Crusader Associate News
Included within: 10 years of Energize 1,224 groups! Spotlight on a leader â€“ Chris Tabor
Issue 16: Winter 2013
Communications can be sent to:
Jo Slater, Editor, Associate News Urban Saints Support Centre Kestin House, 45 Crescent Road,
Luton, Beds, LU2 0AH Jo Slater: 01582 589833 email@example.com Tel: 01582 589850 Fax: 01582 721702 firstname.lastname@example.org www.urbansaints.org www.crusadersreunited.org.uk Urban Saints is the operating name of The Crusaders’ Union, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England & Wales, company number 07771037, charity number 1144923, and in Scotland, charity number SCO39313. From 1906 to 2006 Urban Saints was known as Crusaders Associate News is protected by copyright and nothing within it may be reproduced wholly or in part without permission. The Editor reserves the right to edit all items submitted for inclusion. No contact details will be published without prior permission. Urban Saints values: Riotous FUN Being a Christian is not dull and boring! We believe that followers of Jesus should show the world how to really party.
Welcome from Jo
Welcome from Matt
Focus on a local group
2013 UNITED Year of Prayer
The Westbrook Centre
20 years of Smallwood holidays
Energize: 10 years
Spotlight on a leader
Urban Saints afternoon tea party
Reuniting our nation to their Father
‘Teach us to number our days…’ Jo Slater Supporters Director I have been musing lately on the verse in Psalm 90:11: ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom’. It sometimes seems that numbering your days would be easier if you knew how many you had!
Seasons change, but God’s love for us remains constant.
On the one hand, there are people who, we feel, leave this world too soon and we ask God why He took them so early. And on the other hand, there are people who feel they have done their ‘threescore years and ten’ (Psalm 90:10), are ready to go and be with God, and yet they remain here, sometimes ill, infirm and not feeling as useful as once they did, especially if they were once busy, active, helping people.
Palm trees from ReBuild trip
Genuine FRIENDSHIP Who wants to do stuff alone? Not us! We’re following Jesus with friends because we recognise we need each other.
Reading on just a couple of Psalms, we come to Psalm 92:12-14: ‘The righteous will flourish like a palm tree…They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green’. Other translations say ‘fat and flourishing’ (KJV) and ‘ever full of sap and green’ (ESV). The Psalmist cannot be talking about physical bodies but there is an assurance that they can still find ‘freshness’ in God. For some, finding this freshness may be the toughest challenge they have yet faced.
Let us pray for children and young people, and those slightly older (!), that we all come to a new understanding of how much God loves us, and that we simply have to receive His love. Let us pray that we would learn how to number our days so that we have wisdom – both when we are young and when we are old. Let us pray for this generation of children and young people – that they will learn from God how to be ‘fat and flourishing’ in old age.
Life in all its FULLNESS God wants us to be fully alive. So we embrace a life of learning and growing in order to realise our Godgiven potential through a healthy rhythm of rest, play and work.
Whether we are 15 or 85 though, God is the same ‘yesterday, today and forever’, (Hebrews 13:8) and He loves us for who we are, not for what we do or don’t do.
Jo Slater Supporters Director
Adventurous FAITH Jesus doesn’t invite His followers to ‘play it safe’. He calls us into a radical, risk-embracing, world-changing, danger-accepting, servant-hearted adventure. So we wholeheartedly throw ourselves into the Father’s embrace, the Son’s mission, and the Spirit’s power.
Cover photo: Midlands and East Spree 2013.
Focus On A Local Group
Jesus is not a pessimist! Matt Summerfield Chief Executive In all of my years in youth and children’s ministry, my greatest joy continues to be the thrill of seeing young people commit to following Jesus. I’ve seen two young people come to Christ in my Urban Saints group in the last month. It’s just awesome! However, the greatest burden is there are also millions of young lives who still only believe that ‘Jesus’ is nothing but a swearword. Two thousands years ago, Jesus Christ walked the streets of many towns and villages. His heart broke as he watched the multitudes drift aimlessly through life. Yet Jesus saw this as an opportunity to be seized, rather than a hopeless tragedy. “The Harvest is ripe”, He declared. It’s fantastic to see the great work that many churches across the country are doing as they seek to bring the Good News to this generation. But the truth is…we have only just begun! The statistics tell us that over 9 million children and young people in the UK are missing out on Jesus. That’s 90% of the population! 9 million children and young people who are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
not triumphalism - I fully appreciate that mission amongst children and young people is extremely challenging. But I am not depressed, downhearted or pessimistic. In fact, I’m with Jesus. The harvest is ripe! The opportunity for the Kingdom to come, bringing hope and transformation amongst this generation, is immense. The challenge is whether we will seize the opportunity. What will we do to reach the lost millions in our nation?
You probably know that we contact each of our groups and offer to pray for them during our morning prayers. Currently we pray for about eight groups a day, which means we can pray for them once every seven months. The group at Rock Ferry Salvation Army in the North West replied with this encouraging email. Because of your prayers and your financial support, groups like this connected to Urban Saints are working with children and young people every week.
us best too - it’s so easy to use!
