Monday, December 15, 2014

Victory Church, Cwmbran

Victory church Cwmbran was in the news in the early part of this year as it was the centre of the what was being termed the 'Welsh Outpouring'.

 In recent months however it entered a very challenging period.  However, through the commitment of Clyde and Rebekah Thomas,(pictured) and the excellent team around them, everything is now back on track

There was a great atmosphere in the Sunday morning service at which I spoke and it is evident that they have now entered a new season.  Following the service I enjoyed lunch with the full leadership team and their spouses - a memorable and enjoyable day.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Northampton Elim

 What a fabulous day at Northampton with Jason and Lynda Heron (third and forth from the left) and their assistant pastors Mike and Beki Nicholls.

During the morning service, which was followed by a hog roast, eleven children were dedicated.  It was a particular joy for me to dedicate Judah pictured here with his proud parents.

Three years ago the church went through a number of difficulties but ,through the wise leadership of this great team, Northampton Elim has never been in better shape

The building, including the gallery, was packed to capacity for the occasion and a building extension for a parallel youth service is already underway.

Marilyn and I so much enjoyed being with great friends and an excellent congregation.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Dr. Michael NTumy

I flew in and out of Hamburg Germany in a day so that I could visit and pray with my good friend, former chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Dr. Michael Ntumy.

After a serious operation this exceptional leader, who during his tenure saw CoP double in numbers and become the largest Denomination in Ghana, was confined to a wheelchair.  However, as those who suffer in this way are not defined by their disability I have chosen a photo taken in 2006 when the President of Ghana decorated him with the 'Order of the Volta' the second highest national award in Ghana.

Apostle Ntumy is an inspiration to many - not just in the two million strong Church of Pentecost - but countless others around the world through his books.  He remains one of the finest Christian leaders I have encountered.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Formby Christian Fellowship

It was a pleasure for Marilyn and I to spend the day with Malcolm and Denise Dyer at Formby Christian Fellowship - a church that has many activities that relate not only to the local community but which also network with what other churches are doing in the area.

Over lunch it was good to meet with the Elders of the church and their wives before speaking at the evening service at which four other Elim churches in the area were represented.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bakewell, Elim

It only seems a short time ago that I was present for the opening of the fine new building in Asbourne but since that time not only has the church doubled under the leadership of Ben Brown and his team but they have planted out into the pictureque town of Bakewell around twenty miles away.

It was my privilege to be present at the opening of the church.  Though the town is nationally known for its famous Bakewell pudding, the building that now carries the Elim logo is an old chocolate factory.  The small building was full for the first official service with local people and visitors alike sensing that this was the beginning of great things.  Well done Ben and Esther (pictured here with their children) and all involved, for being among the many in our Movement who are rising to the challenge of the 'Big Centenary Ask'' by planting out beyond the boundaries of their locality into the surrounding areas.

Nantwich Elim

When our Bible College moved from Nantwich it had an understandable numerical effect upon the local church as students and faculty no longer attended.  However there has been a dramatic turnround under the leadership of Michelle Nunn who has seen the congregation double in the period of less than four years in which she has been the senior minister. 

Prior to the Sunday service I was taken on a tour of the church and conference centre and it was clear that a massive effort has been made by volunteers to create the improved facilities that now exist on the site.  There was a great sense of appreciation for what Michelle, her husband Brendan (pictured here with their son Dominic) and the team, had accomplished and having been there I have to concur that the best days of the Nantwich are yet to come.

Friday, November 21, 2014

National Leadership Team

This diary page usually relates to only the preaching engagements that I have around the country. It does not cover the remainder of my diary throughout the week.

One of the most valuable inclusions in my calendar is the time I spend with the National Leadership Team - the group of leaders selected by our Conference to give leadership and direction to our Movement throughout the year.

Our meetings take place over three days five times a year.  One of the greatest joys in my role as General Superintendent is the privilege of spending time with people of such high calibre who, apart from being colleagues, have also become close personal friends.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Elim France

Having spoken in Edinburgh on the Sunday morning (see earlier post) I then flew direct to Paris for the Elim France leaders Conference.

Our churches there are led by an amazing couple - David and Christine Thabot.

I know of no people who have shown more tenacity than they have over the years as they, and the churches that they lead, struggle against the oppressive secular and Islamic opposition that exists in that country against evangelicals.

