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together SPRING 2014



Equipping tomorrow’s gospel workers

ALSO INSIDE: Working in Scotland’s most deprived areas The life of a chaplain According to the intern

WELCOME... Welcome to our spring issue of Together

Together is published by FIEC, 39 The Point, Market Harborough, LE16 7QU. 01858 434540 @theFIEC INSERTS/ADVERTS For all enquiries about advertising in Together please email EDITOR Sarah Simpkin 01858 411553 Copy date for next edition: Friday 22 August 2014 WRITER/SUB-EDITOR Jess Bee DESIGNED BY AH Graphic Design 07500 465753


FIEC Together Spring 2014

I had the privilege of hearing Mez McConnell speak at last year’s Leaders’ Conference. Mez gave an open, honest and challenging account of how God had prepared him for the work he is now doing in one of Scotland’s most deprived areas. Niddrie Community Church is located in the Niddrie housing scheme in Edinburgh. It is here that Mez and his team live and work with families on the estate. In this issue of Together Mez shares their vision to grow more gospel-preaching churches on similar estates. And we hear from those who have turned their lives around and why working with women in the scheme is so important. The work they are doing in Scotland is incredible and it would be encouraging to Mez and his team if we prayed for this work. You will find prayer points at the end of some of our stories to guide you in prayer. I also want to encourage you to pray for our Fellowship. To get regular prayer updates why don’t you sign up for our email newsletter at the top of the website?

Sarah Simpkin Editor


Making disciples


New family member

20 Equipping tomorrow’s gospel workers

10 News in brief

24 Training for service

11 The life of a chaplain

26 According to the intern

15 Together in the gospel

30 Book reviews

18 News from our churches

32 New affiliations

In some of Scotland’s most deprived areas, the 20 Schemes initiative is following Jesus’ example of incarnational living and everyday discipleship to bring the gospel message of love, hope and truth to poor communities. ‘The church explained to me that the only way I could change was through Jesus … being discipled, people helping me understand the Bible and helping me learn how to read it. When I was brought up, church was alien, it didn’t mean anything to me … but now I’ve been introduced to a church that’s slap bang in the middle of community, I know that it works – church is what everybody needs.’ Ricky Smith, 20 Schemes trainee When Ricky became a Christian after his childhood and teenage years had been dominated by drugs and alcohol, it was relationships with other Christians and a discipleship programme at Niddrie Community Church (NCC) that helped him grow and develop in his faith. For Ricky and others like him sharing life with a community of committed, loving


and compassionate Christians has brought transformation and hope to their lives. NCC sits at the heart of the Niddrie housing scheme in Edinburgh. Ranking at number 31 of 50 of the most deprived housing estates in the country, and number one in Edinburgh, Niddrie experiences high unemployment, drug abuse, education problems, mental health issues and FIEC Together Spring 2014



violence. The demographic of the estate is mixed, with established families living alongside a recent influx of young professionals and immigrants from South America, Europe and Africa.

SHARING LIFE WITH A COMMUNITY OF COMMITTED, LOVING AND COMPASSIONATE CHRISTIANS HAS BROUGHT TRANSFORMATION AND HOPE TO THEIR LIVES NCC is a key part of the community, connecting with local people through sports initiatives, a community café, schools work and addiction counselling. The church is open seven days a week with the café acting as a central hub for their ministry. They also offer training and development for young people who want to


FIEC Together Spring 2014

return to work or enter into vocational ministry. Living and working in such a deprived area is full of challenges. ‘Many of the people who come to us for help suffer from one or more forms of addiction – mainly heroine, cocaine and Valium,’ says Mez McConnell, pastor. ‘A good number have severe mental health issues: chronic depression, paranoia, anxiety and schizophrenia. … Many are just down and abused by life.’ Mez is especially qualified to speak to and empathise with the people the church is trying to help. He grew up in care and on council estates most of his life, then spent six years homeless, in prison and a drug addict before the message of the gospel turned his life around. In 2007, he took on the role of pastor – with a mandate to re-establish the church as part of the local community and to share the love of Jesus with the people of Niddrie. Telling people about Jesus is a key focus of the work they do – for NCC it’s not enough to

meet people’s physical and emotional needs, there also needs to be a spiritual dimension. But it’s not easy. ‘We welcome all without exception and offer them the hope of the good news of Jesus Christ,’ says Mez. ‘I would love to tell you of a great revival in this place but that would not be true. Some people have confessed Christ but have fallen away … several are persevering and continue to grow by God’s grace. One thing is certain though. Who we are, and what we stand for, is now known across large swathes of this community.’

A model for evangelism NCC feels called to pass on its insights and experience so that other inner city communities can be impacted with the gospel message. ‘We believe the best mercy ministry is healthy churches,’ says Mez. ‘As I have travelled around it has become clear that there is real scope for training and equipping in areas that much of middle class Christianity isn’t reaching.’ 20 Schemes, NCC’s church planting initiative, aims to see existing churches re-envisioned and new churches started in Scotland’s housing schemes. Through growing gospel-preaching churches the hope is that many of these inner city contexts will be renewed by the grace, truth and love of Jesus.

female outreach workers, ministry apprentices and short-term interns. Niddrie offers on-site training in its community café, and through church events, preaching and teaching, serving in various capacities and learning about scheme life and outreach.