In light of these challenges, we must refuse to rest in the comfort of past success. We must be totally committed to reach out to a harvest field of 9 million young lives. Key to this challenge is the need to pray Jesus’ prayer that more workers will be released into the harvest field. Let’s remember though, that as we earnestly seek the face of God for the solution to reaching this generation, we may find the great finger of the Almighty pointing back towards us, bidding us to ‘get stuck in TODAY’.
Our youth really enjoy the Energize materials we are using now - they are far more relevant and challenging to this age group than what we were using previously and our younger groups are also loving the new material. It’s not just about numbers but our younger group has also more than doubled in size this year too. We really feel the children are getting to grips with the subjects we are tackling - not just learning Bible stories but learning how the Bible can be related to their everyday lives which is great. The adults are being equally challenged and encouraged with some new helpers learning as they teach which is wonderful.
We’ve just had our first ever Glow Party and Sleepover / onesie party which went really well (35 children came to the Glow Party and 21 of the youth stayed for a sleepover but you guessed it - without much sleep!) so we all agreed this should be a regular event. We used some of the games from Urban Saints and also our ‘God Spot’ so many thanks for all you provide.
Let’s get busy about our Father’s business for the sake of this precious generation. Matt Summerfield Chief Executive
But Jesus is not a pessimist! His pronouncement, “The harvest is ripe”, transcends two millennia – calling men and women to give their all for a lost and hurting 21st Century generation. This is
“The children are not just learning Bible stories but learning how the Bible can be related to their everyday lives which is great.”
You have also encouraged me to get our young people out and about! We took a group to Blackpool to the Big Day Out where they really enjoyed Chip K and Galactus Jack. That was our first big event since I took over at the beginning of the year but was to be the first of many as it showed how much fun we could have together over and above our weekly kids and youth groups.
We have started a youth Bible study too and our young Rock Ferry Salvation Army people are asking sleepover for even more!!! We are very thankful just now of the stirring we are seeing in our young people.
We all enjoy the leaders’ guide at the beginning of each session giving the background and context of what we will be covering. You really need to be congratulated on the quality of material and variety available. As a leader I find it so easy to just e-mail straight off the meeting plan and really like the fact that we can choose the format that suits
Tracey Cutler Leader Story reproduced with permission
2013 UNITED Year of Prayer From the moment I knew the Year of Prayer was going to become a reality, I knew there would be a time this year when I would take the prayer scroll back to the Outer Hebrides which is where it originated. In 1997 at the age 70, Donald Smith, who had given his life to Christ when he was 15 during the Hebridean revival, travelled down to Wembley Stadium to pass a baton on to four young people from Crusaders. The four young people from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, representative of the youth of our nation, were asked to carry the flames of revival. Some years on from then, as we looked back and reflected on what had happened, we began to recognise that as a movement we had dropped the baton God asked us to carry. So when Jonathan Oloyede invited Urban Saints to get involved in last year’s ‘National Day of Prayer and Worship,’ it was
a wonderful privilege to return to Wembley Stadium to re-receive what God had asked us to carry.
sister informing me that my grandfather had travelled with Duncan Campbell to the Outer Hebrides at the beginning of the revival.
It had been a sixteen year journey, but at 7.30pm on Wednesday 14th August my ferry arrived in Stornoway. I had arrived on the Islands that experienced such a powerful outpouring of God’s Spirit over 60 years ago through Duncan Campbell. I drove to Martin’s Memorial Church, was greeted by Rev Tommy MacNeil at the door and joined his church congregation for a fantastic evening of celebration. The evening ended with the young people from the church coming to the front to write on the prayer scroll.
From the Isle of Lewis I travelled on to the Isle of Harris where I met with Angus and Kirsty McKellar. Following another great evening with their church and young people I began my long journey back to Kent.
It was a wonderful evening, but little did I know, my time on the Isle of Lewis was about to get even more amazing. I can honestly say that the following day, where I just drove around the island spending time with God, was one of the most profound experiences of my life – a day I will never forget. I travelled to the church where the revival had broken out. As I sat on my own listening to a worship CD from Tommy’s church, the presence of God filled my car. I experienced what felt like waves of electricity flowing though me. I don’t think I have ever felt so loved by the Father, so aware of my sinfulness and failings but at the same time so overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. At the point when I thought it couldn’t get any more amazing, I received a text from my
Phil Hulks speaking at Summer Madness in Ireland 6
Our prayer has been that God will pour out his Spirit once again on the British Isles, and that the flames of revival being carried by the youth of our nation will impact our communities next year with the transforming power of the Gospel. For more information about the 2013 year of prayer and our plans for next year’s 2014 year of transformation go to www.thefatherslove.co.uk See also the back page.
