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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 55

sparking passion for the Gospel across the UK

Š Simon Hadley

Paws for thought

up for 4 Surfs new evangelist

the 5 Living Passion

6 Christmas outreach events

Living the passion! After our successful joint conference reflecting on our passion for God, for the church and for mission, it may be appropriate to ask again how the Bible shapes our thinking on igniting and maintaining a burning passion. When writing to young Timothy, Paul advises or commands him to “Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6). So, we have some personal responsibility for maintaining, or even cultivating, a growing passion through whatever gifts have been entrusted to us. Please pray for our evangelists to remain on fire for God and His purposes. Pray that we may be used by God to encourage the discouraged; to give heart to the disheartened and hope to the hopeless. In Thessalonians 5, Paul also warns “do not put out the Spirit’s fire” and it seems from the context that our attitude towards others and the work of God through them, could extinguish the fire of the Spirit. Please pray that we may be open to what God is doing and not dismissive of what we don’t fully understand. Pray that we may neither be led astray nor insensitive to a deepening work of God in us and through us. Finally, here is hope for all of us: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Matthew 12:20) In His mercy and patience, I pray that the Lord Jesus himself may revive, restore and renew our passion. As Matthew wrote, “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” May the light and life of Christ shine brightly through our lives and lips during the Christmas season. Immanuel - God is with us! Yours

John Wilkes, Evangelist - CEO

Counties exists to present ‘Life in all its fullness: locally & nationally’ through our full time evangelists, exhibitions and resources, in Biblically faithful and culturally relevant ways. Address: Counties 30 Haynes Road, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 3HD Telephone: 01373 823 013 Email: Thank you for your valued partnership. Counties (formerly Counties Evangelistic Work) is a Registered Charity No. 264278 and a Company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales No. 1041761 Editor: Helen Rimmer Design:

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6: Puppets help evangelist Paul Willmott spread the Christmas message.


4 New evangelist Matt Rich joins the team 5 Hundreds enjoy Living the Passion conference


6 Christmas outreach events 8 Paws for thought


10: Celebrating 37 years of Christian camps.

10 Pray for GSUS Live and Life 11 RE:Quest moves to YFC

Please introduce Counties to your friends by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Facebook ‘Counties Evangelism Network’ Twitter ‘@countiesuk’

11: Popular RE resource makes switch. Ignite | 3


Bringing hope online available any time of day or night, providing spiritual coaching to move the chatter closer to Jesus and encourage people to meet up with Christians faceto-face.”

Matt Rich is looking forward to working with Counties.

The brains behind a new online Christian chat room has joined Counties as an evangelist. Matt Rich, from Ulverston in Cumbria, set up the website in April to provide a one-to-one chat facility to help people in need and those wanting to know more about the Christian faith. Matt said: “I am really looking forward to being part of the Counties family, meeting with other like-minded people who are using various means to tell people about Jesus.”

The idea to launch Groundwire came after Matt – a former Christian schools worker - started using email for pupils to ask questions. This then gave him the idea to use the internet to engage with people about the Christian faith. Matt added: “The anonymous nature of chat online frees people to be more honest than they are in the real world.” One teenager who visited Groundwire looking for help was sent a Bible and introduced to a local church. She said: “I am so thankful for the Bible. When it came in the post I literally screamed, I can’t wait to read it!”

In the last 3 months, the Groundwire website has received 3300 visitors and engaged in 650 chats with people wanting to find out more about the Christian faith. Matt explained: “The website is an online typed chat facility with a Christian,

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Matt and wife Nicola with daughter Mili.


© Angie Isaac

Hundreds enjoy Passion weekend

Living the Passion delegates enjoy the conference.

A weekend of thought-provoking Bible teaching, worship, discussion and fellowship was enjoyed by hundreds at the Living the Passion conference.

encourage a shared passion for evangelism and growth. Speakers included Jonathan Lamb, director of Langham Preaching and chair of the Keswick Convention; Derek Burnside, of Belmont Chapel in Exeter and Stephen McQuiod, general director of Gospel Literature Outreach (GLO).

John Wilkes, CEO at Counties, said: “It was great to get together and share a weekend with the Counties family, as well as cultivating a sense of vision amongst people.

Nearly 400 people with links to Counties, GLO, Church Growth Trust, Partnership and the Church Planting Initiative gathered at the Hayes conference centre in Derbyshire.

“We believe the Lord brought a real sense of unity and a desire for greater interdependence between local churches and national movements, under God’s hand. We pray everyone left feeling equipped and motivated to serve God with new zeal and passion.”

