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NEW LIFE

OCTOBER 2011 • Issue 212

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I heard from God in Keith Richards’ living room

GOOD NEWS STORIES

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NE W LIFE exclusive inte rview

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Danniella: My dream to help set up new church

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LIFE OF HURT AND ANGER TAKEN AWAY

PRAYING... Kalpana Thomas

Group plans prayer over Halloween CHR ISTI A NS are hosting a day of prayer in the run-up to Halloween. ‘H a l lowe d’, w h ic h a l s o i ncludes fu n activ ities for children, takes place at City Temple in London on October 29, two days before the nation’s spooky festivities, which have evil undertones. Founder Kalpana Thomas, who started running the annual event in 2009, said: “Hallowed takes Halloween back to its Christian roots as All Saints Day.

spritual “The children’s events are intended to be fun, with a deep spiritual element of introducing the kids to a God who loves them like a father – a father who w i ll never leave thei r side, who lavishes them with affection, understanding and salvation. “Hallowed is a big all-day praye r meet i ng, w it h lots of praise and worship, and because it’s for the whole family, it’s a fun event and we have lots of games for the children.” Visit www.hallowed.org.uk for more information.

I found faith and hope behind bars NO HURT... John Dawson

A MAN who murdered his mother after she sexually abused him as a child says Jesus has taken away years of bitterness, hurt and anger. John Dawson found God in prison after he was given a life sentence for strangling his mum, following a heated argument 25 years ago.

weight

REACHING OUT... John, second left, with the team in Romania

John, 49, said he felt like a “big weight had been lifted off his shoulders” when he repented to God and became a Christian behind bars. The lorry driver, who lives in Brough, Cumbria, now visits prisons in Roma-

by Becky Barlow

nia telling others of his salvation experience. He said: “I’d been in prison for fourand-a-half years when I gave my life to Jesus. The change was phenomenal. Life suddenly had a purpose and I realised that I’d rather be in prison with Jesus than outside without him. Jesus changed me completely.” Having been sexually abused by his mother from the age of eight, John finally snapped in a bitter bust-up in the family home, which ended in him ● Continued on Page 3


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Archbishop’s call on beliefs

THE Archbishop of York has urged Brits to believe in Christ. Dr John Sentamu said Christianity is the religion of ‘a living God’. “We have someone that we can rely upon who is there in our everyday lives and is beside us in all we do. “A l s o , w h ate v e r we do wrong, we can a lways ask for forgiveness and be forgiven. I find that a great encouragement. John Sentamu Christianity is not an escapist religion. Jesus didn’t dodge the sharp edge of being human – he shows us how to live on earth as well as offering the hope of heaven. “It involves facing up to the reality both of human depravity and of human dignity. In Christ there is the potential and the reality of a new creation – a whole new world.” The Ugandan-born preacher was speaking to Christian magazine Direction.

Dropping out

STEPPING down from his position at the church meant exactly that for a retiring Taunton vicar! Even after 40 years as a minister, the Rev Nick Taylor was still showing worshippers the ropes when he abseiled down the church tower in a farewell stunt organised by Wilton Scout Group. The venture was just one in a series of activities.

Taking steps!

THE bishop of Gloucester trekked 100 miles across his region, visiting 38 churches en route. The Rt Rev Michael Perham took a week to complete the walk, along with 16 others, including visitors from California and Sweden.

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TAKING OFF... John Baptiste, left, a minister with the Assemblies of God Church has made history with his role as a chaplain the the RAF

Chaplain’s career takes off as he makes history A MINISTER has made history by becoming the RAF’s first Pentecostal commissioned chaplain. Assemblies of God pastor John Baptiste left his role as senior leader of Bexley Christian Life Centre in Bexleyheath to take on

the position. Having spent 15 years in the RAF from 1980 to 1995 – four years as a radar and communications technician and 11 years as an air traffic controller – John, 48, believed that the Lord was calling him to return as a chaplain.

He said: “Being back in the RAF in this role is totally different. There is an amazing openness towards spiritual things and towards chaplaincy because in the past 15 years, the branch has gone on operations to minister to troops on the

front-line from Iraq, Afghanistan and more latterly, Libya. “I think it’s true that when people are in difficult and dangerous situations they think more about eternity and often need emotional and spiritual support.”

FRIENDS PRAYED DURING RESCUE DRAMA

BOY LIVES AGAIN IN DROWNING MIRACLE

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Devout C h r i st ia n Da le Ostrander was surfing with friends from his church youth group when he got trapped in a rip tide in the Pacific and was dragged under the surface. Rescuers took up to 20 minutes to reach the scene, find him and get him back to the shore. During the dramatic rescue his weeping friends kneeled on the sand and prayed.

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A BOY of 12 who was “dead” for 20 minutes stunned doctors when he came back to life after pals prayed for him.

When Dale was brought out of the water he showed no signs of life. Da m ia n Mu l i n i x, a loca l photographer who was at the scene, said: “Literally, he was dead for 20 minutes – probably half an hour.” He added that other young people from the church were praying during the rescue. “They were cr y i ng, facedown on the ground, praying – it was a hea rt-w rench i ng scene,” Mr Mulinix said. The you ngste r was a i rl i fted to

DRAMA... the moment when Dale Ostrander, right, was rescued hospital and put into a druginduced coma. His parents, Chad and Kristen Ostrander, were warned if Dale survived he could suffer permanent brain damage. But within three days, he amazed doctors when he started to breathe unaided and was able to respond in sentences when asked questions. Dale’s dad Chad told a press conference: “They never expected him to live. They expected him to be a vegetable, never walk, never talk, never say a word.” Photographer Mr Mulinix added on hearing of Dale’s survival: “This is easily the most incredible story I've ever been a part of. This is downright m i raculous.” The volunteer

rescuers who saved Dale in America’s Long Beach in Washington State, could not believe he had survived. Doug Knutzen, who carried him from the Pacific, said: “I knew that the boy was gone, absolutely gone.” Doctors treati ng Da le i n Portland, Oregon, have warned mum Kristen and dad Chad that he could have permanent brain damage because he was starved of oxygen for so long. But the devout Ch ristian couple are just glad he’s alive. Kirsten said: “We trust God no matter what. If he chooses to take Dale to heaven, he’s still good. “And if God chooses to bless us and give us back our son, he’s still good.”

Religious studies students on the increase RELIGIOUS studies continues to grow in popularity in Britain, Alevel results have revealed. This year, 18,463 students sat the A-level Religious Studies exam – an increase of 4.3 per

cent since last year and 31.2 per cent since 2005. Meanwhile, 80.4 per cent gained a grade A*C, up 2.2 per cent from last year. Despite the subject’s popularity and high pass rates, Religious

Studies at GCSE and A-level is still under threat due to the subject’s exclusion from the English Baccalaureate. A campaign RE:ACT has been set up to fight to maintain RE.