My trip to the Outer Hebrides was the last part of a three week prayer tour to Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Other highlights included a powerful night of prayer with young people at Victory Church, Cwmbran, Wales, and taking part in the first day of a 16 day prayer walk along the borders of Northern and Southern Ireland.
Phil Hulks Cluster Development Director
Phil Hulks with young people on the Isle of Harris
As good as this year has been, the 2013 year of prayer has been all about preparing for 2014 - a year of transformation.
Ireland border prayer walk
The Westbrook Centre technology and media, a place, a physical place, is required for them to come into real contact with other young people, Christian adults, the great history of our organisation but most importantly the Lord, and that is what the Westbrook Centre does and it is why people talk about it.
Being new to the Isle of Wight and The Crusaders’ Union generally, I am constantly struck by how much people love the Westbrook Centre - it’s quite astounding really. They stop me in the street when I’m wearing my I.D. to ask me how we’re getting on, or in church, “I was hoping that I’d run into you, tell me, what are you up to at Westbrook?” Members of our faithful Diamond Club ring me constantly for our latest news and progress, and when I think about it, it’s not hard to tell why… For me at least there is a real sense of thinness here, a sense that heaven and earth are a little closer together here than in other places, a connectedness with the Almighty that is almost tangible, something rooted in time and place. It is perhaps unsurprising then the number of children who meet Christ here. Just a few weeks ago, a girl of 13 told me of how the place had affected her and how it had changed the way she thought about the world for the better. It seems to me that, as young people more and more live lives in the ether of
I’ve seen the process before… Previous to working at Westbrook, I lived on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland running a small ecumenical retreat centre there. Holy Island is another thin place of great history and beauty, and if you’ve not been before, I highly recommend a visit. So very many folk would ring in to us to book a room and say, “I’m really looking to come and be quiet” or perhaps, “I’m really thinking about taking the whole visit in silence would that be okay?” Of course I’d say yes, that we’d be happy to accommodate them in silence, knowing full well that by the end of their stay, they would be nattering away at dinner, talking to the staff at coffee time and waxing lyrical to their fellow guests long 8
enough. So we endeavour to keep prices as cheap as we can although we have had to increase them to ensure the future of the centre for the children of the future.
into the night by the fireside. The topic of those conversations was always the same and I daresay will continue to be the same long into the future. It is that testimony of the wonderful things that the Lord does for His people, and it takes a place, a physical place, to bring it out.
That said, we feel much favour on our work at the moment and are reaching out to as many people as we can, be it our own Crusader/US youth groups, independent Christian youth groups or school groups, and are convinced that the Lord has big plans for Westbrook and those young people who come to us! Do hold us and the young people who come to us in your prayers and if you’d like to sponsor a child to come on a residential, contact Lou Bailey on email@example.com or 07931 758743.
The Westbrook Centre has been providing a space for the Lord to enter in for more than 65 years and has thrived doing so, but the current economic situation now brings a new set of challenges. Attendance at residentials has been steadily reducing for some years and it is surely because of parents having less money to fund holidays. The situation is not chronic yet. We observe a high holdout rate, that is to say, a high proportion of parents unwilling to commit funds to a residential until the last minute, and a last minute surge in numbers, which we assume is parents not knowing whether they have enough money for holidays until the last minute. There are of course some who just can’t afford it and to those we offer bursaries but the pot never quite reaches far
Jo Baynham Residential Director
Jo and Hayley Baynham
20 Years of Smallwood Holidays Keith and Celia Newton have recently marked the end of 20 years of leadership in holidays. We asked them to give us a few highlights of their time. Over those years the holiday was consistently fully booked, so much that we created two weeks for a period, and we saw many lives won to the Lord each year. Many of the regulars have come back later as leaders and also gone onto work with BMS, YWAM, YFC etc. What also was important at the reunion was to ‘lay the burden down’ as a team, recognise that God wanted us to move on, and excitingly encourage everyone that there was ‘new work’ to do in winning lives to Christ in a new shape and form.
On the weekend of 24th to 26th May 2013, we had our Smallwood holiday reunion, nearly three years after our last holiday in 2010, having had to cancel the 2011 holiday due to lack of numbers. Over 50 leaders and their families came together from teams that stretched back over the years from when Keith and I first started as holiday leaders at Ranby in 1990. The reunion itself had been an intention since we had to cancel the 2011 holiday, but we had to wait over a year for a slot in the Smallwood school programme where we could book a weekend. We finally announced the date, did the planning and then found three months ahead that the school had double booked! So the reunion was held at our home church in Lichfield but was the better for it. Instead of perhaps reminiscing too much in the surroundings we were able to have a wonderful weekend of thanksgiving, fellowship and general catching up. We did many of the usual holiday things with team games and a treasure hunt. What was most important was saying thanks to each other and to God for all the many blessings over the years.
The Newton family
So what happened over those 20 years? Our first holiday in 1990 was an accident! 10
for Hunt the Leader where the inhabitants could be more strangely dressed than the leaders, Girls Aloud making a live appearance at the cabaret etc.