Working with women – discipleship in action A key part of NCC’s and 20 Schemes’ vision is its work with women. In Scotland, a quarter of all families are being parented by a lone parent, with this figure rising to over half in the poorest communities. Of these lone parents 90 per cent are women, 27 per cent of whom have longstanding health problems or a disability; many are addicted to prescription drugs and a high proportion have experienced some form of abuse. ‘As we look at the statistics the picture they create is one of vulnerable women with multiple problems and struggles,’

WE WELCOME ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION AND OFFER THEM THE HOPE OF THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST In practice this means identifying 20 housing schemes as priority areas and finding, where possible, churches and organisations with which to partner. ‘Our dream is to see 20 healthy, gospel-centred churches in 20 schemes over the next decade,’ says Mez. There is also a need for committed and enthusiastic people, such as Ricky, to take on roles as church planters,


FIEC Together Spring 2014


says Sharon Dickens, 20 Schemes Director of Women’s Ministries. ‘In our experience more than 80 per cent of the women we spend time with in the community have been abused in some way. Many have a prescription drug habit and many are struggling to raise their children on their own.’ Part of the work of 20 Schemes is in recognising the need for women to experience support, friendship, mentoring, intimacy in prayer, counsel and care from godly women who are closely involved in their lives and in it for the long haul.


social services and was subsequently brought up by her grandparents. At 15 she found herself in a violent and abusive relationship. Later, pregnant with her second child, she became addicted to heroine. In the midst of a pattern of intensive rehab, limited access to her children and constant interventions by social services, Amy showed an interest in Jesus and made a profession of faith, yet she continued to struggle with the hold her old life had on her. The relationship Sharon had with Amy was one-toone; 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ‘It was texts at 10.30pm on a Friday night because she had no gas and the kids were freezing,’ says Sharon. ‘It was driving her to meetings, talking wisdom into her life as she ranted about social work. It was grieving with her when the kids were taken away.’ This type of life-on-life discipleship is at the heart of the work in Niddrie and the model for 20 Schemes. ‘We spend lots of time with new believers “one anothering”,’ says Sharon, ‘ – exampling maturity and being a helpful model of godly living. In Christian circles we

Pray for 20 Schemes Please pray for three key schemes over

the next 18 months to two years: Lochee, Dundee; Gracemount, Edinburgh and Grangemouth, Falkirk. Pray also for the current intake of church

planters and women’s workers (and their families) as NCC prepares to send them into these areas – Pat and Andi Mathers, Dave and Catherine Dickson, Andy and Lauren Mathieson. Pray too for the trainees: Ricky Smith, Natasha Davidson and Erin Howiseon.


FIEC Together Spring 2014

Please ask the Lord to raise up a

generation of young men and women prepared to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the gospel in establishing healthy churches in some of our country’s neediest places.

Give to 20 Schemes If you would like to financially support the work of 20 Schemes please visit their website and follow the ‘Give Now’ link:

are used to set formats of weekly Bible studies and prayer, but this is simply not enough … we have to offer something more intimate, more involved, and more connected to everyday life than a weekly mentoring session.’

IT’S SCARY, IT’S SACRIFICIAL, IT’S HEARTBREAKING, IT’S HARD, BUT IT’S ALSO COMMITTED, GLORIOUS, FUNNY, AMAZING, JOYOUS – AND IT’S WORTH IT! Women’s ministry is an important part of the 20 Schemes vision because for most of the women living in the poorest communities they are suffering without the hope of the gospel. ‘Women on schemes need other women who will do life with them everyday,’ says Sharon. ‘It’s scary, it’s sacrificial, it’s heartbreaking, it’s hard, but it’s also committed, glorious,

funny, amazing, joyous – and it’s worth it!’ Amy finally reached a breakthrough. She took a place in James Ramsay House, one of the two discipleship homes that NCC run. During the 18 months she lived in the home she undertook intensive discipleship and training programmes, grew in her faith and served the community. ‘She is married now and has a fulltime job,’ says Sharon. ‘All down to the power of the gospel and the ongoing discipleship and discipline of living in a Christian community.’ Quote taken from Is There Anybody Out There?, Mez McConnell (Christian Focus Publications Ltd, 2006). Name has been changed. Written by Jess Bee on behalf of Together For more info: Visit Visit

how to

Day conferences for pastors and their wives in 2014. For details visit: Remaining conferences: Bridgend (3rd June) Liverpool (18th June)

KEEP going fuelling a lifetime of fruitful ministry

Chessington (1st July) Nottingham (17th Sept) Looe (24th Sept)

pastors’ NETWORK FIEC Together Spring 2014



TRINITY CHURCH, SUNDERLAND In September last year a group of like-minded Christians and Sunderland Free Church got together to begin a new church – Trinity Church, Sunderland. Duncan Woods was appointed pastor and moved to the area with his wife Laura and their three young boys. Sarah Simpkin spoke to Duncan to find out more: Trinity Church is a new church, less than a year old. How did this come about? Is it a church plant or revitalisation of a previous church? It’s a bit of both. The gospel does not change but the culture within which we proclaim it has done enormously over the past 30 years. The small congregation at what was Sunderland Free