I spoke at five sessions over the two days.  Elim does not have a strong presence in France but it was a delight to spend time with our leaders and their spouses while I was there.

Edinburgh Elim

Gordon and Heather Allan hale originally from Greenock and ministered latterly in Clydebank.  A little under two tears ago they moved to Edinburgh.  It was great to be with them.

On entering the church one is immediately impressed by the fact that, though it is a traditional church building, it has been sensitively restored and the entrance hall is high-tech with video screens and first class contemporary graphics and branding.

After a meal with the local leadership on the Saturday afternoon I spoke at the church service in the evening and then on the next day on Sunday morning service.  There are usually excellent worship bands in all our churches but I considered Edinburgh to be exceptional.

Rotherham Elim

It was good to be with Paul and Caroline Folland and everyone at Elim Rotherham and witness the development of the church since I was last there.

One of the things I enjoy about my visits to churches as I travel is to hear  the stories and testimonies of members of the congregation who I try and spend as much time as possible with after the service has concluded.  These include those who have served faithfully for many years as well as those who have recently come to faith.

I was surprised on this occasion to meet a wonderful 94 year old man who, when he was a small boy, knew my great grandfather.  How many memories and experiences are contained in every one of our churches.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Scottish Regional Retreat

Elim in Scotland has never been in  better shape than it is at the moment.  This was the clear conclusion that we came to as Marilyn and I attended and spoke at the retreat for pastors and spouses organised by Kevin and Margaret Peat and listened to the testimonies of all the good things that are taking place.  It was good too to hear of the faith-fuelled plans for the centenary celebrations in 2015

Sixteen years of our ministry was spent in Scotland - a period in which we made many friends among leaders and members alike.  One of the exciting things that are evident is not just an awareness of those who have served in Scotland for many years but the new and emerging younger leaders who are set to carry the baton into the future.  Thank you Kevin and Margaret for creating the climate for growth and thanks too to everyone in leadership for your dedication to the harvest into which you continue to sow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

City Church, Peterborough

There are four Elim churches in the Peterborough area and my visit on this occasion was to City Church in Midland Road.  The congregation was between ministers when I visited and  awaiting the appointment of a new pastor.  That church operates so well on such occasions is a tribute the the Elders, deacons and the many volunteers that make local church effective in all our congregations around the country.


Desmond and Patricia Egharevba are leading a church plant in Staines.  On most occasion when I minister it is necessary to travel to various parts of the country to connect with our churches.  On this occasion this congregation was holding a church weekend at our International Centre here in Malvern.  I spoke on the Friday evening and Nigel Tween on the Saturday. It was good to spend time with people who were so open to teaching and input.

People's Church, Newtonabbey, Belfast

My first memory of George and Linda McKim was when they came to Falkirk in Scotland to plant a church during the time that I was the Regional Leader for the area.  They commenced with just a handful of people and, after years of tenacious and sacrificial service, saw those early beginnings grow to a church of around two hundred people with its own building in the centre of the town.

They are now leading a church in Belfast and, as I did not have and free weekends for the next eighteen months, I flew out to speak at their regular midweek Bible study that, like their mid week prayer meeting, attracts large numbers.  There would have been around 250 on the Thursday night that I was there.  On a Sunday the church numbers around 600 people.

Apart from  ministering at the church it was a delight to spend time with two people who have experienced both the pleasure the pain that accompanies the process of building a healthy church.


It was a very full weekend in Ipswich and it was a pleasure to spend time with the senior minister and his wife,Harold and Florence Afflu (pictured here their family).

The first session was on Saturday afternoon which was a meeting for the wider church leadership.  This was followed by an evening celebration during which the message was translated in Romanian as there is a Romanian church linked to Elim that worships in the building on a Sunday and their congregation and their leaders were present on the Saturday service on this occasion.

There  were two morning meetings to accommodate this growing church.  In the second service the church and balcony were full and there was standing room only for any who were not present for the start of the meeting.  One of the most impressive memories about the visit was that, although the Worship Band were committed to two services, they were present for their own time of worship before the first meeting began.  With such commitment there is little wonder that this church is in the healthy state that it is.

Monday, October 06, 2014


Wrenthorpe is a small on the outskirts of Wakefield.  And it was to this congregation of faithful people that Jamys Carter (pictured with his wife Emma) came to minister a little  under two years ago,

The church is well known in the community in which it has had a presence for very many years.