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Issue 212 • NEW LIFE 3 NEW LIFE

MINISTER’S PITCH WAS PUT ON HOLD How I found a real hope behind bars

dragon WANTED me to pray for him in den! PRAYER PLEASE... Duncan Bannatyne, asked the Rev John Berriman, left, for prayer during the recording of the TV show Dragon’s Den

by Mark Wreford

A CHURCH minister has revealed that he prayed for leading business guru Duncan Bannatyne before pitching his idea in TV’s Dragons’ Den. Rev John Berriman only appeared on the screen for two minutes, but the entrepreneur was in the Den for over an hour. But business wasn’t the only item on the agenda. “I act ua l ly prayed for Duncan Bannatyne because he asked me to,” the Rev said. “I came up the steps into the den a nd Peter Jones asked me, ‘Are you a real Reverend?’ As he asked me that, Duncan said, ‘I’m not feeling very well, will you pray for me?’ “I pretended not to hear him, because that wasn’t what I was expecting to be asked! But Peter carried on, saying, ‘Oh, he hasn’t been feeling very well all day,’ so I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll pray for you. Can I do the same as I would in church?’ “So I walked over and put my hands on him and prayed, ‘Heavenly Father, I pray that you w ill heal Duncan and make him well and able to do the good work that he’s doing, in Jesus’ name, Amen.’ “I walked back to my spot and Peter asked Duncan how he was feeling. Duncan said, ‘I feel fantastic!’” Unfortunately for John, h is busi ness idea d id n’t match h is prayer power, a nd h is idea of creati ng chilli-flavoured drinks was rejected by the dragons.

forgive A few weeks later, while lying alone in his prison cell, John said a prayer that changed him forever. “I began talking out loud, ‘Jesus, if you are real, will you please come into my life as they say you will, because I can’t go on like this – it’s tearing me apart.’ “I began to list all the things I had done wrong, starting with my mother, and asking Jesus to forgive me. After that I had one of the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had.” That was i n 1990, a nd seven years later John was released and soon married a Christian woman, Jenny, who had been visiting him since 1993. John made his first trip to Romania in 2006, and has since visited four times, taking out toys, clothes and household goods for the poor, as well as speaking in prisons. For John, though, business is not top priority. Having taken on his father’s dairy farm alongside his own agricultural contracting business and radio DJ-ing work, John found his marriage in desperate trouble until he found God. He said: “My wife, Sally, and I became aware that we had come to a crisis in our marriage and if we didn’t do something drastic we were going to fall apart. We went to see the local vicar that married us, and I remember him asking me, ‘Do you ever read your Bible?’ I said, ‘No, but I look at a hymn book occasionally!’” The vicar led the couple through some prayers and John remembers being broken-hearted at the state of

his marriage and crying his heart out in the minister’s study. The transformation had begun. “ T he ne x t mor n i n g I came downstairs and went out on the fa rm. One of the workmen was working on a piece of mach i ner y and he hit his hand with a ha m mer a nd shouted, “Jesus Christ”. I thought someone had stabbed me. I had never been hurt before when someone blasphemed. I knew I was different.” The couple joined the church and began to put thei r l i fe back together. John, who runs a number of businesses, set up The Vine church in St Ives and he and Sally have since pioneered a new church in Launceston, Cornwall.

Bieber’s big announcement

Justin Bieber

● Continued from Page 1 killing her. He had never been in trouble with the police before, but in 1985 found himself a Category A prisoner facing life inside. He said: “After about two years of being inside I got really depressed, constantly thinking about my crime – and I thought about suicide. “I went to see a psychotherapist and he asked me if I believed in Jesus. This was like a red rag to a bull – what had God done for me in my life, apart from letting me be abused.” The following year in 1989, John was transferred to an open prison where he was invited to go and hear a gospel group. But rather listen he decided to get up and leave. “As I tried to get up, I felt as though someth ing was pressing down on my shoulders. I couldn’t stand! “The only thing I could do was listen and what I heard offended me – it was the gospel of Jesus Christ.

FORGET Bieber fever – this is Jesus fever! Justin Bieber shocked the audience at the Teen Choice Awards by announcing that Jesus loved them. He said: “I want to say that anything is possible. You have got to keep God and family first. Jesus loves every one of you!” It’s a message the Biebs has offered before, telling Enter-

tainment Tonight earlier this year: “If you put God first and remember to always stay humble and gracious then anything can happen.” Despite his superstardom, good looks and huge personal wealth, the young pop star has never been shy about his Christian faith. Earlier this year, he toured religious sites in the Holy Land and got a Jesus tattoo.

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SPREADING THE WORD AROUND THE UK Flying high Cafe marks to give help anniversary

SLICE OF LIFE... Rosemary Conley opens the BibleFresh café.

Picture courtesy of Loughborough Echo

FITNESS guru Rosemary Conley opened up the temporary café to celebrate 400 years since the publication of the King James Bible. The T V and healthy living star opened a BibleFresh café in Loughborough. The town centre café ran for three weeks. Rosemar y, a commit ted Christian, says God plays a crucial part in her life. “God stuck me together with superglue when I went through a tough, challenging time with my marriage ten years ago,” the 64-year-old said. “I surrounded myself with godly things – Bible tracks and Christian music – and focused on God. As a Christian, the Holy Spirit gives me a strong sense of what is right and wrong.”

FRESH IDEAS HELP TO SHARE BIBLE STORIES by Becky Barlow

BRITISH Christians have been getting inventive when it comes to sharing how the Bible has changed their lives.

BIG HIT... Matt Redman

Brit singer’s big hit in US UK ARTIST Matt Redman has become the first Brit to top the US Christian music charts. Redman’s eighth album – ‘10,000 Reasons’ – headed straight to the top of the US Christian Soundscan and iTunes Christian album charts upon its release. The singer said: “If this album has some momentum then I hope that every bit of that counts towards advancing the kingdom of God and making much of Jesus.”

LEADING City figure and hedge fund manager Michael Farmer is to speak at the 2011 City Prayer Breakfast. He will talk about being a Christian in the City of London on November 16 at St Helen’s in Bishopgate from 7.30am.

NEWSFLASH

Boffins’ joy at tomb find

inventive

CLEAN SWEEP... the winners of a photographic competition for BibleFresh days a year. The words of the Bible are being translated by Christians into millions of acts of kindness and compassion. “Countless people, across the UK and around the world, are receiving the message of God’s love and forgiveness.” There has

also been dozens ofABiblefreshTEAM of Italian Biblearchaeologists in multiple languages. The inspired theatre performances, People’s Bible project has seen meals and training courses, but people handwrite verses using a some of the most successful initia- digital pen. tives have harnessed social media Part of it will be bound and and digital technology. presented at a national service of Some 30,000 Britons have concelebration to be held at Westmintributed to the first hand-written ster Abbey on November 16.