Church realised this, and prayerfully and humbly joined with a team from the region to build a new ministry with the same aim – to glorify Jesus. What has happened since you began in September 2013? Our aim up to Christmas was simply to get started. We had 28 adults plus seven children from at least three different churches joining together. We were taught from Ephesians week by week, allowing God to set the agenda rather than us. Our desire is to deeply embed the Bible into our lives, so we meet every Wednesday

evening to talk through the previous Sunday’s passage; we pray and we seek to love one another. We wanted to strip back the ministry to bare essentials and build from the bottom up. What have you been encouraged by? Most church plants tend to lose people from the older established congregation. Praise God that despite the loss of one or two people, the majority of the original congregation has received us with joy and humility. It has been hugely encouraging to see members make costly decisions for Christ. For example, many in the church have moved house while others have taken new jobs. We are also encouraged by signs of numerical growth: we now regularly have 35 to 40 adults and nine children meeting each Sunday. What have been the challenges? Firstly, impatience. To remember that we are playing the long game is


FIEC Together Spring 2014

tough and impatience can kill prayer. Secondly, managing expectations. However much we spell things out before we start, people join a plant through mixed motives and these motives will sooner or later come to the surface. Thirdly, making local connections. Establishing relationships with unbelievers will take time because many of us are new to the city. And finally, on a very practical note, the building leaks! You joined FIEC not long after you were established. What were your reasons for this? We believe in Independency but not isolation. We need support and accountability within a wider network of gospel churches. The New Testament makes this nonnegotiable and without it error is probably only a generation away. Furthermore, we are quite simply stronger together in mission and training. How can we pray for you and the church? Please pray that we would realise the vision of being a church in genuine community with one another and that our good intentions of sharing Christ with local people would not get lost between desire and reality. We need increasing wisdom and love to proclaim Jesus faithfully in


what is often a very hardened and sometimes bitter context. Give thanks for the handful of students who have joined us. Pray for harvest from among the 17,000 others in the city and for future leaders to emerge.

Above all, we long for God’s glory to be known across Sunderland. To this end we aim to plant churches across the city over the next 30 years. Please pray for workers for this harvest field.

For more info: Visit

FIEC Together Spring 2014


NEWS IN BRIEF Theological Advisor. In March we announced that David Shaw will be working two days a week for FIEC as our Theological Advisor. This has been made possible partly because of a generous donation, and also because it is a joint appointment with Oak Hill College, where David will work three days a week as tutor in New Testament Studies. FIEC Scottish Church Leaders and Pastors’ Network members took part in a forum organised by Andy Hunter, our Scotland Director, in March. The forum provided a great opportunity to talk about developing FIEC’s vision in Scotland with the desire to strengthen and support the work of local Independent churches.

New staff member Andrew Nicholson joined us at the beginning of May as Operations Director. Based at our office in Market Harborough, Andrew will be working closely with John Stevens our National Director. Through Ministry Introductions we provide a unique web-based meeting point for Independent churches seeking new gospel workers and for individuals seeking a new sphere of ministry. Ministry Introductions consists of two distinct services – Pastoral Introductions and Jobs Noticeboard. Visit and select the ‘Jobs’ tab to find out more.

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FIEC Together Spring 2014

THE LIFE OF A CHAPLAIN Chaplains work in a variety of contexts, from schools and prisons to public spaces and sports clubs, building relationships and offering pastoral support. We spoke to three FIEC pastors who work as chaplains about their roles and motivation.

The Police Chaplain John Lowrie – pastor of Holmgate Evangelical Church, Clay Cross and police chaplain at NE Derbyshire Section What do you do as a chaplain? I see my role as one of building up relationships with the officers and staff, and being there for them in times of need, especially spiritually. I try to pop into the station every other week to meet the officers and find out more about their role by chatting to them and sitting in on briefings. I have opportunities to understand the job they do by accompanying them out on duty. I am also involved in major or critical incidents in order to offer support to the officers. I attend special award ceremonies and regular regional chaplaincy meetings at Derbyshire headquarters. I participate in regular training events which help me deal with issues such as confidentiality. The police take the role of chaplain very seriously and see them as a great support.  Why do you do it? I do the job in order to build bridges with the

community, and offer care and support to the local police who do a very difficult job. I also do it in the hope that I will have opportunities to share the gospel. The role of police chaplain is a very respectable one in the force and in the local community, so it’s a great opportunity to promote the local church as it becomes involved in community life. It is also a good way to meet local residents. What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy getting to know the officers (and local residents) and having opportunities to share my faith. What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a chaplain? Go for it! It is a great opportunity to offer care and support at a professional level and at the same time it shows the community that we care. Above all, it offers real opportunities to share the good news about Jesus Christ and gives the local church more credibility.

FIEC Together Spring 2014


The Rugby Club Chaplain Paul Howell – pastor of Christchurch Xscape, Castleford and chaplain to Castleford Tigers Rugby League Football Club (RLFC) What do you do as a chaplain? The role of the chaplain is to provide spiritual and pastoral support to the club. This involves building relationships of trust with both playing and non-playing staff. It has been a privilege to spend time with individuals and to provide support during tough life experiences. And, of course it’s a privilege to be able to bring a gospel-shaped approach to that support. Why do you do it? Castleford is a traditional ex-mining community which is now dominated by the Xscape Centre and Castleford Tigers RLFC. It gives me the chance to regularly spend time with people from outside the church – I believe this is really important and creates excellent conversation starting points. People find the idea of a club pastor or chaplain an intriguing role. Rugby League is a tough, down-to-earth game – this opens up opportunities for great conversations with our community when they find out I’m part of the club.

