FIEC leaders’ conference, November 2016

Hemsby in November is a curious beach front ghost town with its amusement arcades and fish and chip shops locked up for the winter. The grey sea hammers against the long beach of sand and dunes. This is the venue for the FIEC leaders’ conference.


the wild and windy beach at Hemsby must be beautiful in summer

Some 500 delegates met together to hear talks and attend seminars on the topic of “Evangelism”.


main meetings in the Starlight ballroom

The key-note speaker was Ed Stetzer from USA. His main point was that churches should be always involved in the “seeking the lost” ministry of Jesus. Jesus went to people where they were – e.g. Jesus meeting Levi at his tax-collection booth. He also made loads of jokes.

There were several seminar streams with helpful topics. For exampe we were able hear about the following topics and ask questions:  How to help churches to think evangelistically, ministry on an “estate” (= scottish “scheme”), how to support single mums in the church etc.


seminar leader tells us how “middle class” Christians can actually be useful ministering to people with a very different background

The preaching on Wednesday evening opened up how Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem was particularly breathtaking. We were humbled and inspired to worship God.

It was good to meet with other Christians on the same mission, facing many of the same problesm, and enouraging one another to press on in serving Jesus Christ.


A quietly brilliant baptism – Nick Hopgood

On Sunday October 9th 2016 we were privileged to witness the baptism of Nick Hopgood.

He told us his story – how his life had been one which included dissipation and despondency. He came along to church at the invitation of a friend and heard a sermon “Who is Jesus?” which seemed to be aimed exactly at him.

Over a period of about a year he has been reading the Bible and seeking to know more. Now, at last, he is confident to state publicly his faith in Jesus, and receive the assurances of God made to all who are baptised in faith.

The whole thing had the ring of authenticity as the quiet depth of God’s work in a person’s life was recounted.

We were pleased to welcome his Mum and Dad, and have a celebratory church lunch together afterwards.

“Baptised into Christ  – baptised into his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” Romans 6:1-5 slightly paraphrased


We had a great time – June 5th evening

There was no meeting on the Viaduct Road premises on the evening of June 5th.

Instead we will joined together for the Mid-Sussex group of FIEC churches joint meeting at Cuckfield Baptist Church, by their kind invitation. We had a great time of fellowship – and enjoyed the encouragement of listening to the preaching of Rupert Bentley-Taylor.

There were more leaves on the trees than in this rather wintry picture of Cuckfield Baptist Church’s new building.

MSG Day 2016 - final-2-png


We’ve appointed new Deacons

What sort of internal organisation do churches have, according to the New Testament?

The bible is quite sparing in its answer to this question. It is strong on principles (e.g. love, service, respectfulness, selflessness), but fairly flexible on implementation.

It seems clear that within New Testament churches there were a variety of people serving in various ways:

  • Every church member is part of the body of Christ – as expressed in that particular church – thus, every member has and is a gift of God with a part to play.
  • It also seems clear that, as the New Testament era developed, the emphasis settled on the role of the Elders who lead and feed the flock through the word of God, and also …
  • Deacons, who exemplify and focus serving the people of God.

In the previous post we mentioned our prayerful quest to add to the Eldership as the years go by, and currently we are carefully and prayerfully working through the appointment of Deacons.

We can report with thanks to God that the current phase of this process has come to a conclusion at the mini-members meeting 23/3/16, with the recognition and appointment of 7 deacons, as follows:


Lindsay Debach – Administration

Rachel Rayfield – Children’s ministry

Ray WIngate (for one year) – Treasurer (oversight, with assistance), and Secretary

Ben Alltimes – Evangelistic and Discipleship Opportunities

Ruth Muinde and Roger Kinross (till September 2016)  – Care and Concern – including discipling and supporting both men and women

Steve Ellacott – no specific role, but undertaking a project to revamp the Constitution and church manual documents.

We thank God for these people, and for leading us together as a church



P.W. 23/3/16



We’re looking for an Assistant pastor – from September 2016


If you are interested or know someone else who would be please ask them to be in contact. The closing date for applications is 31st January 2016. Below is the text of the advert placed with FIEC, WEST, Oakhill Theological College, and Cornhill Training Course:

Calvary Evangelical Church Brighton is prayerfully seeking an assistant pastor from
September 2016, to serve and train in that role for 3 years. We have the earnest
hope and prayer that there will be sufficient development of the person, ministry
and the relationship between the church and the appointee that he will stay on, in
future, as lead teacher-elder. By August 2019 the current lead teacher-elder Philip Wells will be looking to hand over a significant portion of his workload.

Brilliant Musical Evening in support of Refugee work of Brighton Housing Trust (BHT)

Over £280 was raised at the November 2015 Musical Evening. The money was raised in support of Brighton Housing Trust’s refugee work. Andy Winter CEO writes: “on behalf of Kate Jessop and all at the Immigration Legal Service … thank you for your incredible generoisty at the musical evening – which I really enjoyed”.

Contributions reflected the cross generational family nature of the church. Some jazz from senior member Colleen Moss, something from the “Jungle Book” by Argie Benwell and Corinne Lamb (aka “Lambargie”) taking in Johnny Cash’s “Aint no grave can hold my body down” and the Beatles en route.

Thanks to all who helped organise, set up and run the event. We thank God for the many gifts of musical and other talent – but it is not about excellence so much as making a contribution.


Kate Jessop explains the work of the Immigration Legal Service of BHT

The hall was packed and the atmosphere was “full of good energy” as one visitor put it – we had certainly prayed for Christ’s presence to be there.

There is a Facebook video here.

International mission – report from Albania

On Wednesday November 18th 2015 we were pleased to welcome Jamie and Lori Clarke and children. Once upon a time Jamie used to come to the youth group in the church. But his  visit this time was in connection with the ministry that he and his wife are conducting in Albania where he is a Christian missionary.

We were told about the way that God is working among children and young men, in the city and in the villages in this spiritually needy country.