Recent world events are a ‘wake up call’ THE daughter of Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, believes recent world events are proof that Jesus’ return is near. In her book, Expecting to See Jesus: A Wake-Up Call for God’s People, Lotz details the signs of the Second Coming

vaccines In the last month, MAF has carried 100 medical staff and 14,000 pounds of vaccines and medical supplies to support 24 mobile clinics that have been set up to fight measles. They are working in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières.

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As part of the BibleFresh initiative, which is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, scores of creative projects have been launched. A photographic competition saw lots of people come up with fun and clever pictures. The winners were a group of men who were pictured at the Dead Sea covered in mud and holding placards that read: “Now I am washed clean.” There was also an inventive display at Peterborough Cathedral using 3,000 shoeboxes filled with different items to represent the 66 books of the Bible. The movement has so far raised £21,000 towards translating the Old Testament into Bissa Lebir and the New Testament into Bissa Barka, two native languages of the Bissa people in Burkina Faso, the world’s third poorest nation. K r ish Ka nd ia h, d i rector of BibleFresh, said: “The Bible’s 66 books are inspiring thousands of Christians to live for God 365

A CHRISTIAN organisation is giving refuge to people in the Democratic Republic of Congo who have been struck with cholera and measles. M i ssion Av iat ion Fe l lowsh ip (MAF) is providing flight services to assist medical agencies in efforts to combat the deadly diseases in the most affected regions.

and the implications it could have on the world. She wants the nations to realise that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 ten years ago were a wake-up call from God. She said: “The signs that Jesus gave and the headlines in

the news are coming together in a dramatically sobering way. I have held the conviction with intense focus since I was in my early 20s that if I live out my natural lifetime, I will live to see the physical return of Jesus to earth!” Lotz remem-

bered how 9/11 personally transformed her own faith and gave her a passion to share her convictions with others. “On that day, God woke me up and set my heart on fire to tell others the glorious good news of the gospel of Jesus.”

A TEAM of Italian archaeologists has announced the discovery of what they believe to be the tomb of Philip, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. It has been found in the ancient Asia Minor city of Hierapolis in Turkey. Excavator Francesco D’Andria said: “We are extremely happy and proud to have discovered the grave of a saint whose name appears in the Bible. This surely is an important discovery for religious tourism, archaeology and Christendom.”

Pedal power

VIEWS... Anne Graham Lotz

A CHRISTIAN worker has cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End to help the Church in Egypt. A nd r ew Joh n ston , advo cac y di rector of Ch ristia n Sol ida rit y Worldwide, raised funds through the sponsored ride to go towards CSW’s No Way Out campaign.


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Issue 212 •

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

5

STAR’S FORMER WIFE ON HOW SHE FOUND FAITH Volunteer

julie understood!

‘I heard God’s voice in Keith Richard’s living room’ by Mark Wreford

A WOMAN who lived with the Rolling Stones and married a rock star has told how finding God saved her life. Julie Anderson tied the knot with Walker Brothers’ legend John Walker, and the couple shared a mansion with the legendary Rolling Stones in the south of France. Julie, who started mixing with the stars when she became secretary for Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, also found herself in LA with celebrities after a humble upbringing in Norwich. She said: “John met Bill Wyman and went to the South of France and all the Rolling Stones were down there. We were living in Bill’s huge rented chateau together. “John and I had one wing on the end, and we got married that summer, right after Mick Jagger married the beautiful Bianca.” It seems an odd place for a sudden change of heart, but Southern France turned out to be the site of Julie’s spiritual awakening. “From that point on I began to have a hunger

HEARING AID... Julie Anderson and, inset, her marriage to John Walker that wouldn’t stop on the inside of me,” she said. “I had many spiritual encounters there – I audibly heard the voice of God in Keith Richards’ living room.” Julie’s husband was working on a solo album, which Bill had offered to produce, and the couple soon moved from France to LA for him to continue his work. But when Julie became pregnant with their son, Jamie, the roller coaster turned downhill. She recalled: “John chose to leave us, and we did the single parent thing. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s super chal-

lenging and I have great compassion for single parents. It’s such a challenge not having a father, especially for a boy.” At this point, Julie’s search for God had become much more earnest. “I was just crying out to God, saying, ‘Who are you? What’s my life about? What’s the purpose and point?’ – all the kind of questions you ask when you are authentically seeking God and hungry for him.” Just 11 weeks after Jamie’s birth, Julie took her newborn son back to England – only to find that her

husband was living with another woman. Just after that, the Walker Brothers had a huge hit with ‘No regrets (I don’t want you back)’. This hurt Julie deeply and she returned to her hometown alone. But when Jamie was three, they headed back to the States – and God was waiting for them. “I lived in LA for about seven years,” said Julie. “And within that time I became born-again and Spiritfilled. I had some friends from England who invited me over for dinner to talk to me. “I didn’t want to hear it, but I went and it was a life-changing tipping point. “God began to prepare me inside. He was teaching me all kinds of spiritual things and then he put it on my heart to return home to England in 1983. “Within a few months I met Rod, who became my new husband. God had put me together with the love of my life, and because of my many encounters with him, I now had an incredible passion to see the whole nation come to Christ.” It was this preparation and passion that led Julie and Rod to launch Christian organisation, Prayer for the Nations. The couple hold Christian events throughout the UK.

u o y Have r u o y t go s a m t s i r h C ? t e y gifts

call to help prisoners MORE Christians need to volunteer to work with prisoners. That’s the view of the Rev Malcolm Carter, who worked as a chaplain in Walton Jail on Merseyside for two decades. As the Big Society debate continues, Rev Carter believes that the Christian message needs to be heard clearly in prisons across the country.

restore He said: “We can strengthen the Christian input by having more volunteers who are willing to go in with Prison Fellowship, which works to restore the lives of prisoners, victims and their families. “We need more Christians in the prison service because, over the years, Christianity has been pushed to the sidelines.”

Entertaining gospel talk

ONE of the UK’s top magicians visited Greenock Town Hall for an evening of gospel entertainment hosted by a local church. John Archer stopped off en-route to Las Vegas where he was due to perform alongside eccentric magician duo Penn & Teller in their live show at the Rio Hotel. Organiser Pastor Fraser Donaldson, of Greenock Elim Church, said: “John Archer is an incredibly gifted communicator as well as a first class entertainer.”

daily devotional as read by over a million people in the UK, on your iPhone with our all new app

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• Issue 212

NEW LIFE

Issue 212 •

EXCLUSIVE: TV STAR REVEALS DREAM TO HELP SET UP CHURCH IN CAPITAL

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WORKING together to bring you the good news

SEPTEMBER 2011 • Issue 211

Comedian swears to clean up his act!

tune in New Life works in partnership with UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) who are now broadcasting nationally on DAB radio. For great Christian music, discussion, chat, regular news bulletins and lots of fun, UCB is great, contemporary radio for the whole family. Listen on DAB radio across the UK or online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk

explore christianity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that ­allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thought­provoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find a church We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BIBLE MATTERS The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, The Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

A Admit that you have done wrong that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you The Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16); ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us’ (1 John 1:9).

