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					          PLANTING & GROWING RURAL CHURCHES


                                                                                                 Spring
                                                                                                 2010



In this issue of Impact: How to plant a church? • Life without a Pastor • Share an Evangelist



 I met God
                                                                     Andy Robinson, Pastor of Sherborne
                                                                     Community Church in Dorset,
                                                                     writes about the Lord’s amazing
                                                                     intervention on a very dark and



 in a ditch!
                                                                     dangerous night last winter.




                                                                     I
                                                                         have been saved from death on at
                                                                         least five occasions in my life. My
                                                                         latest escape was in February 2009.
                                                                     Unusually heavy snow had fallen but on
                                                                     6th February it was replaced by dreary
                                                                     rain. I had an early morning appointment
                                                                     in Southampton which meant being on
                                                                     the road at 4.30am. As I headed towards
                                                                     Shaftesbury the weather was wet, really
                                                                     wet. Suddenly, as I approached the high
                                                                     ground of Shaftesbury the rain quickly
                                                                     turned to heavy driving snow. I decided to
                                                                     head down towards the coast. This proved
                                                                     to be a mistake.
                                                                     The descent on the steep and winding road
                                                                     was hazardous. The car swerved from left
                                                                     to right and back again, as I applied the
                                                                     brakes. On approaching a sharp corner, it
                                                                     was all too much for the car which started
                                                                     going sideways down the road at about 40
                                                                     miles an hour - not my driving; but sliding
                                                                     on ice. Then the car gave up on gravity
                                                                     and rolled on its side, then onto the roof,
                                                                     and rolled over and over again. I knew I
                                                                     was upside down when it stopped rolling,
                                                                     but the car was still moving! It skidded
                                                                     down the hill, careering through some
                                                                     bushes into a ditch on the side of the road.
                                                                     Everything was quiet and still.

 My back was broken. The car was a write-off.                        I was still alive. There was no blood but I
                                                                     was upside down in the car with the engine
 But at some point during my time in the ditch                       running. Fire was a distinct possibility. I
                                                                     released the seat belt, dropped down into
 and my amazing time with the Lord, the use of                       the cab full of branches, leaves, broken
                                                                     glass and cold snow. The car radio still
 my limbs returned.

                                                                     Continues over the page




                                     Rural Ministries is an Evangelical Mission Agency committed
                                     to planting and growing rural churches in the countryside
 PLANTING & GROWING RURAL CHURCHES
talking away was strangely comforting. The   I started thinking about church. I am a         of the earth. There was nowhere else I
only way out of the crumpled mess was to     dedicated pastor! I had just signed an          would rather have been! On that dark cold
attempt to kick in the window. Something     agreement to return to the church I loved,      morning I knew for the first time how much
cracked in my body and I realised that       having had to leave previously partly as a      I meant to God. In that ditch with a busted
beneath my arms nothing was moving. No       result of severe health problems. “This is      body, covered in snow and with no help in
feeling, no pain, just nothing.              not going to go down well among those           sight, I enjoyed the best time I have ever
I was determined not to die in the car. I    who have expressed confidence in me.”           had with the Lord.
wondered if the electric windows would                                                       A car making an early journey to the
open as the engine was still on. They                                                        airport stopped on the road. Why, I do not
did. I managed to pull myself through
the window. Lying in the road I let out a       “You are a                                   know. They found me covered in snow and
                                                                                             called the emergency services, who arrived
triumphant sigh. I was out the car. Five                                                     at the correct location. Two ambulances
o’clock in the morning on a quiet road,
with heavy snow falling. Suddenly pain hit      child of God”                                had to reverse down the ice covered hill
                                                                                             to get to the wrecked car. At one point a
me, the lower part of my back screamed in                                                    paramedic pulled a blanket over my head
agony. The pain was searing. I could not                                                     “Hey,” I said, “I’m not dead yet!’, “Don’t
move. I had known cold when I lived on       But lying partially paralyzed in the dark       worry” he said, “I’m just covering your face
the streets but nothing like this.           frozen ditch, I was suddenly aware of one       from the snow”.
                                             phrase... “You are a child of the King - you    My back was broken. The car was a write-
                                             are a child of the King.” My spirits were       off. But at some point during my time in the
                                             lifted. Yes I was a child of the King. I felt   ditch and my amazing time with the Lord,
  “ What about my                            the Lord draw not only close to me, but         the use of my limbs returned. Buried into
                                             lift me into a place far above my earthly
  mobile phone?”                             conscious. No I was not abducted by
                                                                                             the upside down engine bay was a tree that
                                                                                             had driven right through the grille and into
                                             aliens - God did not take me out of my          the engine. A foot higher and it would have
                                             circumstances but instead he visited me         driven through me.
I thought. Unusually it was in my pocket     in them. He lifted me above the painful
                                             cold and chaotic mess I found myself in,        I lost a car as a result of the accident but
rather than in the normal place on the                                                       knew that I had gained far more than I lost.
dashboard. I called the emergency            to the wonderful realms of his peace. I felt
                                             of immense worth as a child of the King. I      Life is not all about the “stuff” we desire or
services, not realising I had sent them to                                                   accumulate. I am loved by the King and
the wrong location.                          felt the most privileged person on the face
                                                                                             my love for him now is far deeper than
                                                                                             before the accident. I want to worship and
                                                                                             serve him. If God sees me as valuable and
                                                                                             precious in his sight, how he must long for
                                                                                             the entire world to know of his love.
                                                                                             Following a period in hospital I was able
                                                                                             to return to my family and church who
                                                                                             were so supportive. I now live and pastor
                                                                                             knowing that the earthly does not control
                                                                                             the spiritual. Our God reigns. In life or
                                                                                             death, we have nothing to fear.
                                                                                             The Lord met with the psalmist David when
                                                                                             David called out from a pit. And the Lord
                                                                                             met me in a ditch. Wherever you are today
                                                                                             and whatever your circumstances, may
                                                                                             you know that you are a precious child of
                                                                                             the King.