We went primarily to encourage another young family to get involved and between us we took four young children with us. A few weeks before the holiday, Keith and I found ourselves as the main leaders (we were Crusader group leaders at the time but not experienced in holidays). We had then a week of amazing grace in that we didn’t somehow lose or injure any kids but the week was chaos and badly under resourced in terms of leadership but the kids had a great time. So the choice... do we give up or next year make sure things are done better? We stayed on, and in 1995 went to Smallwood for the first time. Smallwood is a wonderful site with amazing grounds and prehistoric beds. The facilities improved slowly but the kids didn’t seem to mind as in the 1990s we were still in the era where 10 to 13 year old boys didn’t need to wash or comb their hair. The site was safe, we built a large team so there was always plenty of time for the kids and we had huge fun. Our co-leaders for several years were Andrew and Avril Gulliver and then we were privileged also to work with Pip and Phil Peacock, and Ali and Steve Tompkins.
Holiday planning day at the Newton’s, 2007
So what a blessing and what a journey! The principle of ‘the more you do, the more God blesses you’ seems to work with Christian service. Each year in December looking ahead we had reasons to have a rest or give up but each August at the end of the week we and the team were so overwhelmed with God’s power and the impact on us and the kids that we knew we never could. We stopped reluctantly as the model had changed but if ever you are asked to go on a youth week or a weekend and take on something you don’t think you are capable of - say YES!
Smallwood legends and things peculiar to the holiday developed which can only happen on a holiday and are hard to explain to others – Andrew Gulliver’s propensity to disappear and reappear, the Marmite loving Gorilla, Uttoxeter town centre as a venue
Celia and Keith Newton
Group News At the end of October, we were serving 1,224 groups connected to us â€“ a net increase of 81 over the last six months. We welcomed 147 groups from May to October 2013. Praise God that we can support all these groups. Alfreton Junction 28 Alton Harvest Ballantrae and St Colmon Ballyalbany Beccles Parish Bedford Russell Park Bedlington Alove Birmingham Kitts Green Blackpool St Johns Bognor Regis Aldwick Bournemouth St Marks Bradford Outworks Bridport Beacon Bridport CF Bristol Hanham Bristol Knowle West Alove Buckingham Well Street Burntwood St Johns Burton on Trent Community Camberley Crossroads Cambridge Holy Trinity Cheltenham Christ Church Cheltenham Dean Close Cheltenham Winchcombe Chipping Norton St Marys Colchester Langham with Boxted Colchester West Mersea Coleg y Bala Coventry Meredith Road Croydon Croham Road Croydon Pawsons Road
Delaval Parish Dublin Howth and Malahide Dunfermline Liberty Dunstable The Square Ealing St Johns East Barnet East Grinstead New Life Eastwood Baptist Edinburgh Elim Edmonton New River Eston Alove Exeter Alove Farnham Jubilee Finchley St Barnabas Fulwood FMC Glasgow Chryston Glasgow Findlay Memorial Glasgow Partick Dowanvale Grantham Harrowby Lane Grayshott St Lukes Guernsey St Sampsons Hackney Marsh St Barnabas Hampton Baptist Harrogate New Life Hatfield City Helston Light and Life Hoylake Hull Jubilee Ipswich Elim Ipswich St Andrews and St Johns Kendal Sedbergh
Kensington St Barnabas Kings Lynn Sutton Connect Larbert Pentecostal Leeds Moortown Leeds Morley SA Leicester Countesthorpe Liverpool Long Lane London Eltham Green London ICC London Whetstone London Whitehall Park Lossiemouth Baptist Loughborough Junction Luton In His Presence Mablethorpe Manchester Aston-under-Lyne Manchester Roman Road Middlesbrough West Central SA Motherwell Clyde Valley Community New Malden Over and Out Newcastle St Aidans Newport Malpas North Shields St Peters Northampton Church on the Heath Northampton Long Buckby Nottingham Hucknall St Mary Oldham Fitton Hill SA Ormskirk CF Orpington Oak Orpington River
Oxford Community Oxford St James Penge Christ Central Penrith Ignite Perth Letham St Marks Poole Creekmoor Portsmouth City Life Rayleigh Parish Reading Network Vineyard Reigate Park Renfrew Baptist Rhosddu Community Riddlesden Youth Group Romford Alove Scarborough Alove Selly Park Christ Church Selsdon Baptist Sheffield Meadowhead Sheffield Rother Valley Shepperton Littleton St Mary South Chingford Southampton ACCF Southampton Weston Southwater Elim Stamford St Georges Steyning Upper Beeding
Stockport Cheadle Heath SA Stockport Hazel Grove Stratford St Mary Sunderland Millfield SA Swansea Cornerstone Swansea Mumbles Taunton Oakwood Telford Dawley Thornton Cleveleys Methodist Tiverton Baptist Tunbridge Wells Baptist Turriff Baptist Twickenham St Stephens Tynan St Vindics Walthamstow Greenleaf Baptist Welwyn Howlands Weston St Pauls Whitley Bay Monkseaton Wigan Purposed Life Willington Team Wimbledon St Marks Wimborne Streetlight Wimborne The Lantern Winchester Kingsworthy Wolverhampton CLC Woodford Baptist
Worthing Jubilee Wrexham Alove Wrexham Rhosnesni St Johns
Sadly we saw five groups close that have been associated with us for at least 10 years. Group Great Barton Stourbridge Englefield Green
Start Date 1988 1989 1994
Group Dunstable Mortimer
Start Date 2002 2002
Global Update Foundation Courses in Children’s Work In spring 1900, Albert Kestin was looking at young people in Britain with a fresh pair of eyes. His missionary approach to some youngsters in a park local to where he was living inspired others to do things a little differently. To teach the whole Bible in a way that was relevant to young people. The resultant ‘Crusaders’ and the springing up of ‘classes’ all over these islands would claim first and foremost to be founded on Jesus Christ, the one rock worth building on. They would also owe much to the missionary gifts of Albert whose primary ministry had been in India. We were born a transcontinental organisation. It is in our roots.