C Commit yourself to living God’s way

Jesus said, ‘Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). Log on to www.lookingforgod.com for more help.

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FOR EVERY READER DAILY INSPIRATIONAL BOOK call 0845 6040401 or log on to www.ucb.co.uk

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GOOD NEWS STORIES

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Celebrities reveal book that changed their lives

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DANNIELLA WESTBROOK EXCLUSIVE

THE ENDER MY OLD WAYS...

BROTHE RLY LOVE... Danniella joins EastEnders as Sam Mitchell with on-screen brothers Ross Kemp (Grant) and Steve McFadden (Phil)

LA-based Danniella Westbrook hopes to return to London one day to help star t a church. Matthew Murray spoke to the former EastEnders actress about her new life in Christ and future plans

OLD LIFE... the infamous photo that showed how drug addiction was ravaging TV star Danniella’s life

A miner is welcomed to the surface

Miners’ tale to become film smash

THE story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months is on its way to the silver screen. Hollywood producer Mike Medavoy has signed the rights to the miners’ faith-filled story. The mov ie w i ll recount thei r remarkable 69-day plight after they were trapped in a collapsed San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile. Medavoy, who grew up in the country, has produced films including Shutter Island and Black Swan. The miners have regularly spoken of how their faith in Jesus shone during the ordeal, with Bible studies and prayer meetings being held regularly. Jose Henriquez, the 24th miner to be released, said: “In the beginn i ng there was such chaos a nd desperation. We all reacted in so many different ways. But through praying God changed our hearts and we came together in one purpose. We began to lose our fears and gained hope. God was the 34th miner down there and we trusted in him to save us.”

Star reveals faith helped beat drugs FORMER EastEnders star Danby Matthew Murray niella Westbrook has revealed that God helped her beat drugs two children, Kai and Jody, has and has given her a new life as a no desire for drugs and alcohol, Christian. insisting that Jesus made her The actress, who battled cofeel ‘completely clean’ after she caine addiction for more than ten confessed her sins about a year years, says she has been saved by ago. Jesus Christ and is now a regular Speaking exclusively to New churchgoer who prays, reads her Life, she said: “There wasn’t Bible and tells others about a her human being on the planet who newfound faith. could have helped me – it had Danniella, who lives in LA with to be God. Jesus is my whole husband Kevin Jenkins and their ● Continued on Page 3

CHAT’S THE WAY... Danniella’s star pals Patsy Palmer and Sid Owen

CHANGED... Danniella Westbrook

NOW JAY STANDS FOR JESUS

Faith shared with friends Danniella Westbrook has been sharing her faith with other soap stars. Fellow EastEnders legends Patsy Palmer (Bianca Jackson) and Sid Owen (Ricky Butcher) have been in regular contact with Danniella since her Christian conversion. She said: “Patsy’s a very spiritual person herself and said she was proud of me and that I should keep going. “Sid Owen is coming out here soon and will come to the church with us.

SEE P5

SCOOP ... how we revealed the stor y last month

I

t’s a far cry from the glitzy screens that made her a household name, but Danniella Westbrook reckons she could help start a church in London. The actress, who played Sam Mitchell in EastEnders, is clean from drugs and drink, and has found God in LA. She is now a regular churchgoer who prays daily and reads her Bible. Alongside her pastor Jay Haizlip – another former drug addict who saw the light – Danniella, now 37, believes she will be back in Britain one day, but only if the Man Upstairs gives her the nod. She told New Life: “Pastor Jay has a heart to start a church in every major city in the world, and London is very important to him, and if there’s any way that we could be part of that then it would be an honour, but I don’t know yet. God will direct our paths. “Right now I’m enjoying my walk with God and as doors open I will see where he leads me. I am concentrating on my life, my family and on being a Christian. “I’d also like to go and work as a missionary somewhere and spend some time in Mexico and Africa and help people.”

BATTLE

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

enjoyed

CAPITA L GAIN... Danniella Westbrook would like to help set up a church in her native London

ICE ONE... Danniella as she appeared in TV hit Dancing on Ice

SKATES ON... Danny Young has visited Danniella’s church

“He hasn’t been brought up in a Christian home either and has never been to church except for a funeral or a wedding. “But he has a spiritual side to him also.” Meanwhile, Danny Young, who appeared in Coronation Street and on Dancing on Ice, has also visited Danniella’s church in LA. She added: “Danny came to the church and said it caused him to look at his life. He said he really enjoyed it.”

G N I L L A C N O LOND

Danniella, whose public battle with cocaine wrecked her life for more than ten years, is refusing to rule out a return to acting. “If work turns up in England then of course I’ll look at it and pray about it and see how it fits with my current schedule,” she said. With its headquarters in LA, the Sanctuary Church is vibrant and full of people from all kinds of backgrounds – rich and poor. Pastor Jay, an Alabama-born professional skateborder, turned to hard drugs in the 80s despite a promising sports career. He was converted to Christianity in 1990, and soon returned as a preacher to some of the dens and housing projects where he had taken drugs. He has since visited churches throughout the world sharing his story. Jay, who admits he hadn’t heard of Danniella and husband Kevin Jenkins when they joined his church, could make a powerful team with Danniella as they both have life-changing and says: ‘Thou shalt do this.’ In those kinds of conversion experiences. churches I would switch off and start to think Danniella recalls: “It wasn’t my doing, about what I want from Tesco. but it’s God’s doing that brought me to this he people here are alive; not in church church. I have battled with cocaine addicbecause they had to be but because tion and alcoholism for a long time, which is they wanted to be. They were buzzof course common knowledge to everyone ing about being there. Praise and worship in the UK. I am lucky that I got well. started and I thought it was amazing. “The Sanctuary was different to People were crying out and, being Engchurch that I’d been used to. I am used lish, I was quite prudish. I wanted to to a stony church in a little old village get up and dance but was embarin Essex where everybody stays quiet Danniella’s drugs fight was revealed in this photo

❜ Right now, I’m just enjoying my walk with God ❜ T

rassed and didn’t know God. I just sat there and Kevin and I looked at each other thinking it was unbelievable. “Jay started preaching and it was like he was speaking right at us. Everyone at the church thinks the same way. You’re getting a real word from God.

changed “We got on the plane and on the ten-hour flight home we spent the whole time talking about church. There are churches like this in England, but until I joined Twitter I had no idea. My husband and kids

love coming to church and it’s completely changed our lives.” And Danniella is certainly not keen on keeping her faith to herself, insisting others need to give God a try. “Get hungry for God! Find him! Find yourself a great church that’s on fire for Jesus that will speak the Word of God in your life,” she said. “Get on the Internet and get some messages into your life – there are Christian networks and radio stations. It’s not going to kill you to switch it on and give it a go. Something will speak to you and it will change your life like it did for me.”

