Yr 2 – Day 302 -325

This is duller than usual…..
Yr2 – Day 302 – Sat 21 july – Elie was zonked all day so we didn’t do a great deal. Phoebe thankfully hadn’t caught the bug she was just being her usual self. The weather is glorious, endless cups of teas, wandering about in the fields, a good day
Yr 2 – Day 303 – Sunday 22 July – We were all at Ballyclaire EPC for the day, and the usual summer preachers were there, I think it’s fair to say they weren’t on the best form but we sang the Eternal God by Andrew King in the evening , it’s in Praise but I’d not realise how good it is. All the family were around for lunch which was terrific fun
Yr 2 – Day 304 – Mon 23 July – We started to Potty Training for Phoebe, I’m a broken man! We had cousins round playing with our kids and I feel like I need a holiday from my own children
Yr 2 – Day 305 – Tue 24 July- Day 2 of Potty Training – see yesterday. I bought a new suit! and did get some reading done VanDerGroe on the Heidelberg
Yr 2 – Day 306 – Wed 25 July  – We gave up Potty Training and the whole day was infinitely more enjoyable.
Yr 2 – Day 307 – Thur 26 July – A trip to Carnfunnock park in glorious sunshine, all of us caught the sun
Day 308 – Friday 27 July – Noah and I got our haircut, I got the beard trimmed and all for £9. It was a remarkable Turkish barber complete with a naked flame!! I finished volume 1 of VanDerGroe
Day 309 – Sat 28 July – Did very little apart from going out with Claire’s siblings and wives for a meal which was great fun
Day 310 – Sun 29 July – Rev Roger back and on both ends of the day, Phoebe sick again in the morning so Claire didn’t get out but much better the rest of the day
Day 311 – Mon 30 July – I went with the brother in law up to the wedding venue, Drumrea Presbyterian, it’s a new build but like an American church in the middle of Northern Irish countryside. Brilliant curved wooden cushioned pews that I suspect cost an arm and a leg. In the evening we were out for dinner at one of the elders in the EPC. Tim Trumper and his wife were over from the US, Tim is an old friend of our family who was in university with brother Dave, so we had a great evening with them.
Day 312 -Tuesday 31 July – A doing nothing day and getting ready for the wedding tomorrow.
Day 313 Wed 1 Aug – Wedding Day – The men of the family were out for an ulster fry. Andy Claire’s younger brother was marrying Tiffany and Phoebe gave a cracking performance in the morning. It’s hard to imagine it being more stressful. I had to take her to the ministers house to get a bath as Claire was playing the piano. The minister Richard Murray spoke very well indeed and it was a great day. Phoebe improved and we lasted till the start of the evening do
Day 314 – Thur 2 Aug – We chilled out all day, a trip to the park and then Andrew and Deborah Johnston came round in the evening, he was in the youth group when I was running it at Grove Chapel so it’s always a joy to see him going on.
Day 315 – Fri 3 Aug – I managed to finish volume 2 of VanderGroe on the Heidelberg, it’s a terrific piece of work even if it is a trudge.  In the evening I went with my father in law out for dinner with some folk from the denomination and then on to a Public Lecture. Esmond Burnie was launching his book on Thomas Chalmers, he gave a really fascinating lecture looking at Chalmers Preaching and economics. I think the book will be more dour but the lecture was helpful. DG Hart then spoke on Machen and Politics, he’s an interesting speaker, a bit rambly and firm 2 Kingdom theology. The lecture was ok but it all unravelled in the question and answer session afterwards on how 2 kingdoms actually deals with real life today. Esmond Burnie had some excellent points in the Q&A on Christians and wealth. It was nice to meet Paul Helm and Harrison Perkins who’s about to go on staff at LCPC.
Day 316 – Saturday 4 Aug – Yet again did very little
Day 317 Sun 5 Aug  – We were at Knock EPC for the day with Claire’s oldest brother and family, Phoebe not great on the journey again but ok.  Robert Johnston is doing a terrific work and the congregation is growing. Out to Stormont in the afternoon throwing a rugby ball around.
Day 318 Mon 6 Aug – First day of Knock EPC holiday bible club which our kids loved and I got a few hours to myself. Curry with the inlaws and a good film
Day 319 – Tue 7 Aug – Back to Knock to take the kids and then friends of ours brought a meal round which was a delight.
Day 320 Wed 8 aug – Last full day of hols and trips to the park and holiday club, I settled my debts at the Evangelical Bookshop which becomes an annual affair even managing to leave the shop without buying anything else. Claire’s middle brother and the family were around for the evening.
Day 321 – Thu 9 Aug – We flew out of Belfast at lunchtime and were back home about 5, Noah and Ellie have stayed on for another week, so it’s just the 3 of us.
Day 322 – Fri 10 Aug – I’m going to try getting up earlier which should mean that I can get a few undistracted hours and finish a bit earlier. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep it up but I think I need to change a bit how I’m working. Jess popped in to catch up on some letters and I saw Alun Eb at Earls Court before tea.
Day 323 – Sat 11 Aug – Some reading in the morning and then I was off the rest of the day, there was a fair bit to do around the house.
Day 324 – Sun 12 Aug – Chris Roberts made a strong start on Malachi 1 – really helpful on election. I was baptising one of our missionaries children and tried to speak on the responsibilities of baptism . Really good to have visitors and I was surprised how full we were both morning and night. Graham had got hold of a copy of Cruden’s Concordance from 1817, which is a delightful gift.
Arthur Keefer preached for us in the evening in Hebrews 1, he’s Assistant Chaplain at Eton, he had some great thoughts and an absolutely magnificent voice! It was lovely to be back.
Day 325 – Mon 13 Aug – I have the talks to prep for the Swansea camp and I’m speaking Friday night of Aber conference which I’m dreading. I did a couple of Pastoral visits in the afternoon, then a Deacons meeting in the night which was good, lots of needs. Gethin was staying at ours on his way to the UFM conference so it was a late one.

