Sunday, 27 April 2008

Pray! Pray! Pray! Today - but also until freedom reigns again!

Zimbabwe church leaders warn of genocideJoanna Sugden and agencies
Violence in Zimbabwe will reach full-scale genocide if the international community doesn’t intervene, church leaders in the beleaguered country warned today.

In a joint statement, Catholic, Anglican and Evangelical church leaders warned that violence following the elections last month would turn to genocide of the same magnitude experienced in Rwanda if the world failed to act.

“We warn that if nothing is done to help the people of Zimbabwe from their predicament, we shall soon be witnessing genocide similar to that experienced in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and other hot spots in Africa and elsewhere,” the statement said.

“Organised violence perpetrated against individuals, families and communities who are accused of campaigning or voting for the ‘wrong’ political party... has been unleashed throughout the country”.

A recount of votes cast in elections on March 29 is under way, after President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu (PF) party lodged legal objections in an apparent attempt to cling to power. The opposition party Movement for Democratic Change says that pro-Mugabe militias have killed 10 of its members and injured hundreds more since the elections. Zanu (PF) strongly deny the claims against them.

The church leaders’ statement made a direct appeal for the international community to come to Zimbabwe’s aid. “We appeal to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union and the United Nations to work towards arresting the deteriorating political and security situation in Zimbabwe,” they said.

The statement, which was signed by the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, called for an end to voter intimidation. It also said there was “widespread famine” in Zimbabwe’s countryside because basic goods were unavailable or too expensive. No medicines were available to treat people injured in the post-election violence they said.

In a separate statement the leaders of the Methodist and United Reformed churches in Zimbabwe condemned the “campaign of violence and intimidation” being waged by the ruling party against Zimbabweans.

Source: The Times (22/4)

Friday, 25 April 2008

'Families at breaking point' as Debts Rise

DEBT is forcing families to miss meals, go onto medication and is causing marriages to end, a national charity has found. Christians Against Poverty (CAP), the specialist debt counselling charity, said the strain put on families by personal debt is pushing many to crisis point.

In research among its clients, published yesterday, CAP found that almost a quarter (23 per cent) said that debt caused their relationship to break down. In a worrying development, 67 per cent also confessed that they had missed meals to make debt repayments and nearly a quarter (22 per cent) did so regularly. This is evidence, the charity stated, that increasing numbers of families are sacrificing food for the sake of paying bills.

The psychological toll on families and individuals was also highlighted, as over half (53 per cent) of all respondents said the financial strain of being in debt caused arguments and stress with their partner. Sixty-nine per cent had visited the GP due to debt-related stress. Furthermore, 40 per cent have also been prescribed medication by their doctor as a result of debt-related stress, as the negative consequences of a life spent struggling to make repayments continue to become more apparent.

Matt Barlow, UK CEO, CAP, said, 'Our latest findings are truly shocking, highlighting the trauma that many families in debt face on a day-to-day basis. Our results provide strong evidence that families and couples across the UK are being pushed to breaking point and beyond, with many not eating properly, taking medication and splitting up as they can no longer cope.'

The findings come against the backdrop of the global credit crisis, and a testing financial environment, with households facing increases in food, fuel and utility bills. This week housing charity Shelter warned that almost 60,000 families will have their homes repossessed in 2008 as people struggle to pay mortgages and loans secured against their houses.

On Monday the Bank of England agreed to bolster the struggling mortgage market by lending banks £50 billion of government bonds. The following day chancellor Alistair Darling met the mortgage lenders to press them to cut the cost of home loans and look at ways of helping people refinance their mortgages. The Government has also faced criticism for its scrapping of the 10p income tax rate, while a report from the price comparison website identified almost three million people who have plunged into debt by 'living a middle class fantasy' without the means to pay for it.

Personal debt in the UK now sits at a record high of £1.4 trillion. Niall Cooper, national coordinator for Church Action on Poverty, told The Baptist Times the causes of the current debt crisis need to be addressed. He cited the 'irresponsible' lending practices of many banks and building societies and the extortionate interest rates charged by loan companies who target poorer communities. 'These findings confirm the devastating impact that unsustainable levels of debt have on individuals and families - especially those who are already struggling to make ends meet,' he said. 'The recent increases on food and fuel - allied to the ending of the 10p tax rate - will only make matters worse.'

