A need that has not gone away during lockdown

One of my concerns is that we have short attention spans. We hop from topic to topic. Last year we were talking about Brexit, then thete were the climate extinction rallies. For Christisns they were eclipsed by some serious spiritual abuse cases hit the headlines. COVID-19 hit the headlines and suddenly all the things we had been talking about were forgotten. Perhaps only the BLM rallies have truly competed with the pandemic for our attention.

I hope we will not stop thinking, praying and talking about such things. I hope action will follow. And here is another thing I hope we don’t forget about.

We still need urban church planters and pastors to revitalise churches. Those hard to reach places still need your prayer support and financial support.

Let me highlight two places for you.

West Smethwick

Last year I spent some time working with the congregational church in West Smethwick. It is a multicultural community close to the M5 and at the gateway to the Black Country. We were excited when Tom Martin and a few others committed to leading the replant. During coronavirus planning has been ongoing and the team have been looking at what it means to move into the area. Please continue to pray for Tom and those joining him. Could you be part of that team? It would be great as well to see a number of churches committing to offer financial support.


I was really pleased to hear that a friend of mine from Oak Hill days, Stephen Watkinson was looking to plant in Rochdale. Northern towns on both sides of the Pennines desperately need Gospel witnesses. I was even more pleased to hear that the other northern Steve (Kneale) and Oldham Bethel will be supporting that venture. That Oldham Bethel is not a church rich in resources by usual church planting standards ( they dont have a huge membership and no money to speak of). This should really challenge those of us who are much better off in those terms but who often think we are not to think again. If Oldham Bethel can give away sacrificially for the Gospel then surely there are others too.

So consider how you can support these two brilliant ventures but also consider how you might be encouraging urban mission where you are.

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