Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It is very fitting indeed that the last post on this page, as I complete my tenure as General Superintendent, is of our home Church in Cheltenham.

Given that this is a monthly magazine, and when you count the number of places I visit, it will not come as a surprise to learn that I am very rarely 'at home' on a weekend.  Marilyn who very often travels with me also however spends a proportion of her weekends in Cheltenham.

We value Gareth and Janet and immensely and I am always challenged and blessed when I hear him preach.

I was booked for the Easter Sunday morning  service but this fortuitously coincided with the opening of the completely renovated and extended church facilities that took almost a year to complete.  Previous ministers had talked about the possibility of putting a gallery in and have worked towards it - especially the previous pastor Phil Johnston.  But it is during the years that Gareth has been in Cheltenham that the property portfolio has increased not only for this development but also in the acquisition of Elim's previous Headquarters offices.  

Thank you Gareth for your rich ministry and the fine example that you and Janet set for the church that you lead.  Thanks too to the sacrificial support that the congregation has rendered in order to make this dream a reality.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

One Church, Norwich

Dominic and Catherine De Souza were only recently featured on this page when I had the joy of speaking at their induction into their new Church in Norwich

My visit on this occasion was the launch of their new church name "One Church Norwich"  something that,  far from being a cosmetic exercise, is a clear expression of their vision for this fine congregation.

They had left a thriving church family in Letchworth in order to take on the challenge on a new church that was about to enter a new cultural season.

Dominic and Catherine are excellent leaders who already are seeing marked evidence of  fruitfulness both numerically and spiritually.

Marilyn and I were very warmly received by the church. This would not have been unusual in a church that had been in our Movement for many years.  It was however a very gracious expression in congregation that had only recently become part of the Elim family.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Paul Hudson (pictured far left), our International Missions Director, organised the first Elim Global Conference in South America and it was a huge success with several countries represented.  His full report is featured later in our magazine. The picture mostly features the worship team but also included is Martyn Davidson who acted as my interpreter and who for many years was an Elim missionary in the Amazon. He is shortly to move to Yate, Bristol as senior pastor of the church there.  Also pictured are our missionaries in Paraguay and Bolivia (Top right).  I spoke on seven occasions over the four days and much credit must go to Pastor Silvio of Sao Paulo Elim who organised so much of the conference locally.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Letchworth Garden City Church

Although Carl and Danielle Johnston had only taken up their new pastorate at LGCC two months before my arrival, Marilyn and I were delighted to see how quickly their church had taken them to their hearts and how well they had bonded with those they were now committed to serve to lead and to serve

I recently mentioned, when reporting on my visit to Bude, that I had known the pastor and his wife since they were born and the same applies to Carl and Danielle given that their parents have have been friends of ours for very many years.

Danielle's father was a young leader in Llantrisant when I, at  21 years of age, became the pastor of my first church in 1970.

LGCC though in a small town has a great church and I have no doubt whatever that God will continue to bless Carl and Danielle as they minister there in the years that lie ahead.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Livingston, Scotland

 The Livingston was the first of three churches that Marilyn and I planted during the time that I was the Regional leader for Scotland. To be present at their 30 year celebrations was a particular honour

The church  commenced with just nine people and after a year Roy and Jackie Monks took over the pastorate.  Their input was foundational to the development of the church and under their ministry land was purchased that would later house the the current church complex.  Ministering next was Geoff and Jane Blease under whose fine leadership the building commenced.  They were followed by Pete and Sue Rimmer who for  five years pastored the church until John and Clare Henson (pictured) were inducted into leadership eight years ago. Scores of people have been added to the church through John and Clare's pastoral and teaching ministry.

The weekend began with an Aspire Banquet attended by 120 of the women in the church and at which Marilyn spoke.  The leaders of Livingston Aspire are pictured below.

On Sunday morning I had the pleasure of speaking at the anniversary service.  Roy, who was present with his wife Jackie, brought a powerful prophetic word during the meeting.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ryedale church, Malton

Situated in the picturesque Yorkshire town of Malton, Elim Ryedale is currently pastored by Andy and Andrea Boxall (pictured left) and their assistant Graeme Stewart pictured with his wife Jessie

Having long outgrown its original building, the church now meets in a local school.

