Spencer Bridge Road Gospel Hall, Northampton
The Ayrshire Bible Exhibition returned to Spencer Bridge Road, Northampton, for the fifth time for two weeks in March this year. Assemblies in the area were notified for prayer support and twenty-eight of the thirty-one schools visited regularly by the assembly were invited. The event was advertised in the local press, by road signs, and ‘adverts’ displayed on the two minibuses hired to transport the school parties (free of charge) to and from the exhibition. The local BBC Radio station also highlighted the event through a tenminute interview with Wyn Williams on their Lord’s Day Morning broadcast.
During the two-week period one thousand children from twenty-one schools attended the two-week programme. All but three groups were ten to twelve-year-olds. As always, the children were attentive and well behaved and were very enthusiastic participants in the quiz following the tour. Teachers and helpers were impressed at how much the children recalled of the tour. The school chaplain of one of the Catholic schools that came was most impressed with the display saying that ‘even she had learned something from the visit’.
The number of visitors who came in off the street was disappointing in terms of numbers (this was the same on previous years) but some good conversations were held with individuals. Many of the contacts made by Howard Hughes came and spent some considerable time at the exhibition.
One man, ‘Al’, had gone to some effort to attend having seen the signs outside the hall on the way to a business meeting. He was a confessed total non-believer, but his comment in the visitors’ book was ‘May be the start of something’. Another man, ‘Lo’, a ‘devout catholic’, spent nearly an hour talking with two brethren and heard the gospel several times during the conversation.
On returning to the schools after the Easter break to present the prizes during the assemblies, the believers were very encouraged to see how much the children still retained from the visit.
The Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May was the occasion for the assembly to hold their second ‘Biblical Evangelism Day’. The title for the day was ‘Evangelize – who me? You must be joking’. The aim was to encourage and equip Christians for real gospel outreach in their everyday life and experience. The day consisted of three teaching sessions studying the biblical message and methods of evangelism followed by an afternoon of open-air, tracting and witness in the city centre. The day followed a similar pattern to last year. In 2006 the believers had studied the Motive for Evangelism, the Message for Evangelism and the Methods of Evangelism. This year the three sessions built on the lessons that had been learned last year. The first session was on ‘Communicating the Message’. The emphasis here was on how to bring the message to people in the 21st century in a language which is biblically faithful yet understood by today’s generation. The second session, entitled ‘Catching the Fish’, centred on the biblical way that believers can ensure that they are throwing the ‘gospel net’ in places where there are actually fish to be caught. The study concentrated on the biblical record of places where the gospel was preached and noted how far away modern-day evangelism often is from the biblical model. In this session advice was given about choosing good tracts as well as easy ways that believers can use tracts to open conversations which lead to the gospel. Some time was also spent covering how the law provides for preaching and distributing literature in public places. The third session took place after the ‘afternoon of witness’ and looked at ‘Coping with Hard Questions’. The ten most frequently asked questions that believers faced during witnessing were examined and information was given to equip the saints with sound and reasonable biblical answers.
During the ‘afternoon of witness’ some believers were involved in literature distribution in a local housing estate but most (well over fifty of young and not so young people) headed for the city centre to distribute tracts and hold open-air meetings. The city centre group split into two groups and two open-air meetings were held simultaneously at each end of the busy pedestrian precinct. These openairs were accompanied by tract distribution and personal witnessing to the hundreds who were milling about all afternoon. At one time a group of more than one hundred people gathered round the openair meeting and listened to the gospel being preached faithfully. The believers were delighted to see many Christians sharing the gospel with literally hundreds of people in a very short time. There were many souls who were moved during conversations held in the street. It was a classic demonstration of the fact that an afternoon in a public place can reach more people with the gospel than years of meetings within four walls! Many spoke of the challenge of the day. The question is not, however, ‘Are we Challenged?’ but ‘Are we Changed?’ The results of the weekend will not be measured in what was accomplished on the day but by any lasting effect on the lives and assemblies of all who gathered.
Three weeks of gospel meetings were held in a tent in Ealing (London) in May 2007. Joe Baxter from Livingston (Scotland) was the speaker. About forty different adult outsiders came in. This is the first gospel tent in the London area for a generation.