What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a chaplain? I was given two pieces of helpful advice relating to sports chaplaincy. Firstly, think twice about taking on the role if you are a huge fan of the club. I can see how it would be easy to be sidetracked by enthusiasm for results rather than enthusiasm for people. Secondly, keep in mind that you are probably the only person in the club who is not primarily concerned about the performance of the player. Imagine the pressure of every single aspect of your week being assessed and measured, so to bring a different relationship is of huge value.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy the challenge of breaking down barriers in order to build trust and relationships. The Rugby Football League have made a formal recommendation to all clubs to appoint a chaplain so that brings some formal credibility to the role, but it’s still a long journey of building trust. Head coach Daryl Powell is a very strong advocate for my role, which has been very helpful in settling me in.


FIEC Together Spring 2014


The Supermarket Chaplain Les Crosthwaite – retired pastor in Hereford and chaplain at a local Asda supermarket What do you do as a chaplain? I visit the store once a week and walk around chatting to staff. I also spend time in the staff canteen where I  enter into conversations on all manner of topics. Some staff have been able to raise issues of personal concern, which I have followed up with them. I also promise to pray for them. A few years ago during the Christmas season I arranged for a local church to sing carols in the store – this has become a regular arrangement. Why do you do it? This role gives me the opportunity to serve the local community and share the gospel.

All around us there are people with problems and difficulties who feel they have no-one to talk to (and they would never dream of going to a church). I give them a listening ear and, when and where appropriate, speak a word of encouragement, or share a personal experience or Scripture. What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy the personal interaction – conversation, banter, getting to know people and them getting to know me. What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a chaplain? Take the plunge! Approach a store and give it a try.

G en eva B iBle n ot e s Helping readers toward a better understanding of the Word of God and its application to their daily lives

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FIEC Together Spring 2014


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FIEC Together Spring 2014

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TOGETHER IN THE GOSPEL Working in partnership to share the good news of Jesus builds relationship, unity and strength. We hear from three churches committed to church planting and supporting one another in the growth of a brand new church – Trinity Church Everton.

The sending church: Christ Church Liverpool Ever since a team of about 15 people planted Christ Church Liverpool in 2003 we’ve been passionate about planting more churches. So, when Peter Roberts, our assistant pastor, showed both a desire and an aptitude for church planting we were delighted to encourage him. Peter and his wife, Ruth, decided to plant in Everton – a place with family connections for both of them and with a real and obvious need for another evangelical church. Everton is one of the most deprived places in Liverpool – the UK’s poorest city – so living and ministering there was always going to be a challenge. A group from our church moved into the area, met as a small group and engaged in a range of different community events and organisations to make friends and share the gospel. After a year, in September 2013, they launched a Sunday morning meeting and in the last few months the church has seen a good number of people visit – both Christians who weren’t involved in a Bible-teaching church and non-Christians. There have been professions of

faith, but there are also lots of people who come and go in a chaotic fashion which reflects life for most people in Everton. It’s long, hard, slow work but the gospel is, as we expected, bearing fruit and growing in Everton. Gunnersbury Baptist Church in London heard about the Everton plant through FIEC. As a church which had just been left a substantial legacy they wanted to invest some of that money in a ministry people from their church could easily relate to and visit. Pete has been to the church in Gunnersbury and we hope that the partnership won’t just be the exchanging of some numbers in bank accounts, but a living expression of the unity of the gospel in prayer and love. The money that Gunnersbury Baptist Church and others have given means that Trinity Church Everton has a much more secure start than it would have done. It also means that we at Christ Church are able to plan to plant more churches – we are currently working with our first church plant, Aigburth Community Church, to plant City Church Manchester later this year. For us the partnership doesn’t end with starting a new Sunday service. The members of Trinity Church Everton still join us on Sunday evenings and we’re planning to have an ongoing relationship of occasional events, leadership interactions, mentoring for the team and support in prayer and finance in years to come. Andrew Evans Christ Church Liverpool FIEC Together Spring 2014


The supporting church: Gunnersbury Baptist Church I’m really not sure who’s getting the most out of this, Trinity Church Everton, or us at Gunnersbury. Jesus said ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ and we definitely feel very blessed by our relationship with Trinity Church Everton. A woman who attended Gunnersbury some years ago chose to leave her estate to the church. This left us with the joy of thinking about how best to put it to use, something which our mission partners (FIEC being one of them) have helped us to do. It has been a great privilege to start to get to know Pete and Ruth Roberts, and the work in Everton. We are delighted that we are able to be involved in gospel work in an area of the country with different challenges to our own in Chiswick, west London, but with the same basic need – to hear the news of Christ crucified. Leaving a legacy to a church can have an enormous impact.  If you would like more information on legacy giving please contact FIEC. Tim Manson, Pastor Gunnersbury Baptist Church