2 Impact
                                                                                             Clarify the focus
                                                                                             Without clarity, a new church can exhaust
                                                                                             itself by running in too many directions or
                                                                                             trying to please everyone. Think about the
                                                                                             church’s:
                                                                                             Beliefs – What are the foundations?
                                                                                             Vision – What could this church look like
                                                                                             in the future?
                                                                                             Mission – What has God called and
                                                                                             equipped you to do?
                                                                                             Values – What is really important to you?
                                                                                             Strategy – What are we going to do
                                                                                             and when?
                                                                                             Answering these questions and producing

   How to plant                                                                              a short written summary will help you deal
                                                                                             with two types of people likely to appear in
                                                                                             a new church: those prepared and sent by

   churches?                                                                                 God, and others prepared by the enemy
                                                                                             to spread discontent or hijack the plant.
                                                                                             Church plants struggle when they are too
   Each new church is part of the “research and                                              all-embracing and fail to confront people
                                                                                             being disruptive.
   development” section of the wider church. As well                                         Invest in partnerships
   as supporting existing churches, Rural Ministries is                                      The common characteristic of successful
   assisting eight new churches and mission projects in                                      rural church plants is that they resist a
   the countryside. We are learning quickly the joys and                                     “go it alone” mindset. Church planting
                                                                                             is an exercise in kingdom-mindedness. It
   challenges of church planting. Some of the pointers                                       is always valuable to inform and consult
   below may be helpful in your own situation.                                               with other church leaders. With so many
                                                                                             areas in the UK lacking active churches,
                                                                                             unhelpful competition should be avoided.
First count the cost                           disciples, in prodigal Christians returning   An over-emphasis on independence can
Jesus warned of the dangers of                 and in existing Christians developing and     obscure the interdependent nature of
enthusiastically commencing projects           growing.                                      churches described in the New Testament.
without considering all that may be                                                          Fellowship in the gospel was a joy shared
                                               Start developing leaders – now                in more than one geographical location
involved (Luke 14:28). Church planting
requires careful preparation. It is always     If an existing church considering planting    (Philippians 1:5). This enabled churches
costly. It requires existing churches to       waits to discover surplus leaders, they       to go on and plant more churches. Strong
release people and resources elsewhere.        are unlikely to ever plant churches. All      rural church plants develop a wide network
Without sacrifice church planting is           churches need more leaders, children’s        of friends and supporters. While not all
impossible.                                    workers, musicians, preachers, youth          will have the opportunity to be personally
                                               workers, administrators, small group          active in church planting, we can spiritually
Ideally someone will be available to lead      leaders etc. Wise leaders will make it        invest through prayer, fellowship and
the new church, on a part or full time         a priority to grow leaders for both their     financial support.
basis. Additional costs may include venue      current and future work.
hire, equipment and publicity. A realistic                                                   We can easily forget that every church had
budget is required.                            Avoid being married to                        to be planted. Pioneers were required -
                                               a model                                       often in face of opposition to take the good
The good news is that a blessing comes                                                       news of Jesus Christ to their communities.
to churches that give (Acts 20:34-36).         It is possible to read books or attend
                                               conferences and be attracted to a church      Within Rural Ministries we would like to see
We observe that where churches support                                                       many more take up the challenge.
others, particularly church plants, there is   model that has worked elsewhere. Some
clear evidence of growth taking place in       principles may be transferable but each       Declan Flanagan
both the existing and the new churches.        place and group of people is unique.
                                               Overseas missionaries constantly ask the
Identify the motives                           “who, when, where” of their local context.    In the previous edition of Impact we asked
People start churches for many reasons         It’s vital to take time to appreciate the     “Why plant churches?” If you have internet
and different motives. Church planting is      particular history and stories within an      access this is available at
only helpful if it enables us to participate   area. What tends to help is learning from     www.ruralministries.org.uk/smartweb/
more fully in the mission of God. He           those who have planted churches and do        main/resources and under ‘Impact’ section
is interested in more people becoming          not hide the battle scars.                    ‘Summer 2009’