The assembly in Harrow hosted ten days of gospel meetings during the month of May 2007. Nitish Patel of London was the speaker. Seven thousand five hundred invitations were given out but sadly there were not many responses from the people in the neighbourhood.
A group of twenty or more young people who were present for the Bicester Easter Conference tracted a large estate of three thousand houses in Oxford over the Easter weekend with the booklet by John Blanchard called Ultimate Questions.
A week of children’s meetings were held in a tent in Bicester during half-term at the end of May 2007. David Raggett of Manchester was the speaker. David also erected his Bible Exhibition in the tent.
A month of tent meetings are being held in Bicester during the month of August. John McCann and Elton Fairfield are the speakers.
The assembly in Bicester runs a bookstall in the Bicester Market each week. Free literature is given away. This has been a fruitful way of getting some people to come to the gospel meeting.
Two weeks of gospel meetings were held in Wallingford at the end of June with Roland Pickering of Northern Ireland.
Winshill Gospel Hall, Burton on Trent
A week of children’s meetings was organized by the assembly in the week leading up to Easter. The believers have been running two of these special weeks each year. Numbers at the latest week were good with the lowest number being twenty-three rising to thirty-one on the last night. The assembly is hoping to hold the next special week in September 2007. Local brethren will be responsible for running the meetings on this occasion.
Work among Senior Citizens
Recently an old people’s home in the village (which the assembly has visited for over forty years) has closed. This has presented the assembly with the opportunity to visit another home only two hundred yards from the Gospel Hall. The believers have visited this new home twice so far. On both occasions there were twelve people in the main lounge to sing the hymns and to hear the Gospel.
Since January 2007 a youth night has been held in the hall once a month. The aim of this is to get as many young people together from local assemblies to spend time together and to form lasting friendships. At the last youth night the assembly had over forty young people present. Please pray that these young people might make progress in spiritual things.
Family Focus Day
Finally, a new venture is planned for June 2007 where the assembly is holding a family focus day. One aim is to get families (especially those with younger children) to spend an afternoon together and have tea. Another aim of the day is for the older ones to enjoy fellowship and the younger ones to build friendships. We hope that the foundations for friendships will be laid which will last as they grow up together, go to meetings and that they will maintain these friendships until the Lord returns.
Cumbria Gospel Outreach
The believers in Cumbria met in April to review the work of the Cumbria Gospel Outreach over the summer in 2006 and to pray for the work in the summer of 2007.
The plans for this summer are as follows:
The evangelists who will be helping with the work are:
David Locke(Day to July)
Syd Nixon (at Penrith from May to September).
The gospel will be presented at the following shows:
Penrith Show(July 21st)
North Lonsdale(July 25th)
Cumberland Steam(July 28th and 29th)
Cockermouth (August 4th)
Gosforth (August 15th)
Keswick (August 27th)
The gospel will be presented at these weekly markets:
Penrith on Tuesdays
Workington on Wednesdays
Keswick on Saturdays
Kirkby in Furness, Cumbria
The assembly in Kirkby in Furness had gospel meetings at the beginning of May 2007. The assembly has a good testimony in the village and door to door work was engaged in over three days. Only a few locals came but the believers were encouraged to see the seed of the word of God sown from house to house and in the formal meetings.
The assembly in Southport had three special gospel meetings at the beginning of April 2007. The area had been visited over a couple of months. The saints were encouraged despite the fact that not many unsaved came in. One lady came in on the final night of the meetings and another gentleman (the husband of one of the ladies in fellowship) also came. As far as the believers know these souls are not saved. Every day during the week commencing the 13th of August 2007 the assembly Southport will be having an open-air meeting in the town. The aim is to reach the local people and visitors who come to the town in the summer. Stephen Baker and some younger brethren from the assemblies in the North West will be speaking at the meetings. The believers are praying that other believers will come along and support this outreach and that souls will be reached for the Lord.
The assembly at Larkhill had three nights of special gospel meetings on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of May 2007. There were ten outsiders in, five of whom were unsaved. Please pray for a lad in his teens who came in off the street that the Lord will save him and make him an influence in reaching more of the youth in the area around the hall.