Fulani and Djula children enjoying the company of Global Volunteer, Mark Lamb, whilst training in Bobo
effectively with young people. The desperate need of a biblical and intelligent shake up of methods and vision makes church in large areas of the world a place of meaningless boredom and discomfort to children whom Jesus commanded his leaders to love. ‘Anyone who welcomes a child like this in my name, welcomes me.’ The Global Team, primarily made up of self funding volunteers, takes five day training courses to bring change and encouragement where it can be most effectively embraced.
Gareth Webber in action as Global Volunteer in Ouagadougou
In the last year, through partnership with OM India we have been delighted to work increasingly extensively in India. Our ‘fresh eyes’ caused the head of CNI children’s work (7 denominations) to declare: ‘Before you came we had not even considered how effective our work among young people was, and had no strategy for children whose parents do not attend church.’
Urban Saints Global Development has been intentionally looking at young people all over the world ‘with fresh eyes’ ever since our beloved Peter Empson, formerly Area Development Worker in Surrey, first brought to our Board the reality of the need and opportunity existing in parts of the world most hostile to the gospel of Jesus. Here far too many churches took, and still take, little interest in engaging 14
We hope to have eight Global volunteers in action during December, working in four countries. We will be field testing a new course, bringing the total number of training units available to our overseas partners to 34. The latest course seeks to address issues such as: • Mentoring using the very exciting Live Life 1-2-3 initiative proposed by Matt Summerfield • Immunising the next generation to the excesses of the prosperity gospel • Tackling child witch accusations • Disabled youngsters • Addressing the three themes; unity, prayer, transformation currently exciting groups around the UK and Ireland
To teach pupils the style and method of leadership demonstrated by Jesus Christ To offer to any pupil seeking to explore engagement with Christian mission a pathway to do so
Gururati Dalit people learning drama skills in Amanabad under the tutelage of Global Volunteer, Berni Comissiong
Please pray for the safety of our teams, the final stage development of course 3, and the ongoing activities of our many partners.
We need your help. If you have influence with a Christian foundation school please would you draw their attention to Build Hope? If you would like a copy of the Teachers’ Pack and pilot report to give to the school with which you have influence, please contact: Dawn Kellers 50 Bournemouth Road, Folkestone, Kent. CT19 5AZ firstname.lastname@example.org
Build Hope The pilot project for Build Hope which has adapted the hugely fruitful ReBuild house building short term mission trips for use by schools groups was incredibly successful. For a full copy of the pilot report please contact email@example.com It makes very encouraging reading. Here is our vision for Build Hope: • To develop a short term mission trip of such quality that every school would be thrilled to collaborate with it • To teach pupils of all backgrounds why Christian missionaries do what they do
Please help us make this life changing experience available to as many schools as possible. John Fudge Global Development Director 15
Energize 10 years on the cutting edge was still rather slow and sluggish. Urban Saints had met with a number of other similar organisations to explore making resources available online. Despite promising beginnings, all these organisations turned the opportunity down – after all, online resources would never catch on, right?!
As 2013 draws to a close, we’re celebrating a very special anniversary. It’s 10 years since the launch of Energize – Urban Saints’ online youth and children’s resource website. But as we cast our minds back to the early 2000s and the creation of Energize, it almost didn’t get made at all… Before 2003, youth and children’s resources were always paper-based and the internet
We pressed on regardless, launching Energize to our network of 430 groups at the end of 2003. It took a little while for the prospect of paper-less meeting plans to be accepted but soon the numbers of Energize subscribers rocketed – helped in no small part by the opportunity to try these cuttingedge resources free for 3 months.
edge of youth and children’s resources. We’re looking at improving the functionality of the Energize website to make it clearer and easier to use. We’re adding more training content to provide even greater support to groups and their leadership teams. We’re also looking at making an Energize App to allow leaders to view meeting plans more easily on their smartphone or tablet. That’s just for starters…
Throughout the following decade, Energize was the major supplier of online resources. The major advantages to group leaders were that they were constantly being updated (rather than a book that becomes out-of-date), available around the clock, and highly adaptable and customisable. Soon other resource providers turned to publishing their resources on the internet but even now there are very few resource packages like Energize. Earlier this year, we passed 1200 churches and groups subscribing to Energize and the site continues to go from strength to strength.