                                                                                                                                  Impact 3
                           Rural Ministries
                           Conference
                           2009 - Vision
                           Building




I
   n business, politics and the church we


                                                A
   all search for visionary leadership.                 ttendance at the Conference            These are just
   Vision statements and ‘strategic plans’              increases every year. Children         some of the
are increasingly commonplace but often                  are catered for by Kids-inc. – visit   comments
ignore an essential reality: we all have        www.kids-inc.co.uk/coverdale.htm The           received from
imperfect vision.                               young people have their own valuable           participants at the
At the 2009 Rural Ministries Conference         times of fellowship and teaching, plus         2009 conference.
the guest speaker, Dave Burke from              the challenges presented by orienteering
                                                and archery. It is an invaluable time for      “So encouraging to be given time to
Bethany Church, Sunderland encouraged                                                          rest in His presence”
over 100 adults, to have an unblurred           those often in isolated situations to enjoy
vision of Jesus Christ. When Jesus is clearly   a weekend of sharing, teaching and
                                                                                               “A time of encouragement”
in focus, we are in a better position to        fellowship.
introduce him to those who fail to see his      Would you like to be there in 2010             “We go home with a refreshed heart
greatness and glory.                            – to hear Ian Coffey speak, 22nd to            and look forward to next year”

As Dave carefully worked through Psalm          24th October?
                                                                                               “This weekend is valuable and
103, we saw again reasons to truly praise       Book now - contact the Rural Ministries        appreciated”
the Lord. He is one who forgives, redeems,      office on 01933 303050 or download a
satisfies, heals, preserves, provides and       booking form from the website at: www.         “Dave Burke – a great speaker,
knows us intimately. We are to call others      ruralministries.org.uk/smartweb/main/          insightful and inspiring”
to join with the heavenly hosts in declaring    conference-2010
what the Lord has done.
Dave reminded us that people of vision are      “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what
restless. They tend to be dissatisfied with     is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is
the present. They ask “What’s next? How
are we going to get there?” We left the         unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
conference with a clearer vision of the Lord,
asking similar questions for ourselves and
our churches. If you have internet access
you can listen to or download the talks at:
www.ruralministries.org.uk/smartweb/main/
resources