FIEC Together Spring 2014


The church pla Eighty years ago north Liverpool had many thriving Independent gospel churches. It was through their ministry that all my grandparents grew up in their Christian faith and saw many others come to know Christ. A few years ago it seemed like the gospel witness in north Liverpool was slowly drying up as old saints went to glory and churches died, their buildings being used as warehouses, pharmacies and Islamic prayer rooms. If this trend had continued, well over a quarter of a million people would not hear the gospel clearly explained. I became convinced that I wanted to try and do something to change this. God gathered a small group of us together who were dreaming of planting a healthy, relevant, gospel-driven church, which over time would help plant and revitalise churches in north Liverpool. We decided to call it Trinity Church Everton. As we began we were very aware that only Jesus could build a healthy

ant: Trinity Church Everton church plant here. Humanly speaking a bunch of people with middle class jobs and backgrounds weren’t the people to plant a church in a deprived area like Everton, but we were convinced that the gospel is good news for all and God cares intimately for the lost. Over the last 18 months we have thrown ourselves into the local community and tried lots of different things to engage people with the gospel. A lot of things haven’t worked very well, but they have helped us learn lots about our community and ourselves. We are setting up a project in partnership with

GOD GATHERED A SMALL GROUP OF US TOGETHER WHO WERE DREAMING OF PLANTING A HEALTHY, RELEVANT, GOSPEL-DRIVEN CHURCH the local community centre to befriend and shop for elderly people – we hope to be a real help and that there will be plenty of chances to share the gospel. In March we preached on Genesis 1–4

and invited our friends and neighbours to come along. After each sermon there was a chance to discuss and ask questions. For Easter we organised outdoor family events involving chocolate and a celebration of the cross and resurrection of Christ. Please join us in praying that we would see more people come to faith and that over time they will be trained up to go and help other gospel works in the area and around the world. Peter Roberts, Pastor Trinity Church Everton

For more info: Visit

FIEC Together Spring 2014




On Saturday 2nd November 2013 110 people attended the induction service for our new pastor Mervyn Weeks who, along with his wife Alison, was received into membership. Mervyn, who previously worked for Brighton and Hove City Mission, had frequently

visited us as a guest preacher and in connection with the Brighton Basics Bank, an outreach run by the City Mission. Having valued Mervyn’s ministry on these occasions, he was invited to preach with a view of becoming our pastor. The church members voted unanimously to call Mervyn to the pastoral ministry at Lindfield Evangelical Free Church (LEFC). Mervyn’s induction service was led by Revd Peter Morgan, who until August 2013 had served the church as a lay pastoral elder. A former pastor of LEFC, Ewart Helyer, gave the reading from 2 Corinthians 4, and the director of Brighton

and Hove City Mission, Tony Smith, preached from the passage, showing how Paul defended his ministry with key principles, all of which related to the superiority of the new covenant to the old. Following the service, refreshments and an extended time of fellowship were enjoyed by all, including visitors from two other evangelical churches in Lindfield, with whom we have served for many years. Trevor Baxter Lindfield Evangelical Free Church, West Sussex For more info: Visit

SERVING THE COMMUNITY AT CHRISTMAS Kind-hearted volunteers at Millbridge Evangelical Church in Minehead gave up their Christmas Day to serve a traditional Christmas lunch to over 30 people who would otherwise have faced this day alone. It was a pleasure and privilege to serve these people, some who would


FIEC Together Spring 2014

have gone without a meal. We would like to thank a number of local businesses who made this successful day possible. Dave Neighbour Deacon and Administrator, Millbridge Evangelical Church For more info:



A RENOVATED BUILDING In February, Long Crendon Baptist Church (LCBC) celebrated the opening of new facilities that make the church more welcoming, spacious, flexible, modern and transparent. On the first Saturday in February an open day was held for the community. We thanked the architects, builders and various other community organisations that had offered use of their facilities during the nine months in which the church building was out of action. Visitors were impressed with the transformation of the space into a 21st century facility that retains the character of the original building. The next day we held a thanksgiving service at which pastor Jeff Steadman prayed that the building would be dedicated to the glory of God. The congregation also recommitted themselves to His service. I gave a short history of the project and highlighted some of the lessons the church had learned along

the way: perseverance when the first planning application was turned down; faith in God’s provision of sufficient money and the right people with the right gifts to complete the project; dependence on God to overcome the various challenges in God’s timing; and grace towards those who opposed the project. Finally, FIEC Mission Director, Andy Paterson, preached from Matthew 16 v3–21. Andy encouraged us that in Christ we can celebrate the victory that has already been won, the victory that is still being won and, pointing to the promises in Revelation, the final victory that will be won. We are all very excited about making good use of this new resource for the gospel. Neil Turton Pastor, Long Crendon Baptist Church For more info: Visit

FIEC Together Spring 2014



EQUIPPING TOMORROW’S GOSPEL WORKERS Over the past two years the FIEC Training Fund has had an immense impact thanks to the generous gifts of our supporters. To date the fund has distributed over half a million pounds to 27 churches and 28 individuals, which means that over 10 per cent of our family of churches has already been helped to spread the gospel in their locality and to train workers for the next generation.