US big on mega-churches

TD Jakes

HUGE mega-churches are commonplace in America – with some having more than 20,000 members. One of the biggest is run by the larger than life Bishop TD Jakes, who leads t he massive Pot te r’s House Chu rch i n Da l las, Texas, which boasts an incredible 30,000 members. Jakes has also published several best-selling books, produced a number of movies and is involved in private business ventures.

He said: “Christ came into the world that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly. He came to give something to you, not to take something from you. If you open your heart and mind to that, you can receive it.” The preacher, 54, has met and prayed with several US presidents. In 2005 he accompanied President George Bush on his visit to the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

7


6

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

LOG ON NOW: www.newlife.co.uk

• Issue 212

NEW LIFE

Issue 212 •

EXCLUSIVE: TV STAR REVEALS DREAM TO HELP SET UP CHURCH IN CAPITAL

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SEPTEMBER 2011 • Issue 211

Comedian swears to clean up his act!

tune in New Life works in partnership with UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) who are now broadcasting nationally on DAB radio. For great Christian music, discussion, chat, regular news bulletins and lots of fun, UCB is great, contemporary radio for the whole family. Listen on DAB radio across the UK or online at www.ucbmedia.co.uk

explore christianity We’re also working with Alpha, the course that ­allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thought­provoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening, and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you, see www.alpha.org

Find a church We’re also working with Find a Church, who run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in your area.

the BIBLE MATTERS The Gideons are well known for their work distributing Bibles to schools, hospitals, hotels etc. If you want Jesus to make himself real in your life, and don’t have a Bible, The Gideons will be happy to provide you with a Testament completely free of charge.

A Admit that you have done wrong that Jesus died so that you can B Believe be forgiven, and ask God to forgive you The Bible says, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16); ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us’ (1 John 1:9).

C Commit yourself to living God’s way

Jesus said, ‘Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). Log on to www.lookingforgod.com for more help.

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SEE CENTRE PAGES

DANNIELLA WESTBROOK EXCLUSIVE

THE ENDER MY OLD WAYS...

BROTHE RLY LOVE... Danniella joins EastEnders as Sam Mitchell with on-screen brothers Ross Kemp (Grant) and Steve McFadden (Phil)

LA-based Danniella Westbrook hopes to return to London one day to help star t a church. Matthew Murray spoke to the former EastEnders actress about her new life in Christ and future plans

OLD LIFE... the infamous photo that showed how drug addiction was ravaging TV star Danniella’s life

A miner is welcomed to the surface

Miners’ tale to become film smash

THE story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months is on its way to the silver screen. Hollywood producer Mike Medavoy has signed the rights to the miners’ faith-filled story. The mov ie w i ll recount thei r remarkable 69-day plight after they were trapped in a collapsed San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile. Medavoy, who grew up in the country, has produced films including Shutter Island and Black Swan. The miners have regularly spoken of how their faith in Jesus shone during the ordeal, with Bible studies and prayer meetings being held regularly. Jose Henriquez, the 24th miner to be released, said: “In the beginn i ng there was such chaos a nd desperation. We all reacted in so many different ways. But through praying God changed our hearts and we came together in one purpose. We began to lose our fears and gained hope. God was the 34th miner down there and we trusted in him to save us.”

Star reveals faith helped beat drugs FORMER EastEnders star Danby Matthew Murray niella Westbrook has revealed that God helped her beat drugs two children, Kai and Jody, has and has given her a new life as a no desire for drugs and alcohol, Christian. insisting that Jesus made her The actress, who battled cofeel ‘completely clean’ after she caine addiction for more than ten confessed her sins about a year years, says she has been saved by ago. Jesus Christ and is now a regular Speaking exclusively to New churchgoer who prays, reads her Life, she said: “There wasn’t Bible and tells others about a her human being on the planet who newfound faith. could have helped me – it had Danniella, who lives in LA with to be God. Jesus is my whole husband Kevin Jenkins and their ● Continued on Page 3

CHAT’S THE WAY... Danniella’s star pals Patsy Palmer and Sid Owen

CHANGED... Danniella Westbrook

NOW JAY STANDS FOR JESUS

Faith shared with friends Danniella Westbrook has been sharing her faith with other soap stars. Fellow EastEnders legends Patsy Palmer (Bianca Jackson) and Sid Owen (Ricky Butcher) have been in regular contact with Danniella since her Christian conversion. She said: “Patsy’s a very spiritual person herself and said she was proud of me and that I should keep going. “Sid Owen is coming out here soon and will come to the church with us.

SEE P5

SCOOP ... how we revealed the stor y last month

I

t’s a far cry from the glitzy screens that made her a household name, but Danniella Westbrook reckons she could help start a church in London. The actress, who played Sam Mitchell in EastEnders, is clean from drugs and drink, and has found God in LA. She is now a regular churchgoer who prays daily and reads her Bible. Alongside her pastor Jay Haizlip – another former drug addict who saw the light – Danniella, now 37, believes she will be back in Britain one day, but only if the Man Upstairs gives her the nod. She told New Life: “Pastor Jay has a heart to start a church in every major city in the world, and London is very important to him, and if there’s any way that we could be part of that then it would be an honour, but I don’t know yet. God will direct our paths. “Right now I’m enjoying my walk with God and as doors open I will see where he leads me. I am concentrating on my life, my family and on being a Christian. “I’d also like to go and work as a missionary somewhere and spend some time in Mexico and Africa and help people.”

BATTLE

The ABC of how you can become a Christian...

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

enjoyed

CAPITA L GAIN... Danniella Westbrook would like to help set up a church in her native London

ICE ONE... Danniella as she appeared in TV hit Dancing on Ice

SKATES ON... Danny Young has visited Danniella’s church

“He hasn’t been brought up in a Christian home either and has never been to church except for a funeral or a wedding. “But he has a spiritual side to him also.” Meanwhile, Danny Young, who appeared in Coronation Street and on Dancing on Ice, has also visited Danniella’s church in LA. She added: “Danny came to the church and said it caused him to look at his life. He said he really enjoyed it.”

