By Peter Chiswell, on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
You might not have noticed, but our church building is surrounded by a lot of houses which means a lot of people who need to hear about God’s love. How do you do that? By taking it to them. Continue reading…
By Ruth Matthews, on Thursday, February 12, 2015
Sometimes when the weekend comes all you want to do is “chill” and not do anything too planned. As soon as the Prophetic Workshop changed from being an idea to a plan it felt like it was the right thing to do, and at the right point in our church life – even if it was scheduled for a Saturday morning! Looking back immediately after the event, we are even more convinced that this is true. Continue reading…
By Anna Bunclark, on Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Last week, all the Impact Training bases met together for a week of amazing worship, with some great teaching and of course some competitive swimming down the rapids. Here’s what our very own Impact Student, Anna had to say…
Last week I went to CentreParcs for a week of Impact training that I’d heard would be one of the highlights of the year. I was expecting something significant to happen to me; a massive visible encounter with God, or maybe a hugely directional prophecy, or at least that I would cry! I thought that if none of that happened I would go away disappointed. I can tell you now that I didn’t cry, or shake, and God didn’t tell me my life plan. But I was far from disappointed…
I believe God wanted to teach me that He isn’t just a God that we get out for conferences and meetings, but He is part of our everyday lives.
On Thursday in our last evening session we heard Andrew Wilson do an excellent talk on joy. I was expecting a ministry time at the end of the talk where everyone would be laughing in the Holy Spirit and I was a little surprised, but honestly relieved, that this didn’t happen. However, that did not mean that God wasn’t going to give us His joy. I’ve always wanted more joy but felt like I had to laugh in a meeting in order to feel it. How wrong was I! That evening God showed me that joy is for every day and He just loves it when we can be free and happy! Up until now the only person I’ve ever been truly myself with is my sister; we go crazy together, we finish each other’s SANDWICHES, and oh how we laugh. But I’ve never felt free to do that with anybody else.
I was hugely blessed to be staying in a villa with some amazing girls. We all got along well at the beginning of the week but by the end of it they all felt like my sisters; our friendship deepened so much, we opened up and prayed for each other spontaneously, even while cooking the dinner!
On Thursday evening/Friday morning (it was a late night…) we had the best time together! Something was released in me and I finally felt free to just have fun and enjoy life! It’s quite ironic because two of the days of training were focussed on ‘Setting People Free’, particularly from traumatic experiences in their past. God was doing incredible things and I really learnt to celebrate with them! But I didn’t feel it was very relevant for me because supposedly ‘I didn’t need freeing from anything like that’. Turns out I did need freeing, and God in His grace did just that, just not in the way I was expecting!
For more info on Impact, have a look at the website here.
By Colin Matthews, on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
You might not have noticed, but on Sunday we celebrated Hope! But not just any old hope, we were celebrating the fact that Hope entered the world through Jesus Christ.
Our two carol services were great events, with over 600 people attending the two services. It was great to see that people from all walks of life are impacted by the message of hope, as this video shows:
If you’re wondering what the red balloons are all about, Martin shed some light on this, suggesting that hope is something we need to keep hold of, but also can give away to someone else. Hope isn’t just for us, but it’s for everyone around us.
Two of the biggest stars of the Carol Service were undoubtedly Josh and Misha Haller for their great newsroom videos, bringing to life the Christmas story through the eyes of the shepherds and wisemen; showing what they were hoping for at the time.
A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in any way, it was a big task but had great results! A very special thank you also needs to go to Sam Hunt and Tom Whitbread for producing those videos and the others and of course Tim May for building the HOPE stage.
But it’s not over yet, we still have time to celebrate in our Christmas services, this Sunday 9am and 11am, Christmas Day 10:30am and on the 28th December, with one service at 10:30am. We hope to see you there!
By Martin Tibbert, on Wednesday, December 3, 2014
What’s this conference all about? It’s about equipping the church to love people in order to see lives changed. We want to be shaped by God’s word and encounter his presence, in order to make a difference.
The conference dates are: Friday 20 March through to Saturday 21 March. The early-bird cut-off will be on Sunday 22nd February.
By Colin Matthews, on Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Cast your mind back to May and think of the highlights. If you were thinking of great speakers, amazing times of worship and a fantastic time together as a church, chances are your highlight was the Catalyst Festival 2014. Well, the good news is that Catalyst is back again for 2015!