Energize continues to be the cornerstone of Urban Saints’ commitment to resourcing and supporting relational youth and children’s work, and we look forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring for Energize.
In 2014, we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of this key element of the Urban Saints mission and ministry. We’ll be giving away special offers and even hosting the odd party or two! But we also want to ensure that Energize remains at the cutting
Paul Windo Experiences and Resources Champion 17
Spotlight On A Leader Chris Tabor became an elected leader with Dunchurch Crusaders in November 1970, and retired earlier this year. We asked her to tell us her Crusader story, and why she stayed so long! them responsibility, challenging them, praying with them, finding opportunities for them to lead worship or contribute into dramas, meeting up with other young people at joint events, so they are aware of others of their age learning and loving Jesus too – all important.
I had a few years out in the early 2000s, but can still claim a good forty years of leadership. I was on the Executive Committee in the 1970s, and was Agj or Commy on lots of Crusader holidays from Midhurst to Cae to Casterton, and several in between. I started my apprenticeship to holidays at Ryde with Janet Richards and Joan Dewhurst, and led many holidays with Margaret Martin. Many friendships made in holidays have continued. I was also part of Brian Spurling’s leadership training team. Being a PE teacher, I helped at East Midlands athletics and crosscountry, London netball etc. At all of these, Dunchurch Crusaders was with a force to be reckoned with!
Why so long in youth work? (I am 67 years old and running out of energy sometimes) There continued to be a need, I recognised that my gifts were still needed - especially creative ideas, the ability to break down teaching into bite sized chunks, and my heart to see children and young people grow into a loving, vibrant relationship with God… all that desire was still there.
• We had a great team of leaders who gave willingly of their time, and our own group holidays were a key feature in the development and spiritual growth of so many young people. We used Westbrook (taking two coach loads from the Midlands), Cae Canol, Georgeham and places nearer home. In between we devised crazy activities, mostly having fun without it costing much, using what we had. At Hill House in Somerset we found old mattresses in a shed and created relay races carrying people. At Westbrook when it rained for the swimming gala, we entertained ourselves with indoor synchronized swimming! Bringing youngsters into leadership, giving
So, instead of being the person thrown into the canal after canoeing, I became, by degrees, the greeter of parents at the door, the designer of programmes, the supplier of resources and equipment (I’m emptying my garage), and the administrator who still joined in and led discussions. Others did the energetic parts others certainly looked after the technology!! Special Moment/Memories • For several years I picked up a girl to take to Crusaders. She said little, was polite but unresponsive, but always standing on the corner with her Bible. About 10 years later she met a co-leader in Coventry cathedral 18
in the car park. I was astounded and thrilled by the greeting, and seeing youth leaders and teenagers from church and past leaders now living far away. An album of photos and messages had been compiled which added to the feeling of being much appreciated.
and sent me a message. “Tell Chris it was with her, while picking me up each week, my grounding in Crusaders was so valuable. I’m now a strong Christian!” I now help at church with our toddler group. A childminder recognized me, “You were Adj at a Crusader holiday I went on” and brought some photos. “That was a special time for me” she said. I persuaded her to come to church and four years on she comes regularly and is definitely ‘back with the Lord’. A number of our group have led CUs at college, are involved in leading Alpha courses, running youth groups and at least two are vicars! I videoed Beth Tysall singing. She won the national Crusader talent competition in 2001 and that helped launch her career as a singer. My mum moved into sheltered accommodation in Dunchurch, and the cleaner there said, “Remember me? I was at Crusaders” and from that I had opportunity to talk about God’s plan for her. There is something quite special and precious about knowing generations - the connections keep appearing. It’s all been such a privilege!
As we finished, a four year old came up to me, “Chris we haven’t play any party games yet, when are we going to do that?” So I found myself organising impromptu ‘Hunt the keys’, a drawing game, and hide and seek with some willing teenagers. It struck me as amusing that the last moments of youth work ended like that. “Live life at the max.” That’s what Jesus said. Chris Tabor
The Celebration: (Chris’ team surprised her with a thank you party) This was a total surprise! I thought I was going to church to help empty a cupboard and was a bit surprised to see so many cars 19
Urban Saints Afternoon Tea Party
With Christ John Eakins (1943 to 2013)
regularly prayed for me. The investment that they put into my life enabled me to serve as a leader and to pass on the baton of faith to the likes of John and Mim who are now passing on that same baton to another generation. It was so encouraging to meet up with a number of friends whose lives have been changed by the work of Crusaders and to see them still walking faithfully with Christ. The sweat and tears are well worth it!