The weekend, which included seminars, breakout groups, worship, prayer sessions and exhibitions, was organised to

Handouts and videos of the main speakers and sessions are available at

Outreach goes with a bang! Thousands of people braved the cold weather in South Wales to watch a community fireworks display led by Counties evangelist Mike Thomas. More than 3000 people went to the Big Bang event in Llanrumney, where the local church organised inflatables, refreshments, bonfire and fireworks for the local community.

Mike Thomas

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Puppets help evangelist Paul Willmott spread the Christmas message.

Sharing the best gift at Christmas Christmas outreach events are in full swing with many evangelists sharing the Gospel with their communities this season. Puppets, catchy songs and drama will be used to tell the Christmas story to hundreds of school children in Norfolk this month. Evangelist Kevin Baldwin is in the drama team ‘GenR8’ visiting 47 primary 6 | Ignite

schools with a presentation called ‘No Room.’ Written by another Counties evangelist John Hardwick, No Room helps children discover the real meaning of Christmas. Said Kevin: “We will be thinking about how busy Christmas time is with a character called Mrs Rush and how difficult it can be to find room for Jesus. We will tell the Christmas story from the perspective of the wise men.”


Carol singers bring festive cheer in Fareham.

In Warwick and Leamington, evangelist Ivor Cooper along with three churches have got together to launch the Christmas Presence project to reach out to their community during the festive season. A special website ( with a gospel presentation and a diary of activities and events has been launched, along with teaser posters, postcards and adverts spread throughout the local area. Activities planned include festive arts and crafts events and performances from Christian illusionist Todd Alexander. A Christmas Presence choir will also take to the streets and perform carols and there will be a series of assemblies to local schools around the same theme. Ivor Cooper said: “We hope this project will be used by all the churches involved to help them do more with their Christmas outreach and be more creative. “For most people Christmas can be a busy time and the important aspect of Christmas gets lost. We hope this initiative will help people discover why Jesus is at the very heart of it all.”

A new leaflet and poster promoting Christmas events.

Other Christmas outreach events • Christmas Wrapped Up - at Dunvant Christian Fellowship, Swansea, led by evangelist Phil Davies, December 3rd-7th. Years 2&3 from local schools will visit the church for stories of Christmas. • Eastbourne International Café Christmas party - games, carolsinging, talk and gifts on Friday 7th December led by evangelist Ray Dadswell. • Carol singing on the high street – at Locks Heath Shopping Centre, Fareham, on Saturday 8th December. Evangelist Gordon Curley will be helping to serve mince pies and mulled wine to shoppers as well as singing muchloved carols. Ignite | 7

Features Bob Telford and dog Tango enjoy thier demo.

Š Simon Hadley

Who let the dogs out? 8 | Ignite


Warwickshire evangelist Bob Telford uses his fourlegged friends to help share his faith at church outreach and social events across the country.

© Simon Hadley

An evangelist and his dog are giving people paws for thought as part of an unusual outreach.

Bob and his Springer Spaniel Tango, plus various others of his four working gundogs, perform Springer Spaniel Tango helps out Bob with outreach. a dog handling demo involving handling, retrieving, jumping and “Using dogs is an attractive responding to whistles and hand signals, as and attention grabbing way well as to ‘their master’s voice.’ Bob then links this to his faith and talks about how to illustrate the importance God can speak to us. Bob explained: “The presentations are always good humoured and entertaining – plenty of jokes and action! Beginning by explaining that I am not a full time trainer opens the way for me to say a few words about my ‘day job’ and the Good News that I travel around sharing even whilst doing the demonstration. “After I have demonstrated how I communicate with my dogs, I talk over a meal or light supper about how God speaks to us and what He has to say to us. “Using dogs is an attractive and attention grabbing way to illustrate the importance

of hearing and responding to what God has to say.”

of hearing and responding to what God has to say. The whole presentation is fairly low key and has often been very useful in drawing people into the process of thinking about spiritual issues.” Angela Madigan, organiser of the council-run Thursday Luncheon Club in Birmingham, praised the demonstration led by Bob. Angela said: “It was great fun to listen to Bob and watch Tango perform her tricks. It was very entertaining and all the people watching thoroughly enjoyed the demo.”

© Simon Hadley

Bob, who lives in Warwick with his wife Rita, has been in Christian ministry for more than 40 years. He owns and works four gun dogs – Tango, Holly, Bracken and Purdey, a Chesapeake Bay retriever puppy.