4 Impact
                            When your previous pastor                        What advice would you give

Life
                            announced his decision to retire,                to a church looking for a new
                            what were your expectations for                  pastor?
                            appointing someone new?                          Do the spadework at the outset. Keep

without                     Naively we expected a wide selection of
                            good candidates, a straightforward process
                            and speedy appointment.
                                                                             persevering even when opportunities come
                                                                             and go. Develop a unity of purpose within
                                                                             the church and pray, pray and keep on

a Pastor                    What was the reality?
                            Our expectations on the quality of the
                                                                             praying!
                                                                             Russell Howes was welcomed as Pastor
                            pastor appointed were entirely fulfilled, but    in September 2009. Russell first felt God
Throughout the UK           it took three and a half years to find him.      was calling him to pastoral ministry while
there are hundreds          Not the six to nine months we expected.          a student in Bristol in 1999. Following
                                                                             a period working as an IT administrator
of churches seeking         Did you develop a list of                        in London, he commenced studies at
                            requirements and did the                         Moorlands College and has recently
pastoral help.              person appointed closely match                   graduated. Married to Helen they have one
                            your initial expectations?                       child and are expecting another. Moving
Albert Road Evangelical     The church approved a profile and, yes,          to Oswestry has meant a new baby, new
Church, Oswestry,           our new Pastor certainly fulfils the essential   home and a first pastoral appointment.
                            requirements although he’s younger
is typical of many.         and less experienced than perhaps we
In 2005 their Pastor        envisaged. We soon realized that our
                            desires were not always in line with what
retired and the church      God desired for us.
was unsure about how        Did you ever think that you
                            would never find the right person?
to find a replacement.      Sometimes we found the waiting difficult.
Rob Webb, Rural             We kept going because of the original
                            vision adopted by the church that gave rise
Ministries Operations       to the profile, and the unity of the church in
                                                                              Rob Webb welcomes Russell as Pastor of Albert Road.

Manager, who helped         pursuing it.

the church throughout       What opportunities arose while
                            you were without a pastor?                         A new pastor for
the process, asked          The Elders were wholly responsible for             Bawtry in Yorkshire
Brian Catton, one of the    all aspects of leadership, preaching and
                            pastoral care. However, other members of                          Simon Carter is
church leaders to reflect   the church and congregation readily took                          married to Sharon and
                                                                                              has two children – Ruth
on what happened.           on new roles as the need arose. During
                                                                                              (14) and Richard (9).
                            this period we appointed Deacons for
                            the first time. People discovered gifts that                      They are an international
Russell, Helen              God had given in ways they may not have                           family with Simon being
and Kieran Howes.                                                              English, Sharon Irish, Ruth Mexican and
                            previously realized.
                                                                               Richard a British born Pakistani. The
                            During the time of waiting to
                                                                               family arrived in England during the
                            make an appointment, what
                                                                               summer and are thoroughly enjoying
                            happened to the church?
                                                                               being part of the community of God’s
                            The work and ministry was maintained               people in Bawtry Evangelical Free
                            but without any real development or                Church. Previously they have been
                            going forward.                                     involved in missions, including four
                            What positives can you point to?                   years in Mexico and, latterly, four
                                                                               years in North Africa. Being a pastor is
                            Church members unanimously adopted
                                                                               therefore a new challenge for Simon.
                             proposals regarding where we were as a
                                church and whether we even wanted
                                  a pastor. We clarified our aims,
                                   priorities and vision for future
                                    ministry and outreach. Having
                                      drawn a profile based on those
                                       foundations we all knew what
                                        we were looking for.
                                                                              Church leaders pray with Simon.



                                                                                                                          Impact 5
                                 David Pibworth is Pastor of Rowhedge Christian

Over the                         Fellowship in Essex.

                                 1. Look to and trust the Lord,           study the Bible, lead and

fence!                              don’t compare yourself to
                                    others. Get on with the job
                                    the Lord has given you and
                                                                          encourage others to lead Bible
                                                                          Studies and finally preach.
                                                                          Above all SERVE the Lord (don’t
                                    don’t keep berating yourself at       ‘lord it’).
We asked two experienced            others’ apparent success.          4. Salary. Don’t do it ‘for the
                                                                          money’, or ‘for money,’ lest
Pastors to pass on their words   2. Watch your own spiritual
                                    development (Bible Reading/           vanity creeps in.
of wisdom to those starting         Prayer etc). It is the hardest     5. Fellowship regularly with your
                                    thing to do, but ESSENTIAL.
out in church leadership in      3. Pastor the people. Keep
                                                                          own people preferably. Meet
                                                                          with other church leaders, of
the countryside.                    yourself physically fit, have         like mind if possible.
                                    a rest-day, visit, chat in the     6. Loneliness. Don’t make a false
                                    street, listen to problems, be        god of this. Others have similar
                                    organized, keep good records,         pressure in their work.
                                    read widely including daily
                                    news and general literature,        7. Rejoice in the responsibility the
                                                                           Lord’s given you - ENJOY IT!


