Grace where East meets West


Andrew Sach (L), and Andrew Latimer – with Greenwich Park, Royal Naval College and Canary Wharf in the background

Andrew Sach (L), and Andrew Latimer – with Greenwich Park, Royal Naval College and Canary Wharf in the background

Greenwich, London SE10, is where East meets West at the world-famous meridian.

Every day couples from around the globe make their way to the observatory in Royal Greenwich Park to be photographed holding hands across the iconic line.

Partnership church plant

This September, Greenwich is going to be the meeting place of a different kind of partnership: a new church plant called Grace Church Greenwich, which represents the coming together of two other London churches.

St Peter’s Barge, a floating church started in 2003 to reach out to workers and locals around Canary Wharf, is partnering with St Helen’s Bishopsgate to form this new fellowship. Since its beginning, the church on the Barge has had a number of people from around Greenwich who travel across the river to church, and so it has been a natural area to consider planting into, but the numbers have not been sufficient to start anything. In partnership with St Helen’s, however, the two churches are able to combine forces and give it a go. As the Barge’s senior minister, Marcus Nodder comments: ‘How do you plant churches if you are a small church like the Barge? You take to heart the biblical maxim that ‘two are better than one’ (Ecclesiastes 4.9) and team up with another church to pool your resources!’

Original idea

One of the two new ministers, Andrew Latimer, explains how the idea came about: ‘We at the Barge have had a heart for Greenwich and have been meeting and praying in homes around the area for a while, and so it was a wonderful answer to prayer when the possibility of a partnership came up. Jesus sent his followers off in pairs, so I’ve been convinced for a while about the need for a partner in crime, and was therefore thrilled when the prospect arose of joining with Andrew Sach from St Helen’s to make this vision a reality. Not only are we friends, but he brings lots of gifts and experience which will be a real help.’

Privilege

William Taylor, rector of St Helen’s, is convinced that this is a model which should be… (click here to read more)

James Squire

This article was first published in the September issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Prayer fuel: God’s fishermen and ‘Facegloria’


September issues en - pg11

September issues en – pg11

Here are a handful of news-bites included in the September issue of en. Please use these articles to spur your prayers, personally or in regular prayer meetings, as we pray for persecuted Christians worldwide.

Brazil: Facebook for faithful – Swearing and erotic content in any form is banned on a new social network site, similar to Facebook, launched by evangelical Christians in Brazil in June.

Poland: Honoured – On 12 July, representatives of the Jewish community honoured nearly 50 Polish Christians for saving Jews from the Nazi holocaust during the Second World War.

South Africa: God’s fishermen – In July, ahead of a mission in Port Elizabeth in August, Allan Verreynne, the chairman of the Port Elizabeth Mission Discipleship Committee, together with his son Brad, swam 500m out to a chokka (a type of squid) boat, got on board and shared the gospel with the crew.

For more news and prayer fuel from around world and in the UK visit our website or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Prayer fuel: Secularists backing preacher and porn regulation


UK News in brief - pg.3

UK News in brief – pg.3

Here are a handful of news-bites included in the September issue of en. Please use these articles to spur your prayers, personally or in regular prayer meetings, as we pray for our country.

Abortion facility to close – On July 21 it was reported that an undisclosed abortion facility is to close as a result of pro-life campaigning. The move has been described by Britain’s largest private abortion provider BPAS as a ‘first in the UK’.

Secularists back preacher – The National Secular Society have spoken out against the prosecution of a Northern Irish preacher who criticised Islam.

Porn regulation – New polling over 10 –12 July for social policy charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education) demonstrates strong public support for the government’s commitment to regulate all websites with pornographic content.

For more news and prayer fuel from around world and in the UK visit our website or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Editors commentary: Migrants and the Tunnel?


channeltunnel2WEBI was once offered a job with the Ministry of Defence.

It was in the days when the Channel Tunnel was first being proposed. At the interview I was asked what I thought about the implications of the tunnel for British security. In terms of conventional warfare it is not really a problem. But this summer the Channel Tunnel has become a gigantic headache for the government with enormous numbers of migrants desperate to get into the UK.

Security and compassion

Eurotunnel disclosed 37,000 attempts to breach security measures at its French terminal so far this year, with probably about 150 illegal immigrants reaching Britain each night as stowaways in vehicles. Lorries are parked up for days on the M20 in ‘Operation Stack’ in Kent because of the difficulties. This causes huge hold ups for trade and holiday makers.