He added, 'While debt counselling is desperately needed for those who get into debt problems, Church Action on Poverty believes that much more also needs to be done to tackle the root causes of the current debt crisis. 'This research should be a wake up call to the churches to speak out against those in society who profit by preying on the poor and vulnerable.'

Christians Against Poverty, which operates through a national network of 72 debt counselling centres, believes there is some cause for hope. The charity has launched a free money management course, CAP Money, across the UK to enable people to get a better grip on their finances. Mr Barlow said, 'While these statistics paint a very negative picture and it would be tempting to think that there is no solution, we believe that our unique and holistic approach to debt counselling provides people with hope and a genuine and proven opportunity to become debt free.'

In addition, more than 500 churches from around the country and across denominations have signed up to a campaign to be more proactive in dealing with debt in their congregations and the wider community.

Red2Black, courtesy of Christian financial support services charity Stewardship, urges churches to set up money ministries, train volunteers as personal budget coaches and use Sunday, June 29 as a focal point for using the teaching materials. Aided by the free resources available on the campaign website,, the site has already attracted over 6500 visitors since its launch in January. Steve Pierce, head of Stewardship Money (the education division of Stewardship behind Red2Black), said, 'The church is not the first place people with money worries would usually think of turning, yet Jesus had more to say about money and possessions than almost any other subject. 'Red2Black is about reconnecting the church to these issues, and equipping them to respond practically.'

Source: Baptist Times (24/4)

I have been meaning to write about the growing problem of families struggling as a result of debt problems for some time, so this article from the Baptist Times is a welcome alarm call to the churches to take action and give these families as much support as they can.

'Bishop of the Poor' becomes President of Paraguay

Many Christians will be rejoicing today at the news of the election of Bishop Fernando Lugo as the new President of Paraguay, and he can be assured of many prayers in support of his plan to restore Paraguay to its former prosperity for it will not be an easy task.

Richard Owen in Rome writes:
Pope Benedict XVI is to decide whether to defrock Fernando Lugo, a Roman Catholic Bishop, following his election as President of Paraguay, Vatican sources said today.

Mr Lugo, 56, a former Divine Word missionary and Bishop, was elected President of Paraguay with 41 per cent of the vote with a platform of land reform and help for the poor. His election ended over 60 years of rule by the Colorado Party, whose candidate Blanca Ovelar received 31 per cent of the vote.

Mr Lugo was ordained in 1977, and served as a missionary in Ecuador for five years. In 1992 he was appointed head of the Divine Word order in Paraguay, and was ordained a Bishop in 1994 by Pope John Paul II. He served for a decade as Bishop of the backward region of San Pedro, where his support for landless peasants earned him the nickname “Bishop of the Poor”.

He came to national prominence in March 2006 when he helped to organise and lead an opposition rally in the capital Asuncion. He resigned from the priesthood nine months later. But the Vatican refused to accept the resignation, arguing that serving as a priest is a “freely accepted lifetime commitment.”

Instead the Vatican suspended him from his duties “a divinis”, meaning that he could no longer say Mass or carry out other priestly functions such as administering the sacraments. This was enough to enable him to stand in the Presidential elections, but his victory now presents the Vatican with a dilemma over whether to “reduce him to lay status”.

Vatican officials said it was up to the Pope to decide, but that he would “take time to study the situation”. Mr Lugo’s decision to enter politics aroused fears in the Vatican of a return to “liberation theology” in Latin America. However, Pope Benedict is said to have privately made clear to the Paraguayan Bishops Conference that he intended to co-operate with Mr Lugo for the good of Latin America if he was elected.

Mr Lugo brought together leftist unions, indigenous people and poor farmers into a coalition to form the centre-left Patriotic Alliance for Change. He told supporters after his victory: “I invite Paraguayans of all political types, even the ones who don’t share our ideals, to help this country that was once great to be great again.”

When Mr Lugo announced his intention to stand for election in 2006 the Vatican sent him a letter signed by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops and head of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, in which the Cardinal declared that the Holy See had “learned with surprise” that some political parties “have the intention of presenting him as a candidate in the coming Presidential election in Paraguay.”