G N I L L A C N O LOND

Danniella, whose public battle with cocaine wrecked her life for more than ten years, is refusing to rule out a return to acting. “If work turns up in England then of course I’ll look at it and pray about it and see how it fits with my current schedule,” she said. With its headquarters in LA, the Sanctuary Church is vibrant and full of people from all kinds of backgrounds – rich and poor. Pastor Jay, an Alabama-born professional skateborder, turned to hard drugs in the 80s despite a promising sports career. He was converted to Christianity in 1990, and soon returned as a preacher to some of the dens and housing projects where he had taken drugs. He has since visited churches throughout the world sharing his story. Jay, who admits he hadn’t heard of Danniella and husband Kevin Jenkins when they joined his church, could make a powerful team with Danniella as they both have life-changing and says: ‘Thou shalt do this.’ In those kinds of conversion experiences. churches I would switch off and start to think Danniella recalls: “It wasn’t my doing, about what I want from Tesco. but it’s God’s doing that brought me to this he people here are alive; not in church church. I have battled with cocaine addicbecause they had to be but because tion and alcoholism for a long time, which is they wanted to be. They were buzzof course common knowledge to everyone ing about being there. Praise and worship in the UK. I am lucky that I got well. started and I thought it was amazing. “The Sanctuary was different to People were crying out and, being Engchurch that I’d been used to. I am used lish, I was quite prudish. I wanted to to a stony church in a little old village get up and dance but was embarin Essex where everybody stays quiet Danniella’s drugs fight was revealed in this photo

❜ Right now, I’m just enjoying my walk with God ❜ T

rassed and didn’t know God. I just sat there and Kevin and I looked at each other thinking it was unbelievable. “Jay started preaching and it was like he was speaking right at us. Everyone at the church thinks the same way. You’re getting a real word from God.

changed “We got on the plane and on the ten-hour flight home we spent the whole time talking about church. There are churches like this in England, but until I joined Twitter I had no idea. My husband and kids

love coming to church and it’s completely changed our lives.” And Danniella is certainly not keen on keeping her faith to herself, insisting others need to give God a try. “Get hungry for God! Find him! Find yourself a great church that’s on fire for Jesus that will speak the Word of God in your life,” she said. “Get on the Internet and get some messages into your life – there are Christian networks and radio stations. It’s not going to kill you to switch it on and give it a go. Something will speak to you and it will change your life like it did for me.”

US big on mega-churches

TD Jakes

HUGE mega-churches are commonplace in America – with some having more than 20,000 members. One of the biggest is run by the larger than life Bishop TD Jakes, who leads t he massive Pot te r’s House Chu rch i n Da l las, Texas, which boasts an incredible 30,000 members. Jakes has also published several best-selling books, produced a number of movies and is involved in private business ventures.

He said: “Christ came into the world that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly. He came to give something to you, not to take something from you. If you open your heart and mind to that, you can receive it.” The preacher, 54, has met and prayed with several US presidents. In 2005 he accompanied President George Bush on his visit to the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

7


Issue 212

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VICAR WHO’S PREACHED 4,000 SERMONS! HE’S lived through two world wars and has been in the ministry for a whopping 75 years, preaching more than 4,000 sermons.

So when his retirement age arrived – some 35 years ago – centurion John Clayton could have been forgiven for hanging up his collar. But that was never on John’s agenda, and the popular priest can still be found preaching once a month at St Giles in Bramhope, near Leeds. And the gutsy 100-year-old has no intention of stopping. “It never occurred to me to retire,” he said. “If a person’s ill or on holiday, I’ll step in. I enjoy it.” Born in Leeds, Canon John was ordained as a priest in 1936 and was posted to various parishes across Yorkshire. He said: “There were a lot of people out of work and it was worse then because there was no benefits system. I remember one Christmas going to Woolworths and buying presents for all the children. We then went around the schools and gave them out. This is true faith – expressing Jesus’ love to people.” So how has t he Chu rch changed during his time in office? “Everything’s changed – education, politics, housing – but there’s still fellowship when you belong to the Christian faith. Je-

STILL PREACHING... the Rev John Clayton. Inset, John with his telegram from the Queen

sus never changes. The way that people express themselves has changed, but the real Christian love of God is still there. “These days people seem more embarrassed about reading and talking about the Word of God. There will be difficulties ahead, but there’s no question that the Lord reigns. “It’s a matter of being the salt and the light. We may not be the light of the world at the moment as a country, but we as Christians can be the salt in our communities. The biggest chal-

lenge facing the Church today is to make people realise that this life matters – it’s not just an accident. There is another life for which we are in training.” John, who was widowed 25 years ago, said that his faith helped him cope with his wife’s death. “ M y C h r i s t i a n fa it h h a s brought meaning into my life,” he said. “Back in the 30s when I started out, people didn’t really talk so much about life being an accident like they do now. But it’s not an accident – there’s a

plan. My wife, Louie, died on our wedding anniversary. It’s never occurred to me that I won’t meet her again, and when I do I will tell her that I’ve not let her down. I have every intention of seeing her in heaven.” John doesn’t have many regrets, but he does wish he’d have been more courageous when sharing his faith. “If I could go back and live my life again I’d be bolder in speaking out when it comes to the good news of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Churches aren’t boring, young people told CHURCHES aren’t boring and old-fashioned like many teenagers th in k, a youth worker insists. Ia n Sa rg i nson, who works at Shoreline Church in Southport, believes there will be a surge in church attendance among youngsters in the coming years. He said:

“I continue to meet young people who, when I ask them what they think of faith and church, express negative views of it being boring, for old people, hypocritical, old fashioned and so on. At Shoreline we try to empower our kids with knowledge, and let them make their

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Issue 212 • NEW LIFE 9

CLERGYMAN CELEBRATES 100TH BIRTHDAY

Ian Sarginson

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

Down 1. Journal (5) 2. Menagerie (3) 3. World’s longest river (4) 4. Secret or hidden (6) 5. Bustling (7) 6. Abated (5) 9. Placed a bet (7) 11. Thinner (6) 12. Consumed (5) 14. Proficient (5) 15. Female relative (4) 17. Part of a circle (3)

own decisions.” Ian, 33, has been at the Assemblies of God church for 12 years and works in the town’s schools promoti ng the Ch ristia n message. He added: “At The Cellar Youth club, which we run on Thursday nights, we have made it a personal aim to

challenge these stereotypes as up to 90 per cent of the young people we have attending have only us as a church contact. “We aim to prove through our programme, but more importantly through our actions, that Christians aren’t all old or boring.”

COMMENT Demonic iceberg HALLOWEEN! There’s no harm in it. Well, you may think so, but it’s the tip of an altogether bigger, demonic iceberg. OK, it may appear that walking around the streets with a pumpkin and “trick or treating” is harmless – but it opens people up to the darker side of life. Bobbing for apples won’t hurt you, but messing about with ouija boards and connecting with spirits certainly will. The Bible tells us not to dabble with witchcraft or horoscopes, as they are controlled by an evil force. And that’s why Christians are against the activities that “celebrate” the evil spirits that are at the heart of Halloween. But Christians are not killjoys. And throughout the UK churches and Christian organisations will be offering an alternative to the Halloween events. For example, as we show on the front page of this month’s New Life, City Temple in London is holding a special celebration called Hallowed. There’ll be lots of fun for children and adults alike, but they will be events that don’t open hearts to the dark side of Halloween. If you find a church in your area holding such an event, please support it – because you’ll find it’s even more fun than the witches and ghosts that are used in the name of fun at Halloween.

Power of prayer

HE appears as a ruthless businessman who would sell his granny. But Duncan Bannatyne clearly knows that there’s more to life than the next big deal. That’s why when he felt unwell during the recording of Dragon’s Den, when the Rev John Berriman walked in, he knew the best thing he could do was not find a drug company to buy, but ask for the healing power of prayer.