Training for the gospel Churches have been able to create assistant pastor, church planter and youth worker posts. Individuals who have benefitted have been and are being helped to train for pastoral ministry, church planting, youth work, women’s ministry and overseas mission. The Lord has truly blessed


FIEC Together Spring 2014

us but there is so much yet to be done. Our second Hub Conference in January was once again full, which means that over 270 men and women have now attended this event. They fall into two groups – those looking at the possibility of serving the Lord in paid or bi-vocational gospel ministry in the years ahead or those who have already embarked on formal church or college-based training. It is clear that, in His goodness, the Lord is answering our prayers to raise up gospel workers from among our churches to meet the challenge which 21st century Britain presents. All the while churches are contacting the FIEC office to enquire about

to consider partnering with us in helping resource this vital gospel investment. We know that many churches will not be in a position to give large sums of money. However it may be that individuals within our churches might be willing to provide a one-off or regular gift for the Training Fund that together will produce very

how the Training Fund might help them.

Investing in the gospel The FIEC Training Fund will need around £250,000 every year to sustain the level of investment already made in churches and to respond to the potential and opportunity represented by those attending The Hub Conference. To date, this level of funding has come through a handful of very generous individuals and a few FIEC churches who have seen the need, captured the vision and have been excited to invest in the gospel opportunities before our churches. However we cannot expect this need to be borne by just a few individuals or churches – however generous! We would like to ask you

significant amounts. Will you help us invest in future training? May we invite you to partner with us by sending a gift using the donation form below. Thank you so much. Your generosity and prayers will be a huge encouragement to the rest of the family and will be put to immediate and very good use.

Please pray with us for the FIEC Training Fund Praise the Lord for the generous provision to date and give

thanks that so many churches and individuals are seeking to sacrificially invest in training and mission. Please pray that churches and individuals will know the

Lord’s guidance in the challenges before them. Ask God for wisdom and discernment for the Grants

Committee who meet in June to consider applications, and for a great response to this appeal for funds.

DONATION FORM If you’d like to partner with us in our work then please complete this form and return it to FIEC, 39 The Point, Market Harborough, LE16 7QU.

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FIEC Together Spring 2014


EQUIPPING TOMORROW’S GOSPEL JONATHAN WORSLEY In April, I, along with my wife Sarah, and son Benjamin, joined a small church in Kew, southwest London. The financial support we have received from the FIEC Training Fund over the past two years has equipped me for pastoral ministry among the people at Kew Baptist Church, and has given opportunity for Christ to be proclaimed in the surrounding area. The FIEC Training Fund enabled me to go to Bible college, and to conferences like The Hub. Events like this have helped me forge better partnerships with gospelminded brothers and sisters, be encouraged by the ongoing Word-centred ministry of FIEC churches, and think wisely about future opportunities for ministry in the UK. The Training Fund equips and resources individuals and churches, and demonstrates

unity when churches financially support others. In 2 Corinthians 9 v10–13, Paul commends the generosity of those who ‘supply the needs of the Lord’s people’, which is an expression of their ‘thanks to God’. I am grateful to God for the opportunities afforded to me through the generous giving of FIEC supporters to the Training Fund. We would love to collaborate with others as we serve in Kew, so if you’re a Christian thinking of moving to south-west London it would be great to hear from you. More importantly, as you are able, please do continue to give thanks to God by giving to the FIEC Training Fund so that such gospel partnerships continue to flourish. For more info: Visit Email:



FIEC Together Spring 2014

WORKERS: CASE STUDIES BINSCOMBE CHURCH Binscombe Church is in the middle of an estate on the outskirts of Godalming, near Guildford. We are one of a number of churches that have been blessed by the gospel partnership of FIEC through their generous Training Fund. Over the past few years we have seen steady growth in our children’s work and in September 2012 we appointed Chris Nash as our children’s-worker-in-training (he attends a Cornhill course two days a week). One of our challenges was that we needed a 50 per cent increase in regular income to fund a second member of staff. So when FIEC offered to fund Chris’ course fees and travel expenses for two years, it was a big encouragement to us as a church. In God’s goodness many in the church, seeing the massive potential of this post, increased their giving and within a few months we were able to meet our costs.

EMPLOYING CHRIS AS A CHILDREN’S WORKER HAS ENABLED US TO RUN FOUR WEEKLY CLUBS The quality and breadth of teaching, the mentoring and networking with others training for ministry at Cornhill has been invaluable for Chris. It has impacted his ministry in many positive ways. Employing Chris as a children’s worker has enabled us to run four weekly clubs reaching families with children from pre-school age to year 9. We now have regular assemblies in two local


primary schools and a Christian union in our local secondary school. Chris is involved in training our children’s leaders, connecting with local families, and heading up holiday Bible clubs and children’s camps. We thank God for the increased numbers of children and families that we have shared the gospel with through employing Chris. As Chris finishes at Cornhill this summer he will have extra time in his schedule, so we are looking to take up some of the many opportunities we have to spread the good news of Jesus, and disciple children and families more effectively in the years ahead. Peter Hitchcock Elder, Binscombe Church For more info: Visit