It added: “The acceptance of that offer would be clearly against the serious responsibility of a bishop ... Canon Law prohibits priests from participating in political parties or labour unions.” The letter asked Mr Lugo “in the name of Jesus Christ” to “seriously reflect on his behaviour”.

Mr Lugo replied “The Pope can either accept my decision or punish me. But I am in politics already.” Today Mr Lugo was reported as saying that he “sincerely apologised to members of the Church” if his “disobedience to Canon Law” in entering politics had caused them pain.

Source: The Times (23/4)

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Looking Forward, Looking Back

While out and about at shops and such
We see the strength of younger men
And wonder, as they walk away
How will they look, later then

Will their shouders stoop, depleted
Their hair be gone, all wispy grey
With years decreasing power of limb
How will they face each day

And are they preparing now
Their hearts, their minds for heaven
Filling up each day with love
To enjoy the other end

And thus, we gaze on aged men
Reposed, retired, upon a seat
Wondering what handsome looks they bore
And if they feel complete

Their past now tucked away, a mystery
The years of fight and grit
Achieving such of this and that
While they were young and fit

But, the heart of man is still the same
Inside, he's young, in love
Oh Lord, I pray he knows your life
So, renewed, he'll walk with You above

Soft forever whispers from
Derry's Heart Poems © 2008
Poetry From The Heart

Monday, 21 April 2008

Urgent Call to Rebuild Zimbabwe


Monday 21st April 2008

Churches concern at Zimbabwe violence

The Methodist and United Reformed Churches have together voiced their concern about increasing levels of violence and political intimidation, linked to the delay in announcing the result of Zimbabwe’s presidential election.

Commenting on the precarious situation, the Revd Dr Stephen Orchard, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church said: ‘The Zimbabwe Election Commission owes it to the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe to announce the presidential result without further delay, to enable people to begin the urgent task of rebuilding their shattered lives and economy. We condemn the campaign of violence and intimidation that has been embarked upon by members of the ruling party, following the announcement of the parliamentary election results. We also believe that people who hold power in any country have a first duty to care for the poor and vulnerable rather than for themselves’.

Reflecting on the escalating humanitarian crisis, the General Secretary of the Methodist Church, the Revd David Deeks, said ‘The impact on the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans has been immense. The people of Zimbabwe appear to have voted for change and the leaders of Southern African states bear a huge responsibility to ensure that the will of the people is respected. If that doesn’t happen, the crisis in Zimbabwe could have an increasingly devastating impact on the entire region’.

The two churches expressed their solidarity and support in prayer and action with their partner churches and agencies in Zimbabwe and pledged to continue working together to achieve peace, justice and prosperity there. They illustrated the plight of Zimbabweans with statistics, including:

INFLATION In 1987 inflation averaged 11.9 percent. It surged to an official record of 100,586 percent in January 2008, but economic experts say the real rate is much higher.

LIFE EXPECTANCY Average life expectancy dropped from 63 years in 1990 to 37.3 years in 2005, according to World Bank and U.N. figures.

UNEMPLOYMENT Estimated at about 80% of the working population.

The Methodist Church has about 295,000 members and 800,000 people are connected with the Church. It has about 5,800 churches in Great Britain, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million.

The United Reformed Church comprises one hundred thousand people in 1600 congregations. It has brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists and members of the Churches of Christ. Worldwide, more than 70 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches, the largest Protestant tradition. The name ‘Reformed’ is used because the churches began to emerge with reform movements in the sixteenth century.

For more information contact:

Stuart Dew
Press Officer
United Reformed Church House
86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT
tel. 020 7916 2020 or 07976 753950

Anna Drew
Media and Information Assistant
Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR
tel. 020 7467 5191 Fax 020 7467 5229

Toby Scott
Media Relations Officer
Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR
tel. 020 7467 5221 Fax 020 7467 5229 Mobile/Out of hours 07881 783 812

Friday, 18 April 2008


Away from the much-publicised race for the US presidency, a former bishop has emerged as most popular candidate in tomorrow’s presidential elections in Paraguay. Fernando Lugo Mendez, the former Roman Catholic Bishop of San Pedro, is fronting an alliance of opposition parties in a country which has been dominated by the right-wing Colorado Party for six decades. Even though there were slightly higher expectations of success for the Colorado Party’s female candidate Blanca Ovelar, 34.5 per cent of people polled said they would vote for Lugo. The electorate has tired of corruption and people believe Lugo is honest and caring, The Tablet reports.