As Christians we find ourselves torn. It seems as though half the world’s population wants to come and live here and there simply isn’t the room or the resources. Yet, on the other hand many migrants are fleeing not only economic hardship but also tyrannical and sometimes chaotic regimes in their countries of origin. They need compassion. Added to this some of those seeking to enter the UK could well be active Islamist terrorists. There is no easy solution to the problem.

Home to roost

A number of thoughts occur…..(to read more click here)

This article was first published in the September 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, articles or reviews, subscribe to en or visit our website www.e-n.org.uk.

Migrant influx and the assisted suicide bill…(September issue highlights)


Coming up in the September issue of Evangelicals Now…

Back : Front Cover : UKnews : NIBS (Page 2)• Church plant in London’s Greenwich

• Europe’s migrant influx

• Disabled protest against assisted suicide

The September issue is out now! Read it online or enjoy the printed paper with your morning cuppa!

You may subscribe to have regular access every month to all of the articles for the ridiculously cheap price of £0.84 a month – £10.00 per year!

The single track by Jacqui Wright: A message to the church


A message to the churchDear church and church leaders,

Possibly, like you, I left my single life in my early twenties when I married a pastor and became busy with ministry and having a family. I did not think about nor understand the singleness issue for people in our congregation, as it was never raised for my attention.

Unwilling divorce

In God’s sovereign providence, when my life took a dramatic turn to receive the gift of a hard grace: an unwilling divorce and becoming a single parent of five children under nine years old, then the singleness issue started to become real to me. My circumstances changed from being in the centre of church life, being admired, accepted, and understood, to being scorned, rejected and marginalised, by those very same people. I felt like a divorced single parent ‘leper’, which was truly shocking and grievous to me. In the very time of my need, the ‘fat sheep’ in the church pushed out the sheep who served them that had become ‘weak’ (Ezekiel 34). Even more shockingly, I found this to be true in many churches that I tried to become part of across continents.

God wastes nothing of our experiences and suffering, it is always multi-layered, and so over time… (to read more click here)

Further practical advice can be found at http://www.singlechristians.co.uk/info/church_leader

Jacqui Wright is a single Christian, and single parent of five kids for the past 16 years. She was married to a pastor which ended in an unwilling divorce. She is an independent Speech and Language therapist with practices in Bedford and on Harley Street, London. She is the chair of Bedford Christian Singles friendship and fellowship group.

This article was first published in the May 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Attracting the suspicious (book review)


RISE OF THE NONESRise of the nones
Understanding and Reaching the Religiously
Unaffiliated
By James Emery White
Baker Publishing. 221 pages. £9.99
ISBN 978 0 801 016 233

The blurb on the back says ‘The single fastest-growing religious group of our time is those who check the box next to the word none on national surveys. In America, this is 20 percent of the population [25% in the UK 2011 census]. And most churches are doing virtually nothing to reach them.’

This book seeks to address that challenge – reaching and engaging those who profess no religious affiliation. James Emery White is a US pastor, and the temptation would be to dismiss the book as irrelevant to the UK scene. However White’s analysis rings true of our culture and our churches too, which makes it essential reading for those serious about reaching the emerging culture.

Away from the sacred canopy

The argument of the book is in two parts. In the first part White gives a snapshot of the typical ‘none’ and outlines how the culture has arrived at its current climate. Crucially, he observes that many ‘nones’ are not hostile atheists; many are spiritual but suspicious of… (to read more click here)

Martin Salter,
co-pastor, Grace Community Church, Bedford

This article was first published in the May 2015 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit our website or subscribe to en for regular updates.

Worthy of all acceptation – the Life of Andrew Fuller


Michael Haykin of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, remembers the life of Andrew Fuller

Andrew Fuller

Andrew Fuller

Why should we remember Andrew Fuller (1754 –1815) two centuries after his death in Kettering in the English Midlands?

Near the beginning of the funeral sermon that the Calvinistic Baptist John Ryland Jr. preached for Andrew Fuller in 1815, Ryland described Fuller as ‘perhaps the most judicious and able theological writer that ever belonged to our denomination’. Although Fuller was one of Ryland’s closest friends, his judgment is by no means a biased one.