                                                      David was Headteacher at Ashmole School in
                                                      Barnet. On taking early retirement he moved
                                                      to Colchester and became Pastor at Prettygate
                                                      Grace Baptist Church. In 2005 he retired again,
                                                      only to become Pastor at Rowhedge in 2008.



                                  Ewen Gilhespy is Pastor at Epping Green Chapel in Essex.
                                  I would want to say to a Pastor starting out:

                                  1. Are you sure that you are         3. Seek out one or two
                                     doing this because you know          spiritually mature people
                                     that God has called you and          to be your prayer partners,
                                     that to honour Him, you can          mentors or sounding-boards.
                                     do nothing else? Without          4. Know your spiritual gifts
                                     that certainty, there will be        and ensure that the church
                                     the likelihood of giving up          leadership knows them too.
                                     – as the complexities of the
                                     demands made on you, and          5. Agree with the church that in
                                     disappointments, begin to            the absence of certain people
                                     mount up.                            gifts, new initiatives may have
                                                                          to be put on hold until the
                                  2. Is your personal relationship        Lord provides.
                                     with the Lord secure? It is His
                                     work and He calls you to be       6. Protect your family life by
                                     with Him in it (Mark 3:14).          establishing a regular day
                                     Guard that time with Him             off, and taking proper
                                     in prayer, study and daily           holidays.
                                     devotion.

                                                      Ewen Gilhespy began his working life as
                                                      a Youth and Community Worker, firstly in
                                                      Norwich and then for 13 years with the
                                                      Methodist Church in Toxteth, Liverpool. After
                                                      experiencing a life-changing event during the
                                                      Toxteth Riots of 1981, following training he was
                                  appointed Pastor to Emmanuel Church, Granby Street, Toxteth. He
                                  has been Pastor of Epping Green Chapel, Essex for the last five
                                  years and will be retiring at Easter 2010.


6 Impact
Music the common language!
                                                                                                              From Cumbria
                                                                                                              to the Congo

                                                                                                              W
                                                                                                                           itherslack in South Cumbria is
                                                                                                                           a far cry from the devastated,
                                                                                                                           war torn Congo in Africa but
                                                                                                              the mission team are proposing to take a
                                                                                                              group from the village to the Congo. Sue
                                                                                                              Sainsbury, a church member said “It is not
                                                                                                              uncommon for us Christians to go off to
                                                                                                              some far-flung place and ‘do good’ but
                                                                                                              the locals of Witherslack think
                                                                                                              it’s wild! People are fascinated.
                                                                                                              We’ve been amazed how many
  The band : Dougie (bass), Russ (keyboards), Danny (drums), Martin (guitar and vocals).
                                                                                                              people who absolutely don’t
                                                                                                              know Jesus are prepared to



G
                                                                                                              pour themselves into working
         od has given us all different gifts.                 Crowded House, Snow Patrol and Kaiser
                                                                                                              for his people”.
         In the UK, east and west, Christians                 Chiefs, all selected to give a message that
         are putting their musical talents to                 we can be proud of.                             In the Spring of 2010 willing
use making good music and reaching out                                                                        volunteers are going for 2-3 weeks to
with the good news of Jesus in pubs and                       People often ask “What does Azimuth
                                                                                                              Eastern Congo to help an organisation
clubs as well as churches.                                    mean?” and this gives us an opportunity
                                                                                                              called “Heal Africa”. They are going to
                                                              to explain. The dictionary definition is ‘The
‘Azimuth’                                                                                                     offer any help possible, especially among
                                                              Path’ or ‘The Way’, the early name for the
                                                                                                              children abandoned in refugee camps.
The band first got together in Tydd Gote,                     Christian faith.
                                                                                                              More information is available at
Lincolnshire, two years ago. We really enjoy                                                                  www.outreach-house.org and
                                                              Our church is developing a further band
playing music and saw an opportunity to                                                                       www.healafrica.org/cms/
                                                              through the ‘Music Makers’ initiative. This
put that passion to good use. We’ve played
                                                              is an opportunity for musicians to come
at barbecues and outdoor gigs at the
church, then a wedding. We’ve also played
                                                              together and play for one evening every         New Partner
                                                              month. The sessions are held in the
at one or two of the local pubs which are
established music venues.
                                                              church and a variety of people bring            churches
                                                              their music and play with us. The new
Our music is current and mainstream, the                      band will have a different style, but the       Welcome to Takeley