Source: The Tablet (19/4)


18 April, 2008

In the face of growing political instability and desperate food shortages in Zimbabwe, The Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) is supporting an appeal through ACT International (Action by Churches Together) that will distribute emergency food supplies to vulnerable households.

Over 4 million people need food immediately. Reports from Zimbabwe paint a picture of desperation, with some families cooking leaves they had previously considered poisonous. Although they have found ways of draining them that make them safer, people are still getting sick. The current crisis has been worsened by Zimbabwe’s growing HIV/AIDS problem and inflation levels that are spiralling out of control – currently the highest in the world.

As well as distributing food, the MRDF appeal, through ACT International, will also provide home-based care kits for those looking after people with HIV/AIDS, supplementary vitamins for those with HIV/AIDS and support and counselling for AIDS orphans, who often face malnutrition because of lack of food, illness and stigma. People who have lost their livelihoods will be given small livestock for food and to help generate incomes.

Kirsty Smith, MRDF Director, said: “The crisis in Zimbabwe has left millions of people without the means to feed themselves. By supporting this appeal, we hope to alleviate some of the suffering and give them a way of generating income in the future.”

Donations to MRDF’s appeal for Zimbabwe can be made by debit or credit card on 020 7224 4814, or by cheque, payable to “MRDF (Zimbabwe emergency)”, posted to MRDF, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR.

Taxpayers are encouraged to gift aid their donations where possible, adding a value of 28p to every pound they give, at no extra personal cost. "


I have a special interest in Zimbabwe, because my nephew, Dr Peter Morgan, has spent his life working to help the African people at the Blair Laboratories there and has made it his country, no matter how hard the going gets. He was awarded the MBE for his invention of the Blair toilet that has (I'm told) saved millions of lives.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

ECG A Heart for the Nations

Sorry to have kept you waiting for my write-up of the ECG Event at Easter. It has taken until now to be able to use my right hand without pain after the bad fall I had in the rain in Llandudno. So I hope you will find it's worth the wait:-

Easter People was finished. I had never heard of NXT Ministries until ECG came on the scene and what was ECG anyway? It seemed a stupid title! I knew Youth for Christ and I’d heard and read about Hope ’08 – but, with input from all of these, would this new event even hold a candle to our beloved Easter People which had been run by Share Jesus International? These were the doubts in my mind as I prepared to travel to Llandudno to act as a steward for this new event.

However, we’d been told that there would be similar in-depth Bible studies to that provided by Easter People, with the renowned Clive and Ruth Calver as the main speakers, and that the main focus would be the ‘lost generation’ (the 20s to 40s). Even more reassuring was the fact that my friends from MET (Methodist Evangelicals Together) would be there, showing that they had faith in the new venture, and they were backing it financially.

So I set off on Easter Tuesday morning on a 6.10am train to Birmingham International rail station where I was met by another volunteer steward to drive to Llandudno – a very scenic journey through Wales, which included breakfast at the popular restaurant at the Horseshoe Pass. A sudden snowstorm painted the stunning landscape pure white just before our arrival there – absolutely wonderful!

In Llandudno there was the stewards’ briefing that included a tour of the new Conference Centre, Venue Cymru, so that we could direct others easily to the various events on site. The first thing we were told, however, was that, being in Wales, we should be aware that if someone shouted something that sounded like ‘daniel squirrel’ all the Welsh speakers would make a hasty exit - because it meant ‘Fire!’ Then we were told how to make a ‘horizontal evacuation’ of the building. My private sense of humour played tricks with that word ‘horizontal’!