On Saturday 21st September Ian and Sue Edwards hosted an Urban Saints afternoon tea party in Southampton. As well as enjoying a lovely tea, it was wonderful to share fellowship with friends, to meet some new faces and to hear exciting news as to what is happening in Urban Saints across the local region, nationally and internationally.
Clive Jones Why not consider having a tea party to raise support and funds for your area? It is so encouraging to reflect on what God has done in the past, and hear what He is doing today, as well as actively helping to keep the ministry going. We can help you organise it, and provide someone to speak.
We were joined by special guests Mim and John Good who were both former members of Southampton Shirley Crusaders. Mim now works for Urban Saints at Support Centre and John is the youth pastor at Stopsley Baptist Church in Luton. Mim and John both shared with us the impact that Urban Saints has had on their lives, and why they are so passionate about passing on the baton of faith to the next generation of youth. John also shared how the Energize website and events like Spree have helped him in his role as youth pastor to bridge the gap between youngsters with some church background and youngsters with no church background at all.
Were you there . . .? Around 1960-61 the Union ran several Crusader Mountain Schools abroad. In 1961 there was one near Chamonix, and I think one in Austria near Solden in 1960? I have a few memories of the time in Chamonix but very few of Solden, and no pictures of either. Were you on one of these? If you were, do you have any photos (b and w of course!) and would you be willing to share any memories? If so, I would be very grateful for any information, however small. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a youngster, Ian and Sue Edwards faithfully taught me about Jesus week after week and
David Bomford 20
and Portsdown. He was amazed that something he loved doing on Sundays became his job as well! He was later joined by Paul Rush and then was asked to take on responsibility for all the other ADWs over the whole country. He was to do this part-time as well as staying as an ADW part time. This meant a lot of travelling, especially around the M25 and very late journeys back home. It was then that John and Gill decided a move would be advantageous and so they were accepted by the Thames Valley area and moved to Buckland near Faringdon in Oxfordshire in 1994.
John moved to Lancing in West Sussex when his father opened an ironmonger’s shop just after World War II. He was asked to go to Crusaders by a friend who said afterwards they could smoke in a tree nearby. John told his parents Crusaders lasted for two hours and he sucked peppermints on the way home! At age 14 he went to a camp in Southern Ireland and he was so impressed by the leaders of the camp who still managed to be happy even when it rained so much that the camp flooded, that he decided that they had something in their lives he wanted and so became a Christian. Crusaders in Lancing helped him grow as a Christian and when he began to help out on Sunday afternoons, some of the Leaders took him along to different churches until he found one he felt at home in. This was in Worthing and one Christmas carol service he saw a young lady called Gill in the choir. It took him quite a while to manage to ask her out but they were married in 1968. Just before their first son, Adam, was born, Gill and three other ladies started a Girls’ Crusader group. Gill thought that if you married a Crusader leader, you then became one yourself! This group eventually joined up with the Boys’ class and grew tremendously in number. By this time they had added to their family another son, Simon.
John retired from Crusaders in 1999 when they were called to work for SIM in Namibia, running a guesthouse for them. This was for a year and then they went back for another 6 months in 2004/05 to work for Scripture Union after overseeing the youth work at their church for three years. This year John celebrated his 70th birthday in June with all his family which included four grandchildren, and the same month was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour which could not be treated. He died in a hospice in Oxford on September 4th and went to be with the Lord and Saviour whom he had loved and served for over 55 years. Gill Eakins (Wife)
In 1985 John had felt God telling him to go into full time Christian service so he sold the shop and became one of the first Area Development Workers for Crusaders in Sussex 21
With Christ David P. Hooper (1943 to 2013) David was born in April 1943 and calledup for the war effort at 18 months due to an administrative error. To avoid misunderstandings, his mother presented him at the recruiting station, saying “He’s willing, but a bit small…”
Spree was a huge logistical exercise and David led the team from 1995 for many years. He was the ideal man for a job which requires enormous attention to detail and the ability to work with a highly disparate bunch of people. An impartial observer would have noticed that David was doing most of the work but giving most of the credit to everyone else. That was his style of leadership - a leadership that was itself servant-hearted.
He was blessed with an academic mind, gaining a Special Place at Steyning Grammar in 1954 and developing a love for chess and the Classics. After completing his O-levels, David started to work for Barclays Bank in 1960. He became a Christian at age 19 and later served as a Deacon at Lancing Tabernacle and then in the Leadership Team at Haywards Heath Baptist Church as Treasurer and Elder. David rose through the ranks at Barclays to Office Manager at North Street, Brighton, Director of Management 1 Course at Ashdown Park International Training Centre near Haywards Heath and, finally, to a job in Personnel at Lombard Street in the City.