                                                                                                              T
idea is to witness primarily by who we are.                   reason for playing is the same. To go into              akeley is a small village close to
We play covers from bands like Coldplay,                      the world . . .                                         Bishop’s Stortford, Great Dunmow,
                                                                                                                      and two miles from Stansted Airport
                                                                                                              in Essex. The chapel at Brewers End was
    Alex Edy                                                                                                  founded in 1808. Since 1989 the site has



                          A
                                  lex has always had a heart for music outreach. In South                     also been the home of a Christian school.
                                  Africa he headed up a gospel rock band, ‘Malachi’ who                       2009 saw the church commence a Parish
                                  played in prisons, on the streets and at both gospel and                    Visiting Programme, where they visited
                          secular community events. Malachi were involved with the Christian                  150 households in the village.
                          Bikers and helped them in many outreaches, even making a DVD                        Relationships with the Parish church are
                          of a song written especially for the Christian Motorcycle                           good as they join together for worship
                          Association, CMA Riders! Malachi hit the number 1 slot on a South                   regularly throughout the year and run a
                          African Gospel Radio Station with their song, Man from Galilee.                     monthly Youth Fellowship Group. Visit their
                                                                                                              website on www.takeleychapel.org.uk.
   Since coming to UK in 2007, Alex has played on the streets in various cities and
   villages. He joined Operation Mobilisation in 2008, and has been active in the
   church planting initiative on the Plas Madoc estate outside of Wrexham. Alex has                            Together
   played on a regular basis in the market on a Thursday morning and at family fun                             for and
   days in the area. He has also taken part in several local church outreach events.                           in Christ
   Alex has played in pubs in and around Oswestry on various occasions.
   Recently Alex has teamed up with Ian, a pianist who attends a church in Llangollen.
                                                                                                                In the next issue we look forward
   Their first gig was at the Ironworks, a secular club in Oswestry where they were very
                                                                                                                to introducing Sutton on Sea
   well received. Following that appearance, they were invited to be the support act for
                                                                                                                Evangelical Free Church, Gosberton
   the Chester band, Loose Kites. Alex sings and plays guitar / harmonica and writes
                                                                                                                Baptist Church and Durrington
   all the music they perform. Ian provides accompaniment on piano. They aim is to
                                                                                                                Community Church as new partner
   perform music with a message that reaches into the lives of the audience.
                                                                                                                churches.


                                                                                                                                                Impact 7
                                                                                                                        Thank you Steve!
Young Evangelist to help at                                                                                             Steve Fenning has indicated
                                                                                                                        that the time has come to stand
Swarland in 2010!                                                                                                       down from his responsibilities as
                                                                                                                        a Council member. As a busy
                            Question:                                                                                   church leader, he has served since 2000
                            How can a small independent evangelical church in rural                                     and made an enormous contribution to the
                            Northumberland, with only 8 members, afford to employ an                                    development of the work. Steve has brought
                            evangelist to help them in their outreach to the village?                                   vision, insight and energy to all discussions
                                                                                                                        as well as the ability to enjoy himself. His
                            Answer:
                                                                                                                        contribution to leading worship at Rural
                            Share him and the expense, with another church in the area.
                                                                                                                        Ministries Conferences was appreciated by