It’s taking place Saturday 23rd – Tuesday 26th May 2015, once again at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry.
Speakers this year include Terry Virgo, Simon Holley, Martyn Dunsford, Andy McCullough, Julian Adams as well as our very own David Devenish! As well as that we’ll have Jules Burt leading us in some great times of worship. Continue reading…
By Martin Tibbert, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Culture has changed a lot over the past few years. Is Christianity still relevant? Should we try to be? All these questions and more will hopefully be answered in our new Sermon Series: #TrendingNow Continue reading…
By Ruth Matthews, on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Well, here we go again! 19 quality young people make up this year’s group, including 3 Germans, 1 Latvian, and 2 English girls who will be based in the church in Stockholm, flying to and fro for training! It always fascinates me on day one when I can see everyone is a little hesitant and unsure and then by the time they leave us eight days later they are already friends, having laughed, prayed and cried together. And, of course, played rounders, a game to which, I’m pretty sure, no one knows the proper rules…
Our days were filled with inspiring and quality teaching, thought-provoking Q & A, authentic worship, fun, testimony times, and great chats over indoor picnics! We covered topics like worship (with David Fellingham), personal development, the Holy Spirit, Old Testament overview, children’s work and setting the culture.
Many thanks to everyone who hosted students, helped by coming and praying, for Sunu who hosted the Bring and Share lunch on the Sunday, for Jon Le Marquand and the amazing Impact Team. Probably the biggest highlight was having Martin Tibbert there on day one. Thank you God for your kindness!
The next training block is November 3rd to 7th, when we will all be back in Bedford for Part 2.
By Colin Matthews, on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
This Sunday we’ve got Matt Partridge from Emmanuel Church, Oxford with us. He’ll be speaking at both the 9AM and 11AM Meetings. We thought we’d catch up with him before then to find out what makes Matt tick…
Hi Matt, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 45 year old, married father of two daughters. I was raised in a Christian home, met Wendy my wife when I was 16, got married aged 23. Our daughters are called Esme (17, final year of A Levels) and Martha (8, mad on ponies).
So you’re in Oxford now. How did that come about?
To be honest neither Wendy nor I wanted to move initially. We felt pretty settled in Haywards Heath and were enjoying our work there. But after Terry Virgo and David Stroud spoke to us about the possibility we began to pray and ask God what he wanted. Within a short space of time Keith Hazel prophesied over me that ‘the going time had come’ – that God was asking us to move! The decision to move was almost immediately settled for us, but we still did not know where we were supposed to move to. Various options came along, which we considered, but only when we thought about an invitation we had previously received to move to Oxford did we feel faith and excitement. We then received two further independent confirming prophetic words and moved in July 2008.
What’s on your heart for the church in the UK at the moment?
It is fascinating to see many churches in the UK beginning to ask questions again. Questions relating to which spaces in society the church should try and occupy, how to ensure the gospel is contextualised for the cities and subcultures we hope to reach and how to connect with those who are not yet Christians outside of our reliance on formal programmes and meetings. It seems like the UK church has spent the past two or three decades implementing the answers to such questions asked by previous generations and now is a time of finding courage to ask whether new answers should be implemented. The challenge, of course, is to ask questions without losing our robust commitment to our reformed doctrine as well as our charismatic and apostolic theology. I believe there is a way to courageously ask questions without risking a slide into liberalism or powerlessness.
What do you do in your spare time?
I am keen golfer, and that takes up some of my spare time. Wendy and I also enjoy occasional meals out in Jericho, Oxford. I also love to spend time with my kids.
And finally… What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
What’s an iPod?
There are so many! I am your classic 45 year old British male: Phil Collins “In The Air Tonight’, TOTO ‘Rosanna”, can I stop now please…..
By Ruth Matthews, on Monday, August 11, 2014
I can’t believe a year had flown since my previous trip to Albania – but it had. A different group of Frontier Project (FP) students from 2013, but with the same objective – to immerse ourselves in the church life of the guys in Elbasan, whatever that might involve. Ron and Sue Lee also came with the 15 students (which is quite a big number), including 2 Germans, I French guy and a few others who had never been on a plane….. Continue reading…