FIEC Together Spring 2014


TRAINING FOR SERVICE Twenty years ago, in the absence of any substantial part-time training courses, a group of FIEC ministers devised a two-year course called Prepared for Service. Now FIEC is launching a revised programme to equip and resource local churches. When Prepared for Service (PfS) first started, its aim was to offer theological and practical ministry training to help people better serve in their local church. It was both innovative and foresighted, and it inspired a whole raft of local training courses which are now commonplace through gospel partnerships and other church-based training schemes. Over the years,


FIEC Together Spring 2014

hundreds of men and women, mainly from FIEC churches, have benefitted hugely from the three-day a month course, run with the generosity of Carey Baptist Church, Reading and superbly administered in recent years by David and Laraine Cook, to whom we owe much thanks. An 18-month review process has resulted in an exciting new course called

PfSPlus, which will replace the original programme. From this September PfSPlus will be owned and run by Bethel Church, Coventry. Darren Bovis-Coulter, one of the church leaders at Bethel, tells us more: ‘To the many students and church leaders who have been through PfS, this new two-year course comprising of eight modules a year will appear to look the same. PfS was unique, and in one sense we are simply adding small changes to already rich features. So the sabbatical structure of three days a month that allows for student interaction will be retained along with high quality

teaching on Bible handling, doctrine, church history, systematics and practical applications. PfSPlus will also have host families, away days, evening entertainments and graduations – these have always given the course a strong fellowship and shared learning experience. ‘So what is new? Firstly, there’s a new location – PfSPlus is moving to Coventry, which is within two and a half hours from most places in England and Wales via road and rail networks. It will be run by the Worship Leadership Academy (WLA) which was set up in 2012 by Bethel Church (a recently affiliated FIEC member) with the aim of “equipping people for works of service” (Ephesians 4 v12), the exact motto PfS was originally founded on.

WE BELIEVE GOD HAS MADE REMARKABLE PROVISION FOR THIS COURSE TO CONTINUE AND WE WOULD LOVE YOUR CHURCH TO MAKE USE OF IT ‘The WLA currently runs a BA (Hons) in Theology and Mission, as well as being a Porterbrook Training Centre. Running these other courses has given Bethel a practical insight in how to develop the gifts, skills and qualities of students to help them reach their full potential.


This includes the development of a student support system using e-journals as well as practical placements within their home church and community, thus helping students to engage with the mission God has called them to. ‘Finally, PfSPlus will also draw on the latest technologies, with a new online platform that will allow for e-submissions and interactive tools to speak to lecturers and generate a studentled support network. There will also be an alumni forum so past and present students can interact on a number of levels. The course will be accredited to level 4 which will generally give people access into the second year of a degree, or will be recognised as access to an MA. ‘PfSPlus is here to serve our family of churches and beyond. We believe God has made remarkable provision for this course to continue and we would love your church to make use of it. With this in mind FIEC and WLA are jointly making available two bursary places for September 2014, which will cover full course fees for the two years. To register an interest and find out more please visit our website’


FIEC Together Spring 2014


ACCORDING TO THE INTERN FIEC has created a new Practical Services Team internship. Fred, the team’s first intern, talks about what this new role involves: The Practical Services team is made up of three solicitors and a trust administrator. Their job is to provide a full range of legal services and advice for our churches. The new intern role allows people with legal training to get a year’s practical work experience working alongside the team. As the Practical Services intern, I have the privilege of seeing and being part of the whole breadth of work FIEC Practical Services do. Each day is different. Because we are a dedicated nonprofit, in-house team we can provide legal advice at a much cheaper price than other law firms. And, because we work just for churches and not for individuals, we can focus our time and energy on them and their particular needs.

Research Churches can come to the Practical Services team with any practical or legal enquiry. It’s my role to research the issues and to provide a detailed breakdown of the law in the relevant area. Then the solicitors in the office are able to provide advice and a correct response to the church. Issues have included varied topics such as the immigration status of overseas workers serving with churches, to locating the will of a gentleman who left some property to a church. No two enquiries are the same but we sometimes see patterns of related questions. Some of these issues get written up into articles which can be found on the FIEC website.

Ongoing church cases The vast majority of the work done by Practical Services is in the areas of charity law, trusts, property and employment law. We provide model documents for churches such as constitutions and rules which have been drafted by solicitors with the particular needs of Independent evangelical churches in mind. I support the solicitors in the office as we help churches buy and sell church properties and manses, organise employment contracts, and comply with charity law. I recently helped a church register with the Charity Commission and it was a real joy to walk them through the process from beginning to end.

Long-term projects Part of my work has been to go through the information that Practical Services holds for churches in its trust



FIEC Together Spring 2014

holding, such as deeds and documents. This can be a challenge as some of the deeds stretch back to 1689. However, the reason for doing this is to ensure that churches have proper governing documents in place so that they are both complying with and fully protected by the law.

Wider concerns of Independent churches In Practical Services we don’t just aim to be reactive to the issues raised by churches but also pro-active in anticipating how changes in the law will affect churches in the future and equipping them in advance. I recently had the privilege of attending a master class on the Equality Act. It was great to have up-todate information on how equal opportunities law and human rights have affected and will affect churches in the future. I was also able to ask specific questions of experts in religious discrimination and human rights laws. This training will help us serve our

family of churches as issues in this area continue to arise.