BIBLE QUOTE OF THE MONTH For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3: 16 Editor: Peter Wreford Advertising: Barry Wilson

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KEEP THIS PAGE TO HELP YOU FIND A NEW DIRECTION IN LIFE... ALTRINCHAM The Upper Room Christian Fellowship, The Downs. Sunday services 10.45am and 6.30pm. Enquiries: 0161 282 6676. (CA09) A WARM WELCOME AWAITS YOU at Bethel Community Church, Pwllygath Street, KenďŹ g Hill, CF33 6ES. Sunday Services 10.30am and 6pm. Tel: - 01656 728089 (GE90) BRIDGEND Litchard Mission, Taylor Road, Meetings Sunday 10.30am and 6pm. For more information Phone 01656 663 094 (GH34) BRISLINGTON CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP Part of the Elim Pentecostal Churches. We meet every Sunday at 18:30pm, at The Community Centre, Hungerford Road, BS4 5EX. Contact Jim on 0117 986 2394. For more information about ourselves and Evidence Ministries see www.evidenceministries.co.uk (AG30) BURY ST E D MU N D S , Suffolk. The Christian Resource Centre (a Pentecostal church). Oakes Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP32 6PX. www. crcministries.co.uk 01284 761000. Service times: Sunday 10.30am and 6.30pm. All the family will be made (EQ05) very welcome. CANTERBURY Trinity Community Church. Meetings Sundays 10.45am at St Stephen’s Junior School, Hales Place, Canterbury. Tel: 01227 459 785. (CA06)

DROITWICH SPA Emmanuel Church, Blake Avenue. Tel: 01905 797110. Sunday family service 10.30am–noon. Also healing rooms available, just ask. (FT24)

LEICESTER Apostolic Church New Life Centre, Sanvey Lane, Aylestone, Leicester LE2 8NF. Main services: Sunday 10.30am worship, Bible ministry and Communion. Wednesday 19:00pm Bible study and prayer. Also 1st Sunday Of the month 18:00 Gospel Service: Pastor Richard Forman telephone 0116 275 2582 everyone welcome. (CW05) LEICESTER Narborough Road Christian Fellowship. Meet at The Manor Neighbourhood Centre, Haddenham Road. Services: Sunday 10.30am. Tel: 0116 2891 395 or 0116 2897 804. All welcome. (AB25) L I G H T H O U S E ( E L Y , CAMBRIDGESHIRE) A loving, growing, praying family church. Sunday celebration 10.30am & 6.00pm. Enquiries phone: 01353 662 228. Email: info@lighthouse-ely.org.uk. Web www.lighthouse-ely.org.uk. Also Christian Bookshop 01353 667 004. (DU35)

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READING Assemblies of God Christian Centre (Mount Zion). Sundays 11am and 6.30pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.30pm. Enquiries Tel: 01252 872 754.

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RUSHDEN Full Gospel Church. High Street South, Rushden. A family Church that loves God, each other and those in the community. Sundays 10.45am & 6pm. Enquiries telephone: 01933 418 002. (DC19) SAFFRON WALDEN, New Life Church. Shire Hill. Sundays 10.30am & 6.30pm. For details call Pastor R Ellalasingham on 01799 506045 Visit: www.nlpc.co.uk (FR19) SHANKLIN Isle of Wight, Living Waters Fellowship, 29, Victoria Avenue.Sundays 2.30pm (Service). Thursdays 10.30am (Prayer) Celebration of Yearly Feasts [See Newsletter for current details]Enquiries & Monthly Newsletter (01983) 863683, livingwaters.iw@btinternet.com or livingwaters.iw@gmail.com (CA52)

MAIDSTONE Welcome to Grace Community Church which meets at Grove Road, Mangravet (near Police HQ), Sundays 10.30am. Enquiries: 01622 664 940 (DP53)

SHELFIELD: New Life Pentecostal Church WS4 1QA. Welcome to our family service, Sundays at 10:45am+18:30pm. A lively and growing young Church! www.nlpconline.org.uk (DP53)

RETFORD Retford New Life Church Centre, 26-32 Bridgegate, Retford, Notts. Sunday Morning meeting 10.30am With Children’s church Sunday Evening 6.30pm. Everyone welcome. Contact 01777 711377. www.newliferetford.org.uk (CA36)

WEMBLEY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP Pentecostal church close to Wembley Stadium. Sattavis Patidar Centre, HA9 9PG. Sunday 3 pm 4pm and 5pm till 7-30pm. Pastor George 07886 923 237 (GF41)

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Issue 212 •

NEW LIFE NEW LIFE

11

BACK ROW SAYS PLAYING’S A GIFT FROM GOD Why life is no Hassell for Bobby!

peter the disciple tackles theology! MIGHTY QUIN... Pete Brown in a scrum, but away from the pitch his life is dedicated to his Christian faith

● Continued from Back Page I was younger. But that aggression went instantly – it had to have been God.” Bobby is now setting up a ‘Faith and Football’ project in Barnsley, where he hopes youngsters will hear the gospel through football leagues and coaching sessions. He said: “We will use football as a tool to preach. God has given me a good name and I want to use that to help spread the message.” A nd Bobby’s fi na l adv ice for anyone thinking about becoming a Christian: Do it! “I can’t prove to anyone that God exists; they need to experience it themselves,” he said. “If you want to become a Christian you have to have an open mind. I have atheist friends who won’t give God a second thought and think that science is everything. But the only way to prove God is to ask him into your life. You have to experience him for yourself. “Repentance must be genuine and you must know you need a Saviour. It can’t be a trick to see if God is real. Jesus died on a cross for everyone – so give him a chance!”

Defender’s set to quit for studies

HARLEQUINS rugby ace Pete Browne could never be a dirty player. The No8 back row says h is Christian faith could never allow him to intentionally hurt an opponent. A nd wh i le ma ny Ch rist ia ns “might not like the harsher aspects of a game,” vicar’s son Browne said the whole balance is only what you make of it. “The great Samoan coach and All Blacks international Michael Jones once sa id, ‘It’s better to give than to take’,” he explained, admitting he constantly works on improving his physical impact. “And he was talking about tackling and the whole Samoan culture of absolutely smashing people.