Apart from his leadership of the church, Jamys is very involved in the development of Elim's "ministers in training' within our Movement and Emma, apart from her role within the church, has a  doctorate and  works as a research scientist at Sheffield University.

It was a pleasure to spend time at the Wrenthorpe church and to have some quality time too with Jamys and Emma during the day.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


The last time I spoke at Sparkbrook Elim was when Pastor JJ Morgan was the minister.  I was a teenager, and he had invited me to give my testimony.

Fifty years later I was a speaker, together with Nigel Tween, at a convention weekend entitled, "Embracing the Holy Spirit"

The church has gone through some difficult times in recent years but has seen a dramatic turn around under the ministry of the current pastor , Caleb Nyanni pictured here with his wife Angela who in the four years since he has been there has seen the church triple in size.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Calvary Chapel, Kings Heath

For many years Calvary Chapel was pastored by Colin and Francis Dyson (pictured fourth and fifth from left) and then four years ago their daughter, ordained Elim minister Claire Williams (pictured third from the left with her husband Tony), took over the leadership when her father retired.

Their eldest son Tim (pictured fourth from right with his wife) is a Minister in Training and now serving as the assistant minister at Elim Yeovil.  Their second son Jon (pictured second from right) is a second year student at RTC.  Their third son Joe (far left) is in the praise band in the local church.

It was great to witness first hand the growth and development of the church under Claire's ministry and especially good to for Marilyn and I to share a meal with all the leaders and their wives after the morning service.  A special mention should be made of the church elder Norman who has been a member of the church since  it was founded 55 years ago.

Com Church, Dunstable

My visit to Com church was part of their anniversary celebrations.  Thirty years ago the Dunstable congregation commenced with just a handful of people led by Doug and Helena Richards (pictured) and now is a large and vibrant church.  It was great to meet people who were part of the initial group and who are key leaders in the church today.

The last occasion I was in Dunstable was the the opening of their new premises where the church had taken over the largest night club in the town and converted it into a place of worship.  The previous week I had been at another Elim church that had taken over the town's casino.

Thank you Doug and Helena for your great welcome to Marilyn and myself and for the generous cheque you gave to Elim Missions for the suffering Christians in Iraq.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Church of Pentecost

Elim and the Church of Pentecost enjoy very close links.  It was therefore a privilege to be asked to be the speaker at the 25th Jubilee Anniversary celebrations that was held in Dagenham, London.  Other Elim representatives present apart from Marilyn and myself were John and Trish Waller, who had served for many years in Ghana, and Bruce and Heather Hunter.

The four and a half hour service included times for worship and reports of the growth of the church over the years.  It began in the UK as Elim church of Pentecost with just 30 people and now is 17,000 strong.  World-wide is numbers over two million.

River Camp

It was good to be back at River Camp on 2014 - an initiative commenced by David Campbell from small beginnings but now which attracts around 1800 annually to the large site situated in the Cotswolds near Evesham.  Other speakers were Che Ahn, David Campbell, Simon Foster, Ken Gott and Kevin Peat.

Friday, August 01, 2014

London City Region

Kensington Temple in London is not only Elim's largest church but, under the leadership of Colin Dye and his team, has developed into a network of churches around the city designated 'London City Church'.  KT, as it is more commonly called, is not however limited to the England's capital and supports many churches around the world several of which it has pioneered.

LCC has grown at such a rate that it is considered to be a Region in its own right within our Movement.  It was a great pleasure for me to spend an entire Saturday with all of the leaders from the LCC region - something that I do at least once every two years.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Rushey Green, London

Rev. Sam Larbie (pictured here his wife Sophia, Marilyn and I and Regional Leader David Campbell at the opening of their new facilities) was a major in the Ghanaian army before coming to the UK 28 years ago.

He commenced a church with just a handful of people and since then has never stopped planting and expanding.  I estimate that over a thousand Elim members have sprung from the work that he has accomplished over the years.

Recognising the apostolic gift on his life I have always referred to him as 'The Bishop'.  Apart from the many  who have found Christ under his leadership, several people testify to have been healed through his 'Right Now Jesus' ministry.

Though it has taken many years to reach the point when there fine facilities could be finally secured, it is clear that the tenacity that he and the leaders around him have shown has paid off.  A large auditorium and many ancillary rooms pay tangible tribute to their work throughout London.