People at the Thursday Luncheon Club in Birmingham enjoy Tango’s tricks.

To book Bob to perform at a social/ outreach event at your church, contact Bob on 01926 493579 or email him telford@ Ignite | 9


Helping Christian explorers! Popular Christian speaker Rico Tice, co-author of Rico Tice. Christianity Explored, will be leading the next Counties Day Conference. To be held on Saturday 2nd March, at Myton School, Warwick, (11am-4.30pm), the event will include seminars, exhibitions, worship and bookshop.

GSUS Live and LIFE - please pray Please pray for the GSUS Live units in the Newcastle and South Wales areas: • Kenton School, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest, 30th November – 14th December • Venerable Bede School, Sunderland, 14th – 21st December • Queen Elizabeth High School, Carmarthen 7th – 14th December Also please pray for the Life exhibition: • for the children and adults who visit the expo that they respond to what they see and hear • for a lasting impact on lives • for ongoing contact and fruitful relationships with schools 10 | Ignite

Equipping God’s people for whole-life discipleship A training event for evangelists and church leaders, led by Anthony Billington, from the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, will be held in Maidenhead on Tuesday 29th January 2013, 11am-3.30pm. Contact the Counties office for more details.

Celebrating 37 years of camps A special celebration was held for senior evangelists Stephen and Jean Gillham to thank them for 37 years of leading Christian camps in Dorset. Stephen and Jean Gillham. More than 150 people gathered at Pinehurst Community Church, West Moors, to hear how 10,000 children had attended camp and 500 had come to faith since the first camp organised by the Gillhams and others in 1975.

A photobook, CDs and DVD were presented to Stephen and Jean with a collection of pictures, songs and memories from previous camps. Stephen said: “It was a very moving occasion for us. We were so grateful to everyone who came. We have always felt that camp stood for fun, food, fellowship and focus on the word of God and that afternoon was exactly the same.” Evangelists Ian and Sally Carr have now taken over responsibility for the management, ministry and admin of the camp.


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The RE:Quest website is now getting a revamp.

RE:Quest moves to Youth for Christ A popular resource for RE teachers created by Counties evangelists Mike and Su Strange has been handed over to Christian charity Youth for Christ (YFC). YFC will now manage the resource RE:Quest and promote it through their extensive network of schools workers across the country. RE:Quest features a website, DVD and CD ROM packs to help schools teach about Christianity in RE lessons. The transition should enable RE:Quest to achieve its aim of reaching every school child with the Gospel, as well as ensuring the long term future of the work. Mike said: “It is wonderful working with the support of such a great team. Everyone is amazed about what has been achieved so far, and so enthusiastic for what God is going to do next.”

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Your local evangelists 1. Charles & Elizabeth Addoco Heather Smith 2. Will & Lynne Andrews 3. Tim & Joy Ayrton Tony & Ruth Hood 4. Kevin & Anita Baldwin 5. Jonathan & Heather Brain 6. David & Lindsey Brown Andy & Isobel Hodson (CPI) Paul & Vanessa Willmott 7. Tim & Katrina Cracknell 8. Colin & Linda Johnson 9. Mike & Su Strange (National) Matt & Claire Merriam (CPI) 10. Tim & Charissa Cooke (National) 11. Ivor & Angela Cooper Bob & Rita Telford (National) 12. Clive & Fiona Cornish Mike & Janet Thomas 13. Gordon & Penny Curley 14. Ray & Carol Dadswell 15. Phil & Sheila Davies 16. Martin & Rachel Erwin 17. Stephen & Jean Gillham Ian & Sally Carr 18. John & Rachel Hardwick (National) 19. James & Naomi Richards (ETP) 20. David & Katie Symons 21. Robert & Sarah Watson 22. Matt & Nicola Rich ETP - Evangelists Training Programme CPI - Church Planting Initiative

Pray for our ‘vacant’ counties



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To contact your local evangelist please call 01373 823013 or visit

Seniors Tom & Madelene Bathgate Geoff & Isobel Carr Roger & Hazel Chilvers Lionel & Mavis Clargo Victor Jack


Andy & Miriam Jelfs John & Hettie Hall David & Wendy Iliffe John & Jane Martin Dennis Pierce Dick & Betty Saunders

Ignite from Counties  

December 2012- January 2013 edition All the latest news from Christian charity Counties.

Ignite from Counties  

December 2012- January 2013 edition All the latest news from Christian charity Counties.