Lancashire Gospel Tent
The Lancashire Gospel Tent was pitched in Sefton Park, Liverpool, for the month of June. The meetings were convened in conjunction with the assembly that meets at David Street, Liverpool. Ian Jackson was the evangelist. The first week of the campaign saw the meetings well supported with a good number of unbelievers present most evenings. Some individuals expressed a genuine interest to know more and returned to subsequent evenings. Children’s meetings with Ian Campbell were held during the second and third weeks in the Gospel Hall. The tent was pitched in Golborne for the whole month of July in association with the assembly that meets in the Gospel Hall at Manor Street, Golborne. The Lord’s servants were Paul McCauley from Belfast and David Raggett from Wythenshawe.
Red Row, Northumberland
A cause for praise. In the last Report Section we reported that the assembly in Red Row were intending (DV) to hold three ‘special’ gospel meetings on the first Sundays in April, July and October 2007. This month we are delighted to report that seven outsiders were present at the first meeting. The believers were really thrilled about this and would value continued prayer for next two meetings in July and October 2007.
N. Lanarkshire Schools
Graeme Paterson from Plains assembly has developed a work in schools within the immediate area of Plains village. This work is carried out with the involvement of others from the assembly when they are available to help.
Plains Primary School.
In this school there is an opportunity to take a monthly assembly where every pupil hears the gospel. In addition to this there is a weekly lunchtime meeting for children who attend (with parental permission). Two of the young sisters from the assembly assist in this work. One boy of nine who attends the meetings at the school and the weekly children’s work in the Gospel Hall in Plains professed to having trusted the Lord Jesus during the month of May 2007.
New Monkland Primary School, Airdrie.
There is a twice-monthly assembly at this school where every child hears the gospel. Every two weeks there is an after school children’s meeting which started with 30 pupils but now has to be carried out in three sessions with 90 pupils attending. Others believers from the assembly in Plains assist in this work.
Dunrobin Primary School, Airdrie.
Due to time restraints it has only been possible to hold one week of meetings per year at this school. However these meetings are well attended with the same pupils attending year after year. There is a week planned, God willing, for October this year.
Caldercruix Primary School.
At the moment discussions are underway with the Head Teacher to have meetings during the school year 2007-2008.
Caldervale High School.
This is one of the two High Schools in the area for which most of the above primary schools are feeder schools. There is good potential and freedom of access at this school. Graeme has opportunity to speak at all the seasonal assemblies (i.e., Easter, Christmas, etc.), and has a weekly lunchtime Bible club for children of ages 12- 18. He is also on call as a consultant to speak on Bible-based subjects if required, e.g., before Christmas he had a weekly meeting for two months with 6th year pupils (17-18 years old) on the true meaning of Christianity. There is a demand at the school for new copies of the scriptures which some of the assembly are able to provide. The Local Authority doesn’t make enough money available for the school to buy new copies! In addition to this local work there is a weekly children’s meeting at
Easthall Primary School in Easterhouse, Glasgow, where Graeme and some of the believers from Plains assist with believers from the Springburn assembly and Stephen Grant when available.
At all of these schools there is no limit given to the presentation of the gospel, nor is there any directive given by the authorities to conform to set, ‘official’ curricula. Within the Scottish Education 5-14 syllabus there is great scope in the Religious Education section to preach on both Old and New Testament subjects. For example, they specify that all children should know about the characters of the Bible, the miracles, the parables, and the birth, life and death of the Lord Jesus. Therefore, scope for the gospel preacher is wide!
In Kirkmuirhill a lady was brought along to hear the gospel by a work colleague, and encouraged to read the scriptures. After just a few weeks attending gospel meetings, she was evidently under conviction of sin, and on a Sunday afternoon, she trusted the Lord. Pray that her husband and family will come to know her Saviour too.