Another job that David undertook, more recently, was for the Urban Saints Global Training programme. He excelled at this and went to Thailand in 2010 and the Philippines in 2011. When he become too ill to travel, he turned to training Trainers. He died of cancer on August 4th, still ‘in harness’: sometimes risqué, often hilarious, always wonderful to know. Steve Gooden (sometime Leader, Urban Saints Crofton)
David met Sally in 1966 and they married two years later. As well as being blessed with four children, Gail, John, Imogen and Anna, they have five grandchildren, all of whom were David’s delight. Above all, David wanted to serve God. He took early retirement in 1995 and looked for ways to serve the Church in general and Urban Saints/Crusaders in particular. The skills he had developed in the Bank were put to good use in his role as Area Development Worker for Sussex. As part of this, he ran Training weekends locally for Youth Leaders, Area Meetings at Westbrook on the Isle of Wight, training events nationally for churches about ‘Child Abuse’ and, especially, the southeast Spree.
Simon Maurice Farrant Russell (1942 to 2013) Simon Russell was born 18 August 1942 in Shillong, the Indian state of Assam to missionary parents Stanley & Muriel Russell who fled from Japanese invaded Burma during the war, and was brother to Margaret, Rose, Paul, Priscilla and Sue.
He loved the countryside and nature and was never happier than when he was spending time up trees, going on long walks with his children or pottering around in his garden. On 14th June 1969 he married Julie Flinton at St Nicholas Church in Sevenoaks, the church he continued to worship at up until his death, and subsequently had two daughters, Ruth and Anna and grandchildren Sam and Ena, whom he loved playing with.
Returning to the UK in 1947, the family then moved to Orpington, where Simon joined the Orpington Crusaders class as a youth and spent many happy years attending the group, including camps at Polzeath which he enjoyed hugely as he was he was naturally fit and active. He continued to support Urban Saints financially until the end, and enjoyed reading their regular newsletter.
He eventually lost his lifelong battle with asthma after developing pneumonia. He died peacefully on 20th August 2013, two days after his 71st birthday.
His job and hobbies also reflected his love of activity as he attended agricultural college, eventually spending 35 years as a tree surgeon, which at 6ft 8 inches he was eminently suited for.
Julie (wife), Ruth and Anna (daughters)
Norman Thomas Smith (1958 to 2013) while Norman remained miraculously dry!
Norman began his work with Crusaders as West Sussex Area Development Worker on 1st July 2001, full of energy and passion for young people. As well as supporting leaders around the area, Norman knew the importance of bringing groups together, organising a range of events across the county. In this role, Norman was to touch the lives of thousands of young people, many of whom can look back to an event they attended and say, ‘That is where I gave my life to Jesus’.
Norman was a great believer in the role of residential work. SPREE was an important date in the calendar, even though Norman hated camping! He knew that this could be an important step to someone making a commitment to God and that for some of the children in his East Worthing group, provided an important means of ‘time out’ from difficult home environments.
As well as his role as a Development Worker, Norman led a Crusader group in East Worthing, working with children from around the town and the surrounding East Worthing estate. Norman’s hot dog nights, table football tournaments and end of term discos are fondly remembered by many. ‘Wet and wild’ evenings were a summer highlight, where everyone else got soaking wet 22
Norman died on Wednesday 9th October 2013, after a long period of illness. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Janet Smith (Wife), Rachel Smith (Daughter) and Stephen Dengate 23
Reuniting our nation to their Father 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War, a time in our history when many of our fathers did not return home. The effects of war run deep and have contributed to us becoming fatherless as a nation. Many of our fathers lost their lives on the battlefields of the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Others were so traumatised by what they had seen and experienced that it limited their ability to express the emotions of a loving father towards their children.
not caring, but go and look for our lost brothers and sisters and bring them home to be reunited with their Father. The year will include the following three phases which are outlined in more detail at www.thefatherslove.co.uk
Following on from the 2013 year of prayer led by young people, we have set ‘Reuniting our nation to their Father’ as a theme for the 2014 year of transformation.
As this year draws to an end and we focus on Christmas and what 2104 has in store, let us prepare ourselves by opening our homes and inviting people we wouldn’t normally invite to the Father’s feast. Whether you invite them to a Christmas banquet or to just come round for a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine, make sure they know that they are special to their heavenly Father and he invites them to his banqueting table.
In Luke 15 Jesus told three stories – a lost coin, a lost sheep and a lost son. The story of the lost son stands out from the other two on one significant point – no one went looking for him. When the estate was divided between the two sons, the older son (as in the culture of the time) would have received a double portion. The reason for this is that he now becomes responsible for the family. He was the one who was responsible for going after his younger brother.
1. Receive a fresh revelation of the love of the Father 2. Take the love of the Father to the lost 3. Host your version of the Father’s feast.
As we call up young people to mobilise the church for transformation in 2014, we are sending out a call to two sons. We are calling the young son (the lost) to come home. We are calling the older son (the church), to not stay at home,
Urban Saints is the operating name of The Crusaders’ Union, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England & Wales, company number 07771037, charity number 1144923 and in Scotland, charity number SCO39313. From 1906 to 2006 Urban Saints was known as Crusaders 24