Work with FIEC The Practical Services team works closely with the wider FIEC team. We regularly pray together for the practical and pastoral needs of our family of churches. We hope that this translates into practical advice that is also sensitive to the particular needs of Independent evangelical churches. I enjoyed attending the Leaders’ Conference and seeing the bigger picture of the involvement of FIEC churches in the goal of reaching the UK with the gospel. I feel very much that our role in Practical Services is to do the background practical and legal work so that churches can be free in their time and money to reach the lost with the message of Jesus. For more info: If your church needs any help with practical or legal issues please contact the FIEC office on 01858 434540.

FIEC Together Spring 2014



London Theological Seminary

Annual Thanksgiving Service Saturday 28th June Speaker: Geoff Thomas all welcome New Church Planting course starts in September Check the website for more information 28

FIEC Together Spring 2014


3rd-6th Nov 2014 - Find out more and book online at

FIEC Together Spring 2014



We would like to say a big thank you to Jonathan Carswell and 10ofThose for providing these book reviews.

Equipped to Serve

Planting the Gospel

By Richard Bewes

By Graham Beynon

In this book love for Jesus and love for the church is on every page. The book is split into five sections, each covering an area of the Christian life in which we can serve. Bewes provides short, readable chapters that are full of enriched teaching, advice and practical wisdom that will be a blessing to those of all ages and stages in Christian service. Equipped to Serve is ideal to read in house groups or together as a whole church, and I would go so far as to say it should be essential reading for apprentices. The core message is that every person is equipped to serve in some way. That may be praying at a public prayer meeting, reading the Scriptures in a Sunday service or in day-to-day life of witness, example and sacrifice. It’s a delightful, helpful and practical book. The content clearly shows that the author loves his Master, and we as readers cannot help but be inspired to love and serve the church ourselves, for the glory of God, out of love for Him.

Graham Beynon combines his experience of planting churches in Leicester and Cambridge with writing that is clear, accessible and intelligent. The first half of the book covers all the major issues planters are likely to face, looking at the theory of church planting, examining biblical principles and the decisions that need to be taken to get up and running. The second half of the book is a series of case studies that are richly varied, drawn from Anglicanism and Free Churches in urban and rural settings. His descriptions of different models give church leaders plenty of options to choose from. Chapter three, Deciding on a Model, is particularly helpful. Here Beynon shows that our beliefs about church, our aim and purpose, and our context all play an important part in the process of deciding what kind of church to plant, and helps us weigh up the relative importance of all three. If you want a brief, readable, biblical and practical introduction to church planting this is the book for you.

Reviewed by Jonathan Carswell 10ofThose

Reviewed by Andrew Evans Minister, Christ Church Liverpool


FIEC Together Spring 2014

The Hole in Our Holiness

Believable, DVD

By Kevin DeYoung

By Rico Tice

Kevin DeYoung writes out of a conviction that holiness is overlooked and actually ignored in the evangelical church. In this book he charts the landscape of our disobedience when it comes to holiness, and looks briefly at the cultural pressures which have caused us to downplay Scripture’s clear commands in this area. We learn that holiness is firstly an inward life – the life of a conscience informed by God’s word and sensitive to his Holy Spirit. This life is to be expressed in choices, actions and words. DeYoung outlines 40 motivations to keeping God’s word as our holiness that would give any reader several hours of soul-enriching reflection. He also addresses the issues of how we live with the commands to holiness in the midst of our failings, before giving us a huge dose of biblical wisdom on how we are called to clear understanding and costly effort if we are to grow as the Spirit would help us to. Buy this book, read and reread it, pray it, and live it. Without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12 v14). Without books on holiness, which promote and explore what the Bible teaches in this area, few of us will ever be holy.

I’m frequently asked for resources that can be given to those who aren’t ‘book people’. As a bookseller this always makes me chuckle. But it’s also a serious need. Many people never read more than a text message or a headline. So how can we reach those who won’t turn to a book or even a booklet? Thankfully, the nationwide mission initiative, A Passion for Life, have produced an excellent gospel DVD that is ideal for such a situation. In essence, it’s an 18 minute evangelistic talk from Rico Tice looking at the evidence for Jesus, His death and resurrection in John’s gospel. It’s classic Tice – passionate, clear, compelling, soaked in Scripture, and leaving the viewer with a choice to make. It’s shot in various locations making it easy to watch, and is long enough to give people something to get their teeth into, while short enough that it’s not a drain to watch. It’s a great resource to use with your church – for training and equipping them in what the gospel is and how to share it – and to use with non-Christians as a ‘DVD tract’.

Reviewed by Lewis Allen Hope Church, Huddersfield

Reviewed by Jonathan Carswell 10ofThose

FIEC Together Spring 2014


NEW AFFILIATIONS Since the last edition of Together nine churches have joined FIEC: Bethel Evangelical Church, Coventry Burnham Christian Fellowship, Somerset Earlesfield Community Church, Grantham Grace Church, Hilton, Derby Helier Chapel, Birmingham Oikos Church, Birmingham Trinity Church, Sunderland Trinity Community Church, Hinckley Zion English Baptist Church, Wrexham @theFIEC 01858 434540 Registered Charity No. 263354 Charity registered in Scotland SC040111






Together (Spring 2014)  
Together (Spring 2014)  

The Spring 2014 issue of our biannual magazine, featuring stories from across our Fellowship.