I have always enjoyed welcoming people to Easter People and it was the same at ECG, but I was amazed at the number of folk who were so pleased to see me, some flinging their arms round me with joy and one lady saying ‘As we drove here, I was wondering if we would see you again!’ During the week I met a girl who said she had belonged to our youth group ‘Squash’; a lady who said she had belonged to my son’s choir (the Ryton Chorale) in Worksop until she began candidating for the Methodist ministry and could no longer go on Monday evenings; a young man who said my son had taught his young brother the ‘cello in Nottinghamshire; and another young man who was a steward at one of Will Grady’s churches. (I’d met Will at a UK Methodist bloggers’ meeting in January.) So there are many joys in stewarding, though it limits the number of sessions you can attend. We are told that we shall need twice as many stewards next year, so please consider whether you can be a volunteer!

However, I did get to a good number of the morning Bible Studies, whose themes were Jesus the Son of God, Jesus the social activist, Jesus the suffering servant and Jesus the mentor. It was good to witness the application of the Bible studies to our everyday lives in line with ECG (Equipping, Calling, Going). I was also glad to be at the main celebration event each evening led by the impressive worship band Yfriday (known world-wide) and with a variety of speakers on Jesus the Friend, Jesus the Healer, Jesus the Evangelist, Jesus the Risen One, Jesus the Radical and Jesus the Returning Hero. Large numbers of people responded to the call each day – a different call each time, according to the chosen theme, aiming to envision and enable radical mission and discipleship. For instance, I was most impressed when Gavin Calver (Youth for Christ Director of Church & Schools resources) summed up on Saturday by saying ‘I used to think that revival would come through our young people but now I believe it will also come from older people mentoring young people’. – after so many older people had stood to indicate their willingness to be a mentor.

In addition to these main events there was a very full programme, with something to suit every age group. The morning seminars, equipping people for ministry and growth were on Leadership, Lifestyle, Vocation (which, surprisingly, included one session on ‘Called to make money’!), and Church were so popular that each day we had to turn people away and refer them to the repeat sessions in the afternoon. There was all age worship each morning, a Kidz Zone for (0-4s, 5-6s, and 7-10s) and an evening children’s Praise Party run by Big Ministries and a Youth Programme for 11-14s and 15-18s.

In the afternoon, there was a choice of Family Film Fun, a Masterclass (on things like Songwriting, Public Speaking, and How to use Comedy), Signs of Hope sessions with the Fresh Expressions Team, Sports for all ages and fitness levels, the ECG-run Café Revival in the town centre, and social action projects like restoring a community centre, painting a church hall, and hosting a skate park and a mission bus. There was also much interest in the Prayer Path that occupied four rooms on the first floor, with interactive stations and different elements added each day to help us think more about Jesus’ character.

Fringe, late night events included a ‘Late Night Laughter Lounge’ at a local hotel, dramatic productions by the Lacey Theatre Company and the Inside Out Theatre group, Latin dance lessons by a professional salsa teacher, a Disco night, and each night there was a late night alternative Bible study in the Centre’s Café Bar (led on the Saturday by our President, Dr Martyn Atkins).

Before we left 480 people had booked and paid for next year’s ECG Event which will again be held in Llandudno from 14th to 19th April 2009, with Martyn Atkins (who will then be the Secretary of the Methodist Conference and the chief spokesman for the Methodist Church) as the main speaker for the Bible Study sessions. So 2008 had been a very encouraging start for ECG, with its aim of 'inspiring a prophetic church to build a better world'.

Churches urge people to vote wisely on May 1st

17 April, 2008

Three Christian denominations are urging voters to take a stand against racist and extreme political parties as election day for local councils in England and Wales draws near.

1 May 2008 is election day for many local councils as well as for the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly. A new briefing from the Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Baptist Union of Great Britain encourages people to use their vote wisely.

Simon Loveitt, Convenor of the Church and Society Committee for the United Reformed Church, says; “Politics is not just for Westminster. Local elections are a chance to have your say about the issues affecting your community. Many are daunted by the information available, but this briefing demystifies local elections and offers a place to start making your voice heard on the issues that matter.”

“It’s very easy to criticise politicians from a distance,” adds Graham Sparkes, Head of Faith and Unity at the Baptist Union of Great Britain, “but as Christians we are called to be fully involved in politics. We need to be engaged in community life, holding politicians to account for their decisions but also taking our democratic responsibilities seriously.”