Kingstanding Elim

One of the first things that you notice as you enter the Kingstanding church is the excellent "Elim Life" branding around the building and the next thing would be the warm welcome.

Johnathan and Sam Skelton (pictured here with their two lovely daughters Olivia and Charlotte) have done a tremendous job in the years they have been at this influential Birmingham church.

Jonathan's parents pastored the AoG church in West Bromwich when I was a young minister in my Twenties and we became firm friends.  So I have known Jonathan since he was born.

Now having to run two morning services because of the burgeoning numbers 'Elim Life' is well known in the community for its social concern as well as its vibrant services.

Also on team is Sarah Whittleston who is a key person in Elim's National Prayer initiative and a major voice in the Lift-Up intercession emphasis in our Movement.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Winson Green, Elim

More times than I can recount I come away from visiting our churches thankful to God for the men and women that God has gifted to our Movement in Leadership.  My visit to Winson Green, Birmingham was one such occasion.

In the two years since James and Kasia Talbot moved there with their children Gabriela and Jonathan the congregation has grown from the 35 to well over twice that number and much progress has been made on the church building giving it a profile in the vicinity that it had never enjoyed previously

It was a pleasure to preach at such a warm and welcoming congregation and the worship was enthusiastic and powerful.  Marilyn and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with the Winson Green church family.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A century of service

When anyone thinks of Elim's International centre it is usually in the context of excellent facilities spread over a 32 acre site at the top of the Malvern Hills.

But what really matters in Malvern is the scores of dedicated staff who work loyally and faithfully in all the many departments - Administration, Finance, Missions, Conference Centre, College, Serious4God, Reach and Aspire.

This photo celebrates three of our staff who between them, had given a century to our Movement.

Jenny Locke (centre) has worked for us  for an incredible 40 years and Miriam Loveridge (left) and Cath Symons have served for 30 years respectively.

To make this very special occasion 25 members of staff from their immediate department gathered for a buffet lunch and each received a large bouquet of flowers and the latest edition of the iPad to mark the occasion.

I consider it an immense privilege to serve alongside staff of this calibre and our Movement could not operate without them.

Ground level

Ground Level is a network of churches led by Stuart Bell, a prominent member of what is often referred to as the New Church Movement.  He covers a number of fellowships  from the 'Humber to the Wash' and his own congregation is situated in the heart of the City of Lincoln

I was responding to an invitation to speak to the leaders in his network.  It is always a joy to minister to groups in Streams beyond the borders of own Movement and there is always strength in cross-fertilisation, mutual learning and bridge building.

Selly Oak Elim Church

There are two vibrant Elim churches within a mile of one another in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham.  The one that I was speaking on this occasion is pastored by senior minister Iain Hesketh (pictured here with his wife Rachel) and assistants  Jack and Annie who, by the time that this is published will be a newly married couple.

Marilyn and I have visited this church on several occasions during the time that Maldwyn Jones was the minister and it was great to be there on this occasion and see the continued growth of this fine church.

Iain, apart from his leadership of the local church is also active beyond its walls in a number of Regional and national initiatives.

Lakeside Elim Church

If ever there was a church that lived up to its name it is Lakeside Elim Church situated at the heart of the beautiful northwest coastal resort of Southport and on located by a lake with stunning views.  Not too many church cafes overlook a vista populated by swans.

This vision is the result of the tireless and tenacious efforts of senior minister Malcolm Hathaway (pictured here with his wife Lorna) and associate pastor Richard Vernon (pictured here with is wife George).

The former fitness complex provides some of the best facilities seen in any Elim church and incorporates two squash courts and is surrounded by a car park for 180 cars.  But of course, as great as buildings are, its the people that matter and Marilyn and I so much enjoyed our Sunday with this warm and welcoming congregation.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Barking, Elim

It is always a joy for Marilyn and I to be with our friends John and Trish Waller who are the senior leaders of the Elim Church in Barking, Essex.

Immediately after arriving on Saturday afternoon I met with the Elders and pastors of the church for an informal two-hour leadership session

Sunday morning consisted of two identical morning services in order to accommodate the expanding congregation that has almost doubled in size since John and Trish came to the church. Also, since I was last there eighteen months ago, the adjacent building has been renovated and modernised - a great addition to their already excellent facilities.

