Our Pastor is Darrell Holmes. He trained for the ministry at London Bible College (now called the London School of Theology) and at Spurgeon’s College.
Darrell is married to Lucy with three children, Jed, Jessie and Juliana.
He has been our Pastor since 2008 and has been in ministry for over twenty years, previously serving in Hammersmith in London and Balsall Heath in Birmingham.
A little girl named Nan, wrote a letter to God. It read,
“Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world.
There are only four people in our family and I have trouble loving them!”
I guess we can all identify with that at one point or another. It may be our family, or our work colleagues, our neighbours, or (dare I say it) our fellow church congregation. There are times when we have trouble loving those around us and yet know the reality of God loving everyone and hear the call of the Lord for us to do that too.
Our verse for the year takes the prayer of Jesus as our guidance. Jesus prayed earnestly just prior to his crucifixion. He prayed for himself, he prayed for his disciples, he prayed for all of those who would come to believe in him, “that all of them may be one” (John ch17 v21)
Down through the ages that same challenge for unity has come to the people of God, and here is one such example.
The year was 1630. The place was the Massachusetts Bay on the Atlantic coast of America near the place known as Plymouth Rock. On board the ship, the Arabella, John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company, challenged the Puritan settlers from England to establish a new kind of Christian community. Winthrop said: "We must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection. . ., we must delight in each other, make others’ condition our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together. . ., our community as members of the same body, so shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us." Winthrop knew that they were in this thing together; no one could go it alone. The Puritan settlers faced great challenges from the geography, the native inhabitants, from illness and a lack of essential resources, yet their faith and unity ensured they flourished.
Today, we face great challenges as Christians also. The challenges are decidedly different and yet no less threatening to our existence. But because Jesus prayed for unity among those who would believe in him, we too must keep the unity in the bond of peace and do everything in our power, and God’s, to not let it slip through our grip.
We are seeing the Lord build our congregation in these days with people added to our number almost every month and so we must be knit together in this work that the Lord would continue to be our Lord and delight to dwell among us.