For instance, James Davis Knowles, Professor of Pastoral Duties and Sacred Rhetoric at the Newton Theological Institution in the 1830s, observed that ‘the works of Fuller are justly entitled to rank with those of Owen and Edwards’. And Charles Haddon Spurgeon, at the close of the 19th century, described Fuller as ‘the greatest theologian’ of his century, while A.C. Underwood, a Baptist historian writing in the middle of the 20th century, was of the opinion that he was the soundest and most useful theologian that the English Calvinistic Baptists have ever had.

For what reasons did these men, in different times and places, value Fuller and his works so highly?

Fuller’s early years

The youngest son of Robert Fuller, a farmer, and Philippa Gunton, Andrew was born on 6 February, 1754 at Wicken, a small agricultural village in Cambridgeshire in East Anglia. It is noteworthy that among both his paternal and maternal ancestors were men and women who were Puritans by conviction.

His parents regularly attended the Baptist church at Soham, about two and a half miles from Wicken. The pastor of this small work was John Eve, who had been a sieve-maker before becoming the pastor of Soham Baptist Church in 1752. Eve was a High Calvinist, and, according to Fuller, he ‘had little or nothing to say to the unconverted’. Not surprisingly, Fuller later noted: ‘I…never considered myself as any way concerned in what I heard from the pulpit.’

Nevertheless, in the late 1760s Fuller began to experience strong conviction of sin, which happily issued in his conversion in the autumn of 1769. After being baptised the following spring, he joined the Soham church.

Over the course of the next few years, it became very evident to the church that Fuller possessed definite ministerial gifts. Eve had left the church in 1771 for another pastorate and Fuller, after ministering in the church for a couple of years, was formally invited to become pastor in 1775.

Refuting High Calvinism

Fuller’s pastorate at Soham, which lasted until 1782 when he moved to Kettering in Northamptonshire, was a decisive period for the shaping of Fuller’s theological outlook. For it was during these seven years that Fuller began a lifelong study of the works of the New England divine Jonathan Edwards, his chief theological mentor after the Scriptures. He also made the acquaintance of Robert Hall Sr., John Ryland Jr. and John Sutcliff, who would later become his closest friends and colleagues. And he decisively rejected High Calvinism and drew up a defence of his own theological position in The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, though this book would not be published until 1785.

This epoch-making book sought to be faithful to the central emphases of historic Calvinism while at the same time attempting to leave ‘ministers with no alternative but to (to read more click here)

Michael Haykin is Professor of Church History & Biblical Spirituality and director of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies (www.andrewfullercenter.org). The Andrew Fuller Conference: Persecution and the Church is on September 15-16, 2015 at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The general Conference Sessions will be streamed live if you are unable to attend.

This article was first published in the May issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Women’s vision takes off


The Peninsula Women’s Conference, Kea Church, Truro, May 2015

The Peninsula Women’s Conference, Kea Church, Truro, May 2015

Sometimes someone has a good idea.

They find some friends to help put it into practice and then thinks that is the end of the matter. Sometimes God has other ideas.

When Jennie Dow, a young teacher in Bristol, came up with the idea of the Bristol Women’s Conference she had no clue where it would lead. In fact, when I contacted her recently in preparation for this article, I don’t think she was aware how far her vision had spread.

Birth of a conference

More than ten years have passed since Jennie suggested to a few friends, including her pastor’s wife, Kath Paterson, that it might be helpful to gather women together from different churches in Bristol to hear Sharon James explain the biblical vision of godly womanhood. Throw in a seminar or two, a good lunch, some talented musicians and a lot of hard work, and the Bristol Women’s Conference was born.

I was at that first conference at Kensington Baptist Church where about 100 women gathered together. I remember being moved to tears as I saw women of all ages, some who I had known as students, others who had mentored me in the past, all in the same room, praising God and hungry to hear his Word taught.

Word spread and the second Bristol Women’s Conference took place in 2005. This time people came from as far afield as Exeter, Cardiff and the wilds of Wiltshire. When I moved down to Cornwall, I longed to take the women in our church to a similar event, but a three hour journey seemed too far for one day.

Spreading West

Then I bumped into Beccy Davies, a woman of extraordinary faith and enthusiasm who thought… (click here to read more)

Susie Leafe

This article was first published in the August issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.