Most churches have a moment in the morning service where the children go out to a parallel meeting of their own.  That morning I understand was a record as no less than 97 children filed out - phenomenal.  Thank you Barking for the warm welcome you gave us and your openness to the input we were privileged to bring.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Metropolitan Regions

David Campbell is the Regional leader of the two Metropolitan Regions and covers the largest number of churches and leaders in our Movement

Ealing Christian Centre pastored by senior ministers, Richard and Rajindark Buxton provided the excellent venue and generous hospitality to the large numbers of leaders who attended. 

Worship was led by Sam Blake

It is on days of this nature that I become increasingly aware of the great calibre of men and women who are leading the churches across our Movement.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ellesmere Port Elim Church

As I revisit churches over the years, it is great to see the development and expansion that is evident since the last time that I was there.

 I was at Oasis (Elim in Ellesmere Port) just eighteen months ago and it was remarkable how many people that I spoke to after the meeting told me how they had joined the church during the past twelve months.

Peter Peters, originally from Nigeria, pastors this church that continues to grow numerically and as well as in faith and vision.

Claude and Sue Ellerington - retirement

 Marilyn and I attended the retirement meal for our close friends Claude and Susan Ellerington who have Pastored the Elim Church in Weston Super Mare for the past 19 years.

Both of their sons (Richard and Steve) are ordained Elim ministers.  Richard is planting a church in the south of France and Steve is the senior pastor of Bude in Cornwall.  Their daughter, Dawn (pictured here with her mother Susan) holds an Elim 'License to Minister' credential and his based in Holy Trinity (Elim) Weston.

Many tributes, from church Elders and members, were made to Claude and Sue who have seen the church triple in size during the years that they have been there.  They clearly will be greatly missed by this warm and friendly family church.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Feast of Esther

It was a privilege to speak at the opening night of the 'Feast of Esther' Conference attended by influential women from the black community who are leaders in church, academia and commerce.  It is hosted by Pastor Foluku Adeboye the wife of Rev A. Adeboye who is the pastor of the largest church in the world based in Lagos Nigeria and who was voted by Newsweek magazine as one of the fifty most influential men in the world. He is also the leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.  It was an exceptional evening and it was a joy for Marilyn and I  to be with these great women of God.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Isle of Man

It is thirty years since Elim first planted a church in the Isle of Man as a result of a series of special evangelistic services conducted by Paul Epton.  There are now three Elim Churches on the Island which has a population of around  85,000 people.

The reason for my visit was to celebrate this special anniversary.  The Saturday meeting was in Onchan and then on the Sunday all three churches (Onchan, Peel, Ramsey) came together in a hired venue.  During the service ten people indicated their decision to commit their lives to Christ.

One of my nieces and her husband (Amanda and Alex Brown) head up Scripture Union on the Isle of Man and it was a joy to attend their annual Conference on the Sunday afternoon.

I am grateful for the work that the three pastors Des Deehan, Jonny Harding and John Powell are doing for Elim on the Island.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Elim - Church of Pentecost

The Church of Pentecost, based in Accra Ghana, is the Denomination to which we in our Movement are the most closely associated.  Every year members from our NLT attend their Conference  and, similarly, a delegation from Ghana attends our Conference.

This photo depicts the Elim NLT together with two CoP apostles from Ghana and senior leaders of the Church of Pentecost in the UK.  CoP is the largest of all Denominations in Ghana with a world-wide membership which now exceeds two million. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cardiff City Temple

Due to the volume of my appointments and the printing schedule of Direction, there is often a gap of some weeks before a report can be seen in the magazine.  An example of this is my Easter visit to the City Temple in Cardiff

This church always had good memories for me for it was when attending the Easter Convention in 1971 that I first met the lady who was later to become my wife.

The City Temple today is far larger and more effective than it has ever been in its long history. This is due to the fine leaders that it has had over the years and the faithfulness of the members of its congregation.  Steve Ball (second from the left) has been senior minister for the past four years and the church has continued to grow in size and depth under his ministry and that of the team (pictured) that work alongside him.  There were around 500 present for the Good Friday service and almost 800 in total in the two morning services on Easter Sunday.  It was a great pleasure to spend Easter 2014 with everyone at the City Temple.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oasis, Wallasey

Another example of the commitment of bi-vocational ministry is that of Vinny and Helen Devonport (pictured here with their son Joshua and daughter Anna)

Vinny and Helen both hold senior roles within the educational system and yet have committed themselves to lead the church in Wallasey.