A
          t Swarland Evangelical                           We established contact with a young                          all. Thank you.
                                        It is amazing
          Church Daniel Johnson                            man in Newcastle, Daniel Johnson.
                                           what two                                                                     Welcome to 2 new Trustees
          will become a part-time                          Daniel was known in our church
                                        Churches can
Evangelist at both Swarland and                            and seeking the Lord concerning                                           Russell Gant
                                         do together
North Shields Evangelical Church                           his future. He was convinced of the                                       Having come to faith on an
                                        with the Lord!
in Newcastle. Daniel will reduce                           importance of reaching people in                                          Alpha Course run by the then
his hours teaching guitar at local schools so the north-east. He thought that perhaps                                                Mendlesham Christian Fellowship
that he can help both churches reach out          what God was calling him to was to work as                                         (now The Forge Church) in his
in their communities and equip people to          an evangelist in two or three churches in                             native Suffolk in 2002, Russell was then
be more effective in sharing the gospel. The the area.                                                                  surprised when God called him to the
cost of employing him will be split between                                                                             Church of England.
                                                  This is where God’s hand was so clearly
the two churches.
                                                  evident in bringing the two sides together.                           After a time of ‘on the job’ training at Albury,
For the past five years, since our one and        We had no idea of Daniel’s situation and                              Surrey, Russell along with his Canadian wife
only pastor retired, the church has, without      he didn’t know we were looking for an                                 Jenny are now training for ordination at
success, been looking for a replacement.          evangelist instead of a pastor. His eyes                              St. John’s College Durham.
We have people possessing a number of             nearly popped out of his head when I told                                          Elaine Fisher
gifts. What we were patently lacking was          him of our fresh thinking. We discussed the                                        After working in local
someone with time to plan and prepare             idea with the pastor and elder of the North                                        government for seven years
outreach in the village. This became even         Shields Church and have agreed to                                                  and then 30 years as a
clearer when the Church met with Rob and          employ Daniel between us.                                                          teacher of Advanced Business
Angela Webb from Rural Ministries last
                                                  We are excited at the prospect of what God                            Studies, Elaine is now a part time education
March and discussed the way forward.
                                                  is planning to do in both churches. Please                            administrator at Marshland High School.
The next problem however was where do             pray as two churches and one evangelist                               The rest of her time is taken up with serving
you find an evangelist who would want to          set out on this journey together. Working                             at her local church, where Martin her
come to a small rural Church with only 8          together is the way forward.                                          husband is an Elder, representing the charity
members? Oh ye of little faith, with God all                                                                            Samaritans Purse and clerk to a local charity.
things are possible!                              Alan Tavers
                                                                                                                        Shipdham, Norfolk
Update from Cornwall                                                                                                    At East End Chapel in Shipdham in



S
                                                                                                                        September 09, Shipdham Community
        eptember 27th was the launch of the new Light and Life church in St Austell,
                                                                                                                        Church held the first baptisms in the village
        (see Impact Summer 09) when 80 adults and children gathered, followed by a
                                                                                                                        for more than 30 years. The service created
        time at the beach when three people were baptised.
                                                                                                                        quite a bit of interest within the village,
Attendance fluctuates from 50 to 80 but with a Marriage Course, Christianity Explored                                   which the church hopes to build on. Pastor
Course and regular ‘Power Hour’ prayer                                                                                  Paul Taylor said, “It was a very exciting time
meetings taking place, the church is certainly                                                                          for Shipdham Community Church and for
bringing ‘Light and Life’ to the community.                                                                             the village itself. Of course, we made the
                                                                                                                                                                             Produced by Adept Design 01263 734198




                                                                                                                        most of the opportunity to share the Good
                                                                                                                        News with the people. We are looking
                                                                                                                        forward to many more baptisms as the
  If IMPACT has inspired you to want to know more about Rural Ministries then please
                                                                                                                        church continues to grow.” The church
  contact us via our web site or telephone the Rural Ministries office and talk to the
                                                                                                                        was launched in 2004 and features vibrant
  Chief Executive Declan Flanagan or Rob Webb our Operations Manager
                                                                                                                        worship and contemporary teaching for
  Impact is published by Rural Ministries, Wellingborough Innovation Centre, Church Street,
  Wellingborough, Northants NN8 4PD.                                                                                    the whole family. For more details contact:
  No material from Impact may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers.               Paul Taylor 01362 820611 or visit the
                                                                                                                        Web site: www.shipdhamchurch.org.uk



                                               Wellingborough                                      t 01933 303050                         Rural Ministries is a registered
                                                                                                                                          charity (No. 200027) and a
                                               Innovation Centre                                   f 01933 303049                         company limited by guarantee
                                               Church Street, Wellingborough                       w www.ruralministries.org.uk           (No. 688281)

PLANTING & GROWING RURAL CHURCHES
                                               Northants NN8 4PD                                   e office@ruralministries.org.uk

				
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