Jesus, eternal God – Andrew King

Jesus, eternal God,
became the Son of man;
obediently the path he trod,
his Father’s perfect plan:
he came to make God known,
he died to draw death’s sting,
he lives, the Lamb upon the throne,
our Prophet, Priest and King.

2. Our Prophet, he explains
all we can know of God,
for only he eternal reigns,
the uncreated Word.
In ages long since gone
God spoke in various ways,
but now has spoken by his Son—
obey him all your days!

3. Our great High Priest, who prayed
for those who shed his blood,
who once our full atonement made,
now pleads for us with God;
though sinless, well he knew
temptations like our own,
and so can sympathize with you:
come boldly to his throne.

4. Our conquering King is he;
he dies, to die no more!
He lives, appointed now to be
God’s Son in risen power.
His kingdom has no end;
to come, yet present now,
and all, as rebel or as friend,
one day to him will bow.

5.Our Prophet, Priest and King,
he meets our every need;
to him your lives and praises bring—
this man is God indeed.
To speak, to save, to reign,
he came to us in grace,
and when at last he comes again
we’ll see him face to face.

Yr 2 – Day 296 – Sunday 15 July – It was my last Sunday before holiday and it felt it. A later start was appreciated and then I was preaching from the end of Matthew 9. I felt the sermon flowed better than it has in the last few weeks. WE had loads of visitors, mainly people just in London for the weekend but it was nice some newcomers were back. We were just at home with Gethin having Sri Lankan leftovers and pizza for lunch. In the evening I decided to preach on 1 Timothy 1:16 the greatness of God. It was short which I think people appreciated. We were low on numbers but it amazes me that people come out on a Sunday night particularly when it’s been so hot and uncomfortable, it’s such an encouraging thing. I’m praying that in the new building our evening service will grow again.


Yr 2 – Day 297 – Monday 16 July – There is a mountain of admin to be done so I cracked on with some of that, mainly it’s home stuff but some church things aswell. In the afternoon we did some more filming for the building project, basically me begging folk to give, which hopefully will be out next week. I slightly fear what it might look like but we need to do it. I then did a couple of quick Pastoral visits. In the evening one of the congregation came to see me and it was super encouraging, we talked about baptism and the church. It was just a super time of bibles open talking about the Word.