Vinny and Helen have been members in Wallasey for some years and, when a pastoral vacancy occurred, the congregation were supportive of Vinny applying for ministerial status and, from what I witnessed while I was there, they could not have made a better choice.  This a great family who through dedicated commitment are making a very real difference in the place that God has planted them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wembley Christian Centre

Readers of this page will know how much we in our Movement seek to honour bi-vocational leaders - people who engage in secular employment in order to support themselves in pastoral ministry

Someone who has done this for many years Soke Mun Ho who has her own dental practice in Wembley while at the same time giving pastoral leadership to the local Elim congregation.

The service at which I ministered included a testimony from a long-term member of the church who was leaving to take up a senior position as Barrister in the Nigerian government and who expressed gratitude for the input she had received from Pastor Soke Mun during the time she had been part of the congregation.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Longton Elim Church

It was in 1968 that I first met Phil Parsons (pictured with his wife Sue) when we were both Students at the Elim Bible College in Capel, Surrey so it was a privilege for me to be present at the Sunday service in which his current church put on a surprise program to mark his retirement.

What a track record these two remarkable people have within our Movement - 44 years in Elim incorporating a staggering 38 years in leadership of the church in Longton.

Apart from his faithful pastoral ministry, Phil has also served with distinction on a number of committees within the Movement.  We pray God richest blessing on their lives together in the years that lie ahead

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Elim Brazil

Being with Elim in Brazil was one of the most memorable trips that I have made overseas and I am grateful to our International Missions Director Paul Hudson for planning the very full trip with such precision.  A full account can be found in this edition of Direction.  The photo shows the Elim pastors and their spouses at a Saturday teaching day that we spent together.  I love the Brazilian warmth, hospitality and openness to the word of God.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Senior Elim leader reaches 90

What a pleasure for Regional leader Gordon Neale and I to visit veteran Elim minister and former General Superintendent Pastor Tom Walker on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Tom Walker, pictured here with one of his daughters Kath Cooper, will soon have attained a massive 70 years in the Elim ministry.

Although physically not as mobile as he once was his intellect is as sharp as a pin and Gordon Neale (pictured right) and I enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon with him as he reminisced about times gone by as well as showing an acute interest in what is happening in the Movement today.  He committed his life and energy to Elim during the years  he was a pastor, Executive Council member (NLT), Field Superintendent and General Superintendent.  As we approach our centenary celebration his name will be numbered among our most significant leaders and someone who, under God, was used by him to bring immeasurable blessing and guidance to very many people.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Riverside Church, Bewdley

Just loved being at Riverside Elim in Bewdley.  Its one of those churches where there is a buzz long before the meeting begins and there has to be reasons why such a great  church triples its congregation in just two years.

I have known Carl Johnston (pictured) since he was  born and have watched him develop as a leader since he first worked as assistant pastor in Glasgow prior to becoming the senior minister in Bewdley.

I was in my very early twenties when I pastored my first church in Llantrisant, Wales and in those days a number of my leaders were just as young.  Now, like me they are in their sixties and one of them, Steve Thompkins, is the father of Danielle who is married to Carl.  Apart from her work within Riverside Danielle is the Aspire coordinator for the Midlands Region.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Motherwell, Scotland

Regular readers if this page will know how much Marilyn and I enjoy visiting our churches in Scotland - a country in which we spent fifteen years of our ministry.  So it was a particular pleasure to be in Elim, Motherwell pastored by John Murfin(pictured here with his wife Tracey and his two lovely daughters Bethany and Laura)

Marilyn spoke twice at a Women's Day on the Saturday and I spent time with the wider leadership group in the evening as well as ministering to the whole church on the Sunday morning.  It was great to witness a church in such good health and carrying such a sense of expectancy for the future.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yeovil, Somerset

The vast majority of my time when interacting with the local church is spent in ministering to the local congregation.  However on some occasions a senior pastor invites me to spend time with his local leaders which usually consist of fellow-pastors and Elders.