At Chapelhall, with the numbers dwindling in the Sunday School, the assembly decided to hold a Sunday School Re-united evening in February. Over thirty villagers attended where a set meal, review of former Sunday School experiences and trips, choruses and a gospel message made up the agenda. Graeme Paterson presented the photographs and Jim Paterson gave a very clear and simple message from John 3. 16. Those who attended ranged from sixteenyear- olds to those who were at the Sunday School’s commencement in the 1950’s. Some families had spent time practising old choruses and competing among themselves to see who could remember the most before they came. All without exception said that they had enjoyed the evening, and were given a laminated bookmark with John 3. 16, the date of the re-union, and the times of the assembly meetings. Please pray that those who heard the gospel again after many years might be led to Christ, and for the small assembly in Chapelhall in their desire to reach souls with the gospel.
Stephen Grant was with the assembly at Peterhead in March for three weeks preaching the gospel. These meetings were well attended with some unsaved present each night. They heard the gospel presented clearly and com-passionately and a real sense of the Lord’s presence was felt. There was real encouragement when a lady professed faith in Christ in the middle of the second week. The assembly was cheered and anticipates further results from these meetings when the voice of God was heard.
The Forres assembly held its 60th Anniversary Sunday School Reunion in March. Many former pupils gathered for what was described as a very happy and profitable evening. After some reminiscing (which brought back many happy memories) tea was served and a short gospel message was given.
Over the past few months Sam Matthews of Forres has renewed his printing equipment. As a result the quality and speed have greatly improved. The two main leaflets that he prepares are called Words of Comfort and Strength for the Day. The response from those who have been helped by the booklets is encouraging. One reply reads, ‘On behalf of family and friends, we would like to thank you so much for your kind expressions of sympathy and your Words of Comfort’. Another writes, ‘Many thanks for your letter and the enclosed booklet Words of Comfort. What a thoughtful thing to do, it is greatly appreciated’. Please pray for this work as the word of God consistently goes into homes in people’s times of need.
The Ayrshire Bible Exhibition visited St. Monans, Cowdenbeath, and Ballingry for a week each during the month of May. A lot was achieved in each location. Many hundreds of schoolchildren and their teachers attended. They found the exhibition immediately gripped their attention and responded enthusiastically to the quiz at the end. A good number of local people also visited, many of whom had not been in the respective halls before. Many helpful conversations were held. The believers trust that God will bless His word as it was presented in this effective manner.
Once again the assembly have been able to acquire a stall at the annual ‘Big Cheese’ festival held in and around the grounds of the castle that dominates the centre of the town. It is anticipated that eighty to ninety thousand people will pass through the site over the three days ending Sunday July 29th. The assembly have prepared three thousand ‘goodie bags’ for the children and three thousand five hundred e n v e l o p e s containing a m o d i f i e d version of the tract The Show must go on.
The winter series of ministry meetings was followed by the Annual Conference on 19th May 2007. Helpful and profitable ministry was given by Bernard Osborne and Ray Dawes and a larger than usual company was present to enjoy it.
During the last week of April the assembly at Treboeth, Swansea, had the great joy of once again sharing a Bible Exhibition with the Open-Air Mission. Two brethren brought the Exhibition, Joe Hayden and Clive Williams.
‘We were privileged to have access to the five nearest local Junior Schools and were welcomed with great enthusiasm on the part of Heads and staff.
This year we had the “Life and Times of Jesus Christ” exhibition. The presentation commenced with the birth of Christ and went through His miracles, parables and people whose lives were changed through meeting Jesus, then on to His trial, death, resurrection, and ascension. Some characters were brought to life by members of the assembly who faithfully told the story enacted by them. It was a tremendous thrill to tell almost 700 children, plus staff, the stories of Jesus and emphasize that He alone is the Son of God, and Saviour of the world. The attention of the children and staff was a joy to witness. Where else would one reach such a number in five days? It was quite an exhausting week, but how we gave thanks to God for the opportunity. Two of the Heads expressed their concern about the confusion the children are experiencing being taught other religions, and pleaded with us to return again. In fact all the schools gave us an open invitation to return as soon as possible’.