But they do it legitimately, most of the time. “So it is better to give than take, and in many ways I’m not a naturally angry person, and the whole physicality th ing is someth ing my size aids, but it’s something I really have to keep working on, and I think I’m getting much better at it "I’m still living with students, which is enjoyable, but I graduated in the summer and that’s been good for my rugby. “The way I see it, it is what God wants me to do, and I’ve got to be open and willing to hear from him, and I’m an open book as it were. “It’s exciting to have a degree in theology. I don’t know how I’m going to use it, but we’ll see what happens. My dissertation was all

about an organisation called Christians In Sport, mainly critiquing that from a mission perspective and what its aims are. “I don’t think they’re used to getting theology students writing dissertations on sport, but it’s not that unusual an occurrence to combine the two in life. “My dad played rugby too, so the way I was always brought up to see it was that my sport is a gift from God, and lots of guys see that. “For some reason I have been gifted with size and speed, and I hope I’ve got the aptitude to apply myself. So I see that as a gift, and then there is the whole dirty side of rugby. While I play hard, I try to play fair.” Browne is a committed member of the group of Falcons players led

by club chaplain Matthew Knox in a weekly prayer meeting. Along with Filipo Levi and Josh Afu, the quartet review their week on all levels, meet socially and take lessons from the Bible. There is a n open i nv itation to the whole squad, but for now, Browne said the general interest remains tentative. “It’s a real encouragement to have some guys here whose reasons for playing are similar,” he said. “Our motivations are similar, but also being able to pray with the guys is really great. “There’s Filipo, myself, Josh and the Reverend of course, and it’s open to the other guys too, but none of them have taken it up yet."

Churches to take advantage of golden opportunity A CHRISTIAN organisation is gearing up for its bigger ever project as thousands will be reached with the gospel message at next year’s Olympics. More Than Gold is working with churches throughout the UK and is praying that many lives will be impacted during the London Games. CEO Dave Wilson said: “This will be the biggest outreach ever for an Olympics. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All too often the churches are seen negatively, as out of touch and only interested in themselves. The 2012 Games provides a unique opportunity for UK churches to be seen for what they really are. By playing their part in the programmes of outreach, hospitality and service, every church can help tell a different story and waken fresh interest in who they are

and who God is. When the dust has finally settled we hope to have fulfilled our dream for the 2012 Games to have enabled thousands of churches to taste the excitement of reaching their community in fresh and ongoing ways, in Jesus’ name.” Among a vast range of resources available are children’s holiday club materials with a sports theme and a pub-style sport quiz for church members to invite their friends to. Dave’s own journey began in 1992 when Atlanta were co-ordinating their bid for the 1996 Olympics, and ever since he has worked all over the globe pioneering church outreach at major sporting events. “I realised that a lot of churches were doing their own thing when it came to outreach,” he said. “Then

they got together and decided to come under a banner that they could all use. They couldn’t use the Olympic logo, so they came up with their own brand, which was More Than Gold. “This has been used all around the world, even in Manchester during the 2002 Commonwealth Games. We are vision casting to help churches see how they can get involved. “Examples of this are when churches have hosted family members of the athletes who can’t afford to be here. In Sydney a lot of churches put up big screens for the opening celebrations. People are going to watch it anyway, so you’re just giving them the option to watch it in a community.” Dave and his team will be training churches this month. Go to www. GOLDEN BOY... Dave Wilson morethangold.org.uk for details.

FORMER Juventus and Italy defender Nicola Legrottaglie admits he is likely to retire – to dedicate himself to the Bible. The 35-year-old centre-back is without a contract after his sixmonth loan spell at Milan, and had been linked with Queen’s Park Rangers. But he admits he won’t be too bothered if he can’t find a new club. The born-again believer (right) said: “If I don’t find a team, I’ll dedicate myself to the Bible. The transfer market has changed and clubs now adopt the policy of wanting a much younger squad. “I feel in good shape and think I can play on for another two years, but if there are no offers, then I cannot create them. “I will dedicate myself to my main mission – the Bible. I’ll spend a year in London to learn the language and then travel the world with a wonderful Australian community that is working well to spread the Word of the Lord.”

Out of Africa after lessons

AN IRISH League footballer from Belfast is back in Britain after spending two weeks in Africa sharing the gospel. Former Cliftonville and Linfield player Conor Downey, regarded a fine midfielder during his career in Northern Ireland, says he is leading a new life of fulfilment after becoming a Christian. He recently travelled to Malawi, along with several other Irish League footballers, to do charity work, football coaching and to teach the Bible to unbelievers.


JUVENTUS ACE TO RETIRE TO STUDY BIBLE

SEE PAGE 11

NEW LIFE

SPORT

SEE PAGE 11

MEET PETER THE GREAT... THEOLOGIAN

TYKES’ FULL-BACK A DEFENDER OF FAITH

life’s not a hassell for bobby! A SIR THING... Barnsley star Bobby Hassell

HE’S adored by fans at his beloved Barnsley and they affectionately call him ‘Sir Bobby’.

But full-back Bobby Hassell – who has clocked up more than 250 appearances for the Championship club – says that fame and popularity is a great way to spread his Christian beliefs. The 31-year-old, who signed for the Reds from Mansfield more than seven years ago, has seen two promotions, a play-off final, a Wembley FA Cup semifinal and two appearances at the Millennium Stadium during an impressive career. But Bobby says the real highlight was when he became a Christian two years ago. He told New Life: “I have played against Steven Gerrard, Matthew Le Tissier, Frank Lampard and

by Matthew Murray

Michael Essien, but the real moment for me was when I realised I needed a Saviour – that was when I became a Christian and asked Jesus Christ to be a part of my life.” When he first joined Barnsley in 2004 he found himself reading the Gospel of Luke after being given a Bible by the club chaplain, Peter Amos. He would also ask many questions about faith and watch DVDs about Christianity. But Bobby, who is married with two children, didn’t feel ready to make a decision to become a Christian and he shelved spirituality for the best part of five years. Then one night just before going to bed, he began to ponder life, and despite a fantastic football ca-

reer and a happy marriage, he felt empty inside – until he prayed. “I started praying again and reading the Bible again, and six weeks later I told God that if he was real I wanted him to be a part of my life. Two days later the chaplain came into the club and said he was doing a Bible study and I went. “I began to understand Jesus and realised that being a Christian isn’t about having a boring life but about living life and living it abundantly, as Jesus said. I had sudden peace come over me and I can’t explain the joy and freedom I felt.” Bobby says things have changed dramatically since becoming a Christian. “I have always had an horrendous temper and everyone thought I would end up in prison when ●Continued on Page 11

Bishop Mark Rylands

Bishop bowls over his flock with message HOWZAT for a great idea? A Bishop has knocked his flock for six by telling them to follow the example of England’s cricketing heroes when living their lives. In a pastoral letter to the diocese of Lichfield, the Bishop of Shrewsbury Mark Rylands highlights the perseverance and practice that England stars Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen showed during the summer’s Test triumph over India. Rev Mark said: “If perseverance is essential for a cricketer, it is crucial for a Christian.

inspired “Not that we have to strive to gain God’s affection, or fight to be rescued by him. “No, as Paul reminds us in his letter to the Church in Rome, ‘while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’. “New life in Jesus Christ is a free gift from God. “His overwhelming love for us and his Spirit within us are the pump and the lifeblood that send us out to live and work to his praise and glory in the world. “If you are struggling, like me, or have fallen out of the habit, then be inspired by Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen. Enjoy the net practice!”

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New Life October 2011 issue 212