Yr 2 – Day 298 – Tuesday 17 July – In the morning I worked on some things for while I’m away and  then made it to ELT where Dave Hills gave his third talk on Ruth. I had a meeting straight after ELT and then caught the tube into Liverpool Street to meet with Israel who is part of our church in Shepherds Bush. Israel would like to be in ministry long term and is thinking over Seminary options, he’s going to spend a couple of weeks interning with us at the end of August which should be good. I then travelled on to Ilford where I met up with Simon there to do a pastoral visit in Hartford which is about 40 minutes drive away!! It went well but weren’t away until 10. I was back in Ealing 11.30 where I was supposed to meet Jimmy Hughes who is from Llanelli and stays with us occasionally when he’s in London on business. Jimmy had a puncture and finally arrived at our house 2am. It felt like a day that would never end


Yr 2 – Day 299 – Wednesday 18 July – My last full day before hols and meetings started at 8.30. I had 4 back to back meetings which gradually got further and further behind schedule. One of which was with Gethin who will be on his way to France by the time I get home, he’s preaching both ends the next couple of weeks and it’s been a privilege to have him around this year.  I tried to do the necessary admin but didn’t get it done in time. There’ll be a few things that drag into the first couple of days of holiday. I didn’t make it to prayer meeting still trying to catch up on things but I did manage to meet one of my elders for a drink late night and that was a good finish to the working year!


Yr 2 – Day 300 – Thursday 19 July – It was something of a fraught morning and I wasn’t in the best of moods (which is probably a mild understatement). We caught the flight from Heathrow late morning and flopped for the rest of the day once we got to Ballyrobert.  Noah and Ellie played outside for hours and Phoebe happily pushed a pram endlessly round the place. Claire and I went to look for a suit in a local shopping centre but nothing bought. It seems I’ve grown in the wrong ways since I last bought a suit. I didn’t even start reading and was in bed early.
Yr 2 – Day 301 – Friday 20 July – The kids were up early and Ellie complaining of not being well, from then on every half hour she was sick until about 9 in the night. The poor little thing just lay on the sofa. Phoebe was sick in the evening but we’re hoping that was just Phoebe being her usual self and not a bug. Noah seems good and spent the day pottering about, doing lego. Claire and I got out to a great suit shop but I think it’s probably a bit steep!! The advantage of Ellie being sick is I managed to get the jobs done that I’d not managed to get done before we came away and so now don’t have anything to do until I get home!

IPC Ealing – Building Project


The IPC Ealing Building Project is nearly there!!

We’re hoping to begin holding worship services in October in our new building. It’s remarkable how God has provided in many remarkable ways already. We are on the final stretch and are looking to raise finances to enable us to kit the building out.

Would you be willing to buy a chair in our new building? The chairs cost £165 each and in US money it’s $220.

Here’s a 2 minute video of me explaining where we’re at in the project and how you can help

If you’re in the UK – this page will give you our bank details this page will give you our bank details and we’d be glad to claim gift aid back on your gift if we can, let us know and we’ll send you the form

If you’re in the US – Mission to the World have a Project Fund which you can use to give to us.

We also have a loan on the building for £950,000 and so if you were able to commit to giving regularly to the building project that would help us enormously as we plan ahead.





Yr 2 – Day 289 – 295

Sunday  – Yr 2 Day 289 We had Joint Sunday School together, it’s such an encouraging time, the Lord has blessed us with Children over the last number of years and so what was a tiny Sunday School 10 years ago now has about 25 children in it each week. We gave them a book each and heard from the various groups. So much to thank the Lord for. In the morning service I preached on Matthew 9/10 – it felt like a glorified bible study and I didn’t get going at all. I was delighted a new young man who is looking at coming to us was there I’m praying he’ll join, though it’ll be a miracle after that sermon. We had a housegroup BBQ in the scorching heat at the Little’s. In the evening Chris Roberts preached very well from the second half of Psalm 103, he did what I should have done in the morning and kept it short. It was lovely to have the in laws with us all weekend and the kids loved it

Yr 2 – Day 290 – Monday 9 July – Dave Hills and I finished up The Work of the Pastor and I tried to get back into Calvin on Ephesians. I feel convicted about writing more letters, Geoff Thomas stuck this up on the Banner website the other week. What is interesting is that I write to people when they leave to tell them how much I appreciate them but rarely if ever write to folk in the church to tell them. I’m going to try and change that in the autumn. I spent a bit of time trying to think how we’re going to work as a staff over the next year but didn’t really get anywhere. Some more Calvin  and a Pastoral visit and that was the day.


