Day 243

Day 243 – Wed 3 May –

The morning was taken up with study and yet the noise from the builders meant I decamped to Ealing Broadway after about half hour and worked in a coffee shop there. While I was there I spotted a woman reading her bible and plucked up the courage to go and talk to her, she was in Job and had been underlining things. She wasn’t a Christian but likes to watch Joyce Meyer who inspires her, she said to me some Christians would say Joyce Meyer was a false prophet what do you think? I took a deep breath and agreed, she listened and I tried to explain the gospel to her


For lunch I met an elderly friend of someone in the congregation who came to our carol service. I spoke with him afterwards and he agreed to read Luke’s gospel and then we’d meet to discuss it over lunch. He would call himself an Agnostic but was reared in a public school and so it feels like he’s been inoculated against the real Jesus. We had a lovely time and I’m going to send him another book to read. I had a skype call to a friend in the US then some more study before Prayer Gathering.


We had a good number there, and prayed this wonderful prayer of confession from Valley of Vision. Stuart Cashman gave an encouraging report of Immanuel Brentford which is 1 year old this Sunday. We are facing the prospect of quite a lot of folk moving on from the congregation which is in hard in lots of ways. None of them are leaving for wrong reasons but it’s never easy seeing folk go.

Day 242

Day 242 –

Tue 2nd May – We were back reading through Knowing God in the morning but there was only Penny and I!! however it was worth going just to be reminded of this quote
I came back to have breakfast with Tom Nachtergaele at Hanwell Café. Tom is part of our European Presbytery and is over in London for a couple of weeks. It was at this point I remembered I’d promised to write an article for the Evangelical Magazine on IPC and my time here. I only had an hour but got it done, however it reads like it’s been written in an hour. Thankfully Lesley has worked her magic on the grammar and spelling but it’s not Shakespeare!


At 12 I met up with one of the guys in the church to chat over some issues which was encouraging and then I started a new series at ELT looking at some of the great texts of Scripture. I reworked an older sermon on “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”. Hebrews 13:8 but reheating sermons I don’t think really works. Ed Norton from Independent Church in Memphis is in London and he graciously took me for lunch. I chose the Vietnamese restaurant Pho which is a great little place. It was Phoebe’s physio and so I was on pick up duty for the other two  who were in great form.


We had our monthly session meeting at Graham’s and we had an encouraging time. We started off reading and discussing 1 Timothy 1, it was an encouraging time, Simon Arscott was back from the US and reported on Ilford. We were all done by 9.30.


I can never sleep after elders meeting so I finished  off Calvin’s Institutes. I read this by Justin Taylor – ‘How to Read Calvin’s Institutes and Why you should seriously consider it‘ at the start of last year and have been through the Institutes twice since, just following the 15 minutes a day rule. They really are remarkable, I wish I’d started reading them more regularly years ago. I need to read a couple of other things before getting back into them, I’m going to use David Calhoun’s Readers guide next time.

Day 241

Day 241 – Mon May 1 – A bank holiday Monday that seems to have come really quickly on the heels of Easter. We had a chilled day in the morning and afternoon at Kew Gardens which was delightful. It’s an amazing place in that you discover more and more places each time you go. There wasn’t so much noise of planes flying overhead as there can be and it’s a great place to go to unwind.

As a prize for Noah getting first place in his project he chose to go to Macdonald’s for his tea much to his fathers’ delight. In the evening I watched the snooker, it’s a great sport, a kind of visual marijuana. All in all a good relaxing day.

Day 240

Day 240 – Sun April 30 – We were back on for Sunday School and elders training working through the first two articles by Eric Alexander on eldership. I led the service and preached on Isaiah 59, it was great to announce Fernando and Edit’s engagement and I felt helped in the preaching. There was a new lady brought by her daughter who goes to St Helen’s which was encouraging.
We had 5 folk back for the afternoon and then I was continuing my series in the night on questions – Can you give me one good reason to believe in a God of love? I just opened up Romans 5:6-8, it was lovely to have some visitors and a full house. It is a joy and privilege to preach the gospel.

Day 238

Day 238 – Fri 28 April – I managed to finish both sermons for Sunday in the morning which was a joy. I used to be disciplined in getting sermons done earlier in the week but for the last while I’ve been really slow.  I met one of the men from church for lunch to discuss Bringing your Children up in Faith not Fear which was really encouraging. Following on from that I met with Chris Cradock at the Dodo in Hanwell to discuss the elders training and chew the fat.

Claire’s dad was over to crack heads on the building project, he feels we’re ready to go out to tender and so that should happen in the next week. We all went to Harvester for tea, I dropped him off at Brentford and then was so exhausted I was in bed at 9!












Building Project Update April 17

This was what we gave out to the church earlier this month……….

We thought it was about time we gave you an update about the Building Project.  There have been some real encouragements:

Natalie’s hard work with the Solicitors on the CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) means that legally we are in a right position to go ahead.  For the observant, you will notice that we have a new charity number CIO 1171604.

Mark and Coaston have done excellent work with Methodist Chapel Aid in securing a loan for £950,000 over 30 years.  We obviously would like to not have to draw down that amount, but it’s great to be able to have access to that when we need it.

The Deacons and Adrian in particular have done lots of work behind the scenes in preparing our move to Dean Hall once the building work begins. It is a remarkable provision that we will be able to use Dean Hall for Sunday night’s and midweek ministries.

What is not so encouraging is that, having been working with the Building Contractors for the past six months, our Project Manager whom we appointed in November, feels that we need to re-look at our Building Contractors.  David Watson, who has been working closely with them (and has been involved with us right through this process), reports that at a meeting last week it was decided that we would go back out to tender.  The good side to this is it’s better that we know this now rather than if we were three months down the line having started the actual building.  There’s a good relationship with the Project Manager and we need to trust the professional advice we’ve been given. 

The rough timeline is as follows:

1. Documents would be ready to be sent out to tender at the end of April. The Building Contractors would have two weeks to get a quote back in.  One encouragement is that it appears builders are more eager for work than they were this time last year, and so we hope we will have four bids.

2. By mid-May a decision should be able to be reached on a successful tender and, if there is no negotiation to be had on price (we need the bids to come in under £2.2 million and so do pray that we would have a number of bids under this price), we should be able to sign a contract and builders should be on site demolishing by the end of June.

At this point, if you’re still with me, you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking this could take a lot longer – and it could.  But, God-willing, if the tenders come back at the right price, we should be starting the building work before the summer holidays.

Where does this leave us?  Having looked at the figures there is a shortfall of around £200,000 (although the  building is £2.2m we still need to fit it out) and we are approaching a number of donors about this, but we are also asking whether you as a congregation can give again.  We had hoped not to have to come back to you until the building had actually started, but that has not been possible.  So we have called for a day of prayer, fasting and giving on Wednesday 26th April.  We’ll get together that evening to break the fast, eat together, celebrate the Lord’s Supper and pray. 

If we are able to raise the remaining shortfall then this will also put us in a better position when we go out to tender.  

This has been a long project and we are grateful for all the work that the Building Committee and various people have done on this — and also the patience of the church family in the process.  The Building Project has never been a source of division – long may that continue!

We also need to remember how far the Lord has brought us –  we have raised almost £2.1 million (with the help of pledges, the loans and donations and also after having bought out the Coach House and the land at the back of the church for £400,000) it is remarkable where the Lord has brought us to.  It feels like we’ve been saying this for quite a long while, but we’re not far away from being able to start.

Do keep praying and consider how you might be able to give.