Local churches are encouraged to issue statements condemning policies and practices that are incompatible with Christian faith and to work with other community groups in taking a stand against extremist parties in their areas.

Rachel Lampard, Methodist Secretary for Parliamentary and Political Affairs, says; “Churches have urged people not to vote for candidates who promote racist policies which are completely incompatible with the Christian call to love one another. Not only should we reject racist and intolerant parties, but we should actively work to counter those who seek to stir up hatred. Using your vote is essential to ensure that extremist parties, such as the BNP, do not get elected.”

Christians in London are invited to attend a hustings event for the London Mayoral candidates which is being organised by the London Churches Group for Social Action and the Evangelical Alliance. The hustings will take place at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square on 23 April from 1800-2000.

The briefing offers links to further resources and is available at


The next vice-president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) has been named as Revd. Kingsley Appiagyei – who will make history by becoming the Union’s first black male president in May 2009. The Ghanaian was the sole nomination, and was voted to the honorary position in a postal ballot. Mr Appiagyei, who studied at Spurgeon’s College, formed Trinity Baptist Church in South Norwood which, with more than 2,000 members, is now the second largest church in the Union. The largest is Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church in Plaistow, East London, which is one of Mr Appiagyei’s church plants.

Source: The Baptist Times (10/4)

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


‘Gang-up on poverty’ – that’s the invitation from Christian Aid to seven to 14 year olds this week, with the launch of a film-making competition to address worldwide poverty. The driving force behind the contest is Global Gang – the children’s arm of Christian Aid – and asks budding movie-makers to make a short, three-minute film persuading their peers to take action on poverty. The winning entry will be shown on the Global Gang website, and displayed at the London International Gallery of Children’s Art later this year.

Source: Christian Today (10/4)

Friday, 11 April 2008


Mourners unable to get to a funeral may be able to watch the ceremony via the Internet as part of a £1.4 million scheme to upgrade Park Wood crematorium at Elland, near Halifax. Cameras are planned to relay services from the small chapel to screens in an overflow waiting room – and could also be connected to the Internet with the permission of he families. Commenting on the service – which has been dubbed ‘Crem Cam’ – the vicar of Halifax, the Revd Hilary Barber said, ‘I can see this working over the internet, provided families agree. It’s a reflection of the modern world we live in.’

Source: The Church of England Newspaper (11/4)

This should be of great comfort to families separated by distance and unable to travel home from distant places in the world.

Friday, 4 April 2008


The Methodist Church has urged British Christians to pray for marginalised groups in Tibet and China as security arrangements are made for Sunday’s Olympic torch handover in London. ‘The situation in Tibet is very grave and it is clear that there have been human rights violations,’ said Christine Elliott, Methodist secretary for External Relationships, previously its Asia and Pacific secretary. David Fung, senior steward at Birmingham Chinese Methodist Church, said he was ‘deeply sorry for the Tibetan sufferings’. Nevertheless, he supported the Beijing Olympic Games and prayed for it to be an opportunity ‘to channel both friendship and the Gospel into the hearts and minds of the people there’.

Source: Methodist Recorder (3/4)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

ECG 'Inspiring a prophetic church to build a better world'

I have been away for a week stewarding for the new ECG event at the Conference Centre in Llandudno about which I hope to be blogging soon. Meanwhile, you can find the comments of our President, Martyn Atkins, on the short time that he was with us on his blog . I'm disappointed that so far there has been only one comment there.

Those of us stewards who returned home on Sunday afternoon were encouragd by this email from the stewards' team leader, John Cass:-

"After you had gone we had another great Celebration for the local folk from the Llandudno Area, an area stretching from Holyhead to Wolverhampton and Liverpool, so not that local! The stalls were so full that we had to open the circle as well. Clive Calver preached, YFriday led worship and many responded to Salvation and a personal commitment to growth. There is a real possibility that many of those who attended may return for the week next year.

Next year we are going to need twice as many stewards as this year so when the volunteer forms appear please encourage your friends to volunteer. The record is 8 additional volunteers recruited, currently held by Kath."

We also heard in another email that 475 people had already signed up for next year!