Presbytery was hosted by Trinity Church, York and for the first time we met at St Anthony’s Hall, Trinity’s new home. Committees took place on the Friday morning and we started proper after lunch with Chris Hatch exhorting us from Romans 12. Chris Cradock is the Moderator and is doing a fine job. The business began with church reports and I gave the report on Liss which Presbytery dealt with calmly and quickly. My resignation as a loan elder was accepted and Paul Meiners one of the other elders here in Ealing will take my place. Kyle of Lochalsh has also had some difficult times but there was a good spirit in how these things were dealt with.
The main event of the afternoon was Joel Kendall’s presbytery floor examination. Joel is a Welshman who was a student at Nottingham, doing an apprenticeship with Beeston Free before going to WEST (now Union). For the past 4 years he’s worked as an Assistant Minister in Christ Church, Westbourne. Our congregation in Derby also called Christ Church have called Joel to be their minister replacing Jonty Rhodes who is moving to plant in Leeds early next year. It was a joy to see how Joel answered the questions. I think the exam lasted 45 minutes and the questions were good and helpful, Joel answered thoughtfully, humbly and biblically. I am so grateful for the men the Lord is bringing into our denomination. Joel will be a terrific addition to the Presbytery.
In the rest of the afternoon we approved Jonty Rhodes and Matthew Roberts to go to the US for a fund raising trip. There was a good time of prayer with others to finish off the day. In the evening we were at Matthew and Kate Roberts’ house for a meal and it was such an enjoyable talking and catching up with folk.
On the Saturday morning of Presbytery we had James Eglinton who is a Bavinck scholar teaching at New College, Edinburgh who gave two papers on ‘Bavinck the Preacher’ and ‘Bavinck’s Trinitarian thought’. I enjoyed both papers the second one particularly we were given some great quotes and whetted appetite to get into Bavinck.
In the final session there were 3 very exciting and encouraging things. The Candidates and Credentials Committee appointed Gethin Jones to come under care. Gethin is originally from the Heath Church, Cardiff, he studied at Cambridge and most recently was working in Paris doing student work. Gethin is in his final year at Westminster Seminary and hopes to be in France long term. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Gethin and we had him to preach earlier this summer. We think this is the first time we’ve taken someone under care with a view to them going abroad.
Up next was Matthew Roberts who chairs our Church Planting Committee. Around 6 years ago we started a fund with a view to being able to give grants to new church plants and Presbytery voted to give Christ Church Central, Leeds – £30,000 in year 1 and then £20, 000 for the second and third year. This is the biggest grant we’ve ever given from the fund and there is something thrilling about being able to give large sums of money to potential church plants.
The last business of the day was to clarify our Assistant Minister Fund, Matthew Roberts again did a good job in just explaining how this could really help our churches and how congregations can apply. All was passed without a hitch. Hopefully this will have a big effect in years to come with training men.
So we will meet again on Friday 2/3 December in Derby. I am so grateful for Presbytery and how God has blessed it. It’s still small and fragile but we’re getting there.