morning.

On the Saturday morning I spoke at a men's breakfast meeting at a second church that Luke now leads - over the border in Ambilly, Switzerland - a congregation that Rachel's father pioneered twenty five years ago.

It was a joy to spend time with such exemplary young leaders.

OneChurch, Gloucester

The majority of my weekend speaking engagements revolve around the invitations that I receive from within our own Movement.

A recent exception to that was my visit to One Church, a dynamic and growing congregation pastored by Simon Jarvis (pictured here with his wife Ally and children Jack and Abigail.)

OneChurch is part of Elim's sister fellowship, the Assemblies of God, and over the past few years I have had an ongoing connection with it.
When Simon Jarvis took over the senior leadership it had already been an established Pentecostal Church for many years and numbered around 150 people.  Today the congregation is around four times that size with two morning services to accommodate the increasing numbers.  While there are no sure-fire 'secrets of success' for any church, one of the hallmarks of OneChurch is the vibrancy of its meetings, the culture of 'team' and affirmation within in the church and its prioritising engagement and commitment to the City itself.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


There are two Elim Churches in Greenock, and my visit on this occasion was to the one in Kelly Street which is pastored by Fraser Donaldson - pictured here with his wife Susan.

The Saturday evening was an informal cafe-style format under the title 'Meet the GS' in which I was able to share the vision and values of our Movement in an interview

I was with the whole church on the Sunday morning and, before going to the airport in the evening, I met with all those in the church in a 20 - 30 year age group, in the local Costa coffee (they had designated a special area for us) at which we discussed church and contemporary culture.  My visit was one of the best possible uses of the 24 hours in a land I have grown to love over the years - Scotland.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Teen Challenge UK

Teen Challenge has been a phenomenal resource for over a generation for those who have been damaged by the use of addictive substances.

The current Director, Jay Fallon, is an ordained Elim minister and this was my first opportunity to view the brand new facilities at a site between Leicester and Nottingham.

The first thing that that you become aware of when entering is the commitment to excellence at every level.  These two photos show the reception area and the dining room but the bedrooms conference room, library, media centre, chapel and gymnasium reflect the same story.  Jay and Fiona Fallon are two very special people who have built a first class team around them.  The highlight of the day however was not the facilities but the opportunity to spend time with those whose lives had been transformed by the power of the Gospel - people who have transitioned from  heroin to health both physically and spiritually.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


My visit to Gloucester Elim church coincided with just the third Sunday that Paul Meiklejohn had been the pastor at the church but it was clear that he and his wife Debbie had already caught a vision for the city and were feeling very much 'at home' in their new location.

I have known Paul for many years and am familar with his ministry.  I have no doubt that the pastoral gifting that has been a hallmark of his ministry thus far will be utilised to its fullest extent as he commences this next phase in his ministry. he and Debbie are a great team.


One of the greatest developments in our Movement in the past few years has been the way that Elim's youth organisation, Serious4God has developed under the leadership of Mark Pugh and the incredible  team he has built around him.

The Elim International Centre is an ideal location for any conference and that was the venue for a youth leaders Conference at which I spoke at one of the sessions.

No one who attended could fail to sense the amazing dynamic in the room - an understandable vibe when so many creative young leaders are in the same place at the same time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Elam ministries

Elam, not to be confused with the name of our own Movement Elim, is one of the most significant Christian organisations in Iran - a hard line Muslim country in which it is an offence to share your faith with other Christians or even to celebrate Christmas.  Direction readers will remember a report on this page of my visit to a country in the Middle East to meet with young Iranian leaders who had suffered persecution, imprisonment and, in a number of cases, torture.

The pictures above relate to a recent meeting organised by Elam and held in St George's church in the centre of Leeds and at which several hundred Iranians now living in the UK attended.  The worship group led songs in English and in Persian and I had the privilege of being invited to be the speaker throughout the day at the first Conference of this nature.

It was wonderful  to witness a number of young Iranians commit their life to Christ at the close of the service.

Braintree Elim Church

Alison and William Atkinson, pictured here with their two sons Iain and Stephen, are both ordained Elim ministers.

For several years William served our Movement with distinction as the Principal of our College before taking up the role of Vive Prinicipal with the London School of Theology.

Alison is the pastor of the Braintree church and is also currently a member of The Bridge - a group of senior leaders that I meet with on two occasions during the year.  The church and gallery was full for the morning service at which I spoke and there were also people in attendance from the Elim church in Maldon.

Cardiff City Temple

When I was a young minister, Cardiff City Temple was a flagship church in the Elim Movement in terms of its size and influence.  The minister at that time was PS Brewster who pastored the church for over thirty years. 

Today the City Temple is far larger than ever it was in those years.  I spoke at the two morning services to around seven hundred people but there were four services during the day.

One of the things that anyone who attends the Cardiff church feels very quickly is the sense of vision and expectancy.  They are great people and the Temple is a great place to be.

One of the elements of building a successful church is creating a great team and that has certainly been accomplished by pastor Steve Ball (second from left) who came into that role after the previous minister Chris Cartwright became a Regional Leader.