Andy has previously been the worship leader at KT and Letchworth before coming as lead pastor to Malton ten years ago

A couple of years ago Andy shared at the Elim Leaders Summit his vision for impacting local schools with good Christian education and has since raised hundreds of thousands of pounds which now assists scores of schools on this part of Yorkshire - a huge vision based out of a town with a population of just 13,000 people.

I received a great reception  from this warm and welcoming Yorkshire congregation and enjoyed quality time with Andy and Andrea after the service - great to be with pastors and church alike.

Monday, February 15, 2016

All Nations Church, Wolverhampton

I reserve most of my weekend appointments for Elim churches but there are some exceptions and one of those was when visiting the AoG church in Wolverhampton.  I first met its senior leader Steve Uphall, pictured here with his wife Esther, about twelve years ago at a Council meeting of the Evangelical Alliance.  I spoke at all three consecutive morning services and had the pleasure of viewing the construction of a 1000 seater auditorium that is in the process of construction.  On the previous evening Marilyn and I met with the core leaders over a curry at Steve and Esther's home. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Liverpool (Kensington)

 Paul and Lynne Dunne have been in Liverpool (Kensington) for twelve years and have been committed to serving the church and the community beyond it.

It was good to be at a church with such a sense of 'family'.

As so often is the case when I visit a church, we are able to spend some time together after the service has finished, usually over lunch, and chat  about the blessings and challenges that come with pastoring a church in the inner city.

Always a joy to be with two such great people and to be with their congregation.

Monday, February 01, 2016


 Mike and Shelagh Robins have been in Newquay for almost twenty-five years and during that time have seen spectacular growth that has seen the purchase and development of several campuses and the formation of new congregations.  The latest of these is in the nearby town of Redruth that, although being planted only a short time ago,it has 80-90 in regular attendance.

I was speaking at the NCC home base - a former Methodist building on the main road through the town.  The worship team led the meeting well and it was great to sense the atmosphere of a congregation that had been taught over the years to anticipate God's blessing and be part of God's purpose

A highlight of the day had to be 86 year old Doug Knight (pictured) who informed me before the service began that when he was 19 years of age he attended the crusade led by my grandfather, John Woodhead, from which the Newquay church was birthed and gave his life to Christ.  He had attended the church ever since that day in 1948.  It was a amazing to meet this great man who was born- again six month before I was born and was still faithfully serving God.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Andrew Fadoju, pictured here with his wife Nicola, have been in Worthing for twenty years and has been the senior pastor for the past sixteen.

Most of my ministry appointments involve either being with a church on a Sunday or with groups of leaders across a region during the week.

Occasionally however I spend the evening with local church leaders.  This helps me to get to know our churches better and also for them to get to know more about the Movement's vision and values.

The evening began with an excellent meal followed by ministry and interaction.  It was great to be with such a welcoming grow of leaders from across the spectrum of the local church.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


It was a delight for Marilyn and I  to spend the weekend with our good friends John and Trish Waller.

The Barking church has always been blessed with good leaders and the years in which John  and Trish have served this excellent church have seen great growth spiritually and numerically.  The two morning services see in excess of 400 people in attendance double what it was when they took over the pastorate.

Vibrant worship, a commitment to prayer, outreach and community engagement are four  of the keys to the expansion that Barking it is currently enjoying.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Connect Life, Caerphilly

It had been several years since I  last visited Connect Life church that stands in the shadow of the historic Caerphilly Castle.

For the past few years Roger Rowland, pictured here with his wife Janice , have led the church whose congregation is now the largest it has been in its long history.

Apart from pastoring a number of churches over the years, Roger served for ten years as Elim's national youth director prior to the formation of Serious4God.

With a great family atmosphere and its commitment to the town  through several community-based ministries, Caerphilly is well positioned for further growth and expansion in the future.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


 It was eight years since I was last in Hastings though Paul McMichael pictured here with Pennie, his wife of just four weeks, has been the minister there for under two years. 

I have known Paul since he was a small boy so  it was a great opportunity to spend time over lunch and meet Pennie for the first time.

There was a great family atmosphere in the church and it was good to meet a number of people who have been members for many years.

In a previous post regarding my visit to Ludlow I highlighted someone who had been dedicated as a baby in Elim and was now in his 80's.  So what a pleasure it was to meet Joyce Cripps (pictured) who was brought to an Elim church 90 years ago, just ten years after our Movement was founded, and who is now 94 years old.