It was on such occasion that I visited Yeovil - an excellent church whose senior pastor is Howard Davenport (pictured with his wife Emma and their children).  During the evening I was able to listen to the vision of the church leadership for their area and also share and answer questions about the vision of our wider Movement.  I very much enjoyed the time spent.

My visit coincided with the conclusion of a major refurbishment of the church that entailed the redesign of the front entrance and foyer areas and the upgrading of the multi-media in the main sanctuary (pictured).

Cork, Ireland

West Cork Community Church is situated in the small town of Bandon and led by Brian Synnott.  Though the Republic of Ireland is often not the easiest context to grow a church WCCC has grown by 25% in the past few months with the primary growth being among young people.

At the Sunday Morning service there were a number of first-time decisions for Christ and it was, as so often is the case, a pleasure to minister to a group of people who are so open to, and hungry for, the Word of God.

When spending time with Brian and Doris is was great to hear of their vision not just for the community on which they are ministering but for the whole of Ireland.  I trust and pray that all of the plans that they have shared will come to fruition.  It was a joy to be with them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ripley, Derbyshire

The Elim church in Ripley is one of our smaller churches. Smaller churches however often reflect large and expansive levels of commitment and this is certainly true in this case.  

The pastor of the church is Philip Yendle (pictured here with his wide Sheila) who was a successful lawyer before taking early retirement to lead the work in this area.

Our Movement honours those who minister without salary in order that local communities can be reached with the gospel.  Philip and Sheila are two wonderful people doing an excellent job.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ambilly, France

Luc and Rachel Favre pioneered a church in Thonon France and in the past year or so have also taken over the leadership of the church in Ambilly which has a state-of-the-art building at the foot of Mont Blanc.

Flying in on the Friday Marilyn went to speak at a women's event in Thonon while I spoke at a men's meeting in Ambilly.  Saturday was spent teaching at their small Bible school and we then flew back from Geneva airport having spoken at the Sunday morning service in Ambilly.    It was a busy schedule and we are always grateful for the warm hospitality of Rachel and Luc when we stay in their home.

North East Region

Gordon Neale is the Regional Leader for the North East and Midlands Regions. I speak at a Regional Day (attended by most of the ministers in each region) every two years.  On this occasion I was at a three-day retreat in Scarborough.

Other people participating the in the conference were Alistair Cole, Paul Hudson and Kevin Peat.

As so often is the case, there is a great atmosphere at meetings of this nature and there are few things more inspiring than participating in worship with so many Elim Pastors and their spouses.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge is possibly the most respected, and certainly the largest, ministry in the world that exists to serve, in a Christian environment, those who have  endured addictive lifestyles.

The reason for my visit to Willoughby House - the phenomenal new facility near Leicester - was to minister to the staff members from around the UK.  It was a huge privilege.

I arrived at a time of transition.  Jay Fallon (pictured left) is an ordained Elim minister who for some time has been the the Teen Challenge Field Director.  To say that he and his wife Fiona do an amazing job is an understatement.
However Phil Hills, who until recently had been the pastor of the Elim Church in Dundonald, and who is Chief Executive of Teen Challenge UK had only days earlier been elected as the vice President of Global Teen Challenge.  Globally, Teen Challenge has 1100 centres in 93 countries - a total of 26,000 beds

With this powerful team now in place there is no limit to what will be achieved, under God, in the days that lie ahead.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Bow to Target Conference - Bristol

The Regional Leaders and myself have been travelling throughout the Movement with a leadership Conference entitled "From the bow to the target".  On this occasion we were in Bristol and the host Regional leader was Chris Cartwright and, apart from myself the speakers were Kevin Peat, Gordon Neale and David Campbell.  The weather was dreadful yet the attendance was amazing.  I can think of very few things  I enjoy more than spending times with the leaders around our Movement.  


  When anyone thinks of 'Telford' in Elim circles their mind is most likely to go to  our annual Bible Week or the S4G Gathering.  But our congregation in Telford has been there for many years.  However. when a few years ago Leslie (pictured left) and Joan Burke went there a few years ago there was only around a dozen people in the congregation and a dilapidated building.  What met me on my arrival was a family friendly congregation of around ninety people in a brand new church building - a great testimony to sacrifice  tenacity and solid ministry.

One of the pleasures of visiting church on a Sunday is spending time with the family of our leaders and pictured above are(left to right) Sarah-louise, Rebekah, Denver, Joan and Chloe.