Yr 2 – Day 291 Tuesday 10 july – I met up with a camera man from the church to go round the building. It’s amazing to see the building taking shape, the roof is magnificent and so beautiful. I managed to get up on to the roof and look down at the various things going on. the site manager said to me it’s a beautiful design but terrible to build. From there I met with one of our men who has professed faith this year to  hear his encouragements and struggles. Dave Hills was giving his second talk on Ruth and had some great thoughts – Mara tying in with Marah from exodus – a place of bitterness turned into blessing and Orpah disappearing from the story. I popped into town to see Alun Ebenezer, did some more reading and thinking through Sunday before watching the France/ Belgium game with Noah.


Yr 2 – Day 292 – Wednesday 11 July  – Dave Hills and I watched Sinclair Ferguson’s masterful 20 minutes of Pastoral Theology he gave at a Desiring God conference a few years ago. Really helpful reminders. I had a mountain of letters to get done and some prep on Matthew 9 which is going very slowly. I caught up with Rob Ilderton for lunch and it was good to hear of the encouragements in Immanuel Brentford and their plans for the future. I read again in the afternoon  and the kids broke up from school, because of building work at the school they’ve got 8 weeks off this summer. The country ground to a halt for the England game, Noah and I watched it with our neighbours whose language was industrial to say the least.


Yr 2 – Day 293 – Thursday 12 July – Early Morning Session Prayer, had an end of year feel about it. I was then on to study trying to get sermons in some shape for Sunday – 2 more to go. I wrote our the Session AGM Report and that was very encouraging to go through the last 6 months. God has been so very good to us. My sermon on Matthew 9 is coming together and then I took the girls to the park. It is a great thing that the work of ministry is flexible, those of us in church work are super privileged. Our AGM last night wasn’t very well attended, we’d thought of moving it to July which hasn’t worked but it was a good time. Chris Cradock was in the chair as Graham was away so we were a bit longer than usual.


Yr 2 – Day 294 – Friday 13 July – It was a day trying to work on sermons, I’m crawling over the line to holidays and so my brain is working very slowly. We were at the Meiners for lunch which was a lovely time and then a couple of people to see in the afternoon. We were supposed to have some families of schoolfriends in the evening but they had to cancel. I really enjoyed reading John Murray’s charge to Ed Clowney on his appointment to Westminster, in volume 1 of his works.


Yr 2 – Day 295 – Saturday 14 July – A day of celebration, Noah and Ellie had a birthday party for one of the church kids in the morning. It was a dancing party and very embarrassing for parents to watch. Noah has inherited my dancing skills.
In the afternoon was Gethin’s ordination which was a good time, we have so many folk on holiday and it was a shame more weren’t able to be there. Chris Roberts led the service, I did the Ordination Vows and charge, Simon Arscott preached excellently from Acts 13 on Ordination – The Act, The Actors, the Impact of Ordination – pretty provocative but good. There was a mountain of food and we were all away by a bit after 6. Noah was in the bath when we remembered he had another party at his Sri Lankan friends. We dashed down and they feed me the most amazing curry, I love going to their place, different culture, different traditions and they are so welcoming. They told me of a Hindu temple they’d been to near Llanpumsaint in West Wales which was suprising. Noah and I are always the only non Sri Lankans there and we’re sent home with huge amounts of food.

Heroic Failures – A footnote to the AGM Session Report

I should have also mentioned that there have been some ventures we’ve tried over the last 6 months that just haven’t worked. The Greenford Lunchtime Talks we ran for 12 weeks and there were some generous donors allowed us to try this. A combination of freezing weather and the room being in an awkward position means that they just didn’t take, we had between 8 and 15 each time but nearly all our own people.  It might be worth trying again at some point at a different venue but Greenford is different to Ealing in that there’s not the same amount of lunchtime workers.


We also tried lunch bars in the Castle Pub opposite University of West London. WE flyered all morning, told the CU who were enthusiastic about it but no one came, literally no one. Both times we had a great pub lunch but it didn’t do what we’d hoped and prayed it would.  I think I could have done a better job getting the CU involved and getting our church praying for it but even the CU really struggles with evangelistic events and they are a very small group and it’s a difficult place to be a Christian. Although it felt pretty discouraging it was worth it in actually seeing what the university is like.


It’s good to try this sort of thing and we mustn’t give the impression in church life  that everything works and is a success. Also, we mustn’t let these things deter us from trying things in church life and not being afraid if they fail. I had a good friend who used to talk about celebrating failure in church life, which I still can’t get my head around but I think he means something like what we’ve done here. I love those verses in 2 Corinthians ‘At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.” It’s comedic and ministry don’t always turn out successfully!