Treforest Gospel Hall
The believers in Treforest Gospel Hall continue to be encouraged by the work done at their Sunday evening gospel meetings. The Hall is situated on the main road which leads into the town of Pontypridd. The road named ‘The Broadway’, is used by hundreds of motorists every day and by the many students who walk to and from the local college, which is about a mile away. Over the last year and a half a number of students have come into the gospel service. They have been overseas students from Poland, Nigeria, Zambia and some other African countries. Many of those from the African countries had no idea of just how cold Welsh winters can be, and many of them were unprepared. The saints from the Gospel Hall had the privilege of providing warm clothing for at least fourteen of the young men who came (garments like vests, wool jumpers, socks, scarves and gloves). They all expressed their gratitude and said they would never forget the kindness of the saints in ‘the church on the Broadway’.
The believers have had the joy of leading one African girl to the Lord, and just recently they had the further joy of leading a local taxi driver to the Lord. He has a few things to sort out in his life, but has expressed his desire to be baptized. He is witnessing to his many friends about his salvation. He came to the gospel service as a result of being given a gospel leaflet by one of the sisters who regularly uses his taxi to go to town shopping.
The believers continue to distribute gospel literature to the many homes around the hall. The invitations are to the Sunday evening meeting, but they also contain a gospel message which takes the form of a ‘Story of the Month’.
The saints are also encouraged by the many believers who attend their quarterly meetings for the ministry of God’s word – it is really good to see so many believers coming to listen to God speaking.
The small assembly at Nantgarw was greatly encouraged by three weeks of gospel meetings with Blair Martin of Scotland. Each night the gospel was faithfully and clearly preached and unsaved were present at each meeting. Good support was given by local believers. Every home in the village was visited and some good conversations took place. Permission was given to take the morning assembly in two local primary schools. We look to God to bless the seed sown and to give the increase.
Holiday Club at Llandaff North, Cardiff
Outreach in the community has been a particular focus of the assembly at Llandaff North over the past few years. Events have been organized to make contact with the people and regular visits have been made to the local schools to take assemblies. As a result at least two local Head Teachers are recommending to parents and children that the children would benefit from the activities provided by the believers in the local assembly and one of the elders has been invited to be a school governor. For the last three years a Holiday Bible Club has been organized and until now about forty children have come along. This year was very different, sixty children came on the first day and that number increased to eighty on the second. Altogether more than one hundred children heard the good news during the week and more than half now come regularly to the weekly children’s club and as a result it was decided to extend the Bible Club programme until the school holidays. Children and parents were invited to a car treasure hunt and barbeque on the last day of the holiday club and twentyeight came. It was a great opportunity to ‘gossip the gospel’ and to invite the adults to do a Bible course. The assembly was greatly encouraged when five of the adults who came along signed up for the course. Prayer would be valued for a real breakthrough in the local community and that many will find the Saviour.
Stephen Gilfillan and John Rodgers have been holding meetings in Bleary. There have been people coming in to the meetings but so far there has been no news of conversions.
Meetings have been conducted in the town of Newtownhamilton. Brian Currie and Tommy Wright were the preachers. One woman has professed faith in the Lord Jesus.
The assembly in Kingsmoss have been encouraged by the numbers of people coming along to meetings conducted by Sam Jennings and Edmund Johnson. The presence of the Lord has been felt in the meetings but there have been no professions of faith so far.
The assembly in Cardy opened their new Gospel Hall on the 16th of June 2007. This has been a great testimony in the area as people see the work of the gospel prospering. The assembly in Magherafelt have finished building their new hall and look forward to seeing further souls saved in the area.
Meetings have been arranged by the assembly in Harryville in a small place called Slaght. A portable hall is being used. The preachers are Matthew McKillen and Willie Fenton. The news so far is that a young man of sixteen has been saved.
The assembly in Newtownbreda marked fifty years of assembly life by having a series of gospel meetings. Ian Jackson of Eastbourne was the preacher. A good number of people attended the meetings and the Lord’s presence was felt. The believers are waiting expectantly to hear of souls being saved.
The Ayrshire Bible Exhibition was erected in Ahoghill Gospel Hall in April of this year. Approximately five hundred schoolchildren visited the exhibition during the week. The assembly was greatly encouraged by the number of people who came along and for the opportunity of pre