Posts Tagged ‘WalesWide’

Report from WalesWide conference (part 1)

March 16, 2009

Please forgive my neglect of this blog again. It’s been a busy few days, trying to finish a chapter of the PhD by next week, and was preaching on Sunday at Llanberis and I had to work on an article for an academic journal over the weekend too! So don’t you believe those who say that PhD students are lazy wasters who don’t want a proper job! If I worked any harder people might start calling me a Puritan! (if you don’t get that joke, don’t worry!)

Addoliad - Praise

Anyway, here is a chance to say a word about the WalesWide conference I attended last Thursday. It was nothing short of an honor to be there. I arrived a big late – it was quite a drive down to Newtown from Bangor. When I got there i was astonished to see the car park packed, i walked into the building and into the main hall and to my astonishment there were the three hundred strong crowd shouting praise to the Lord. God’s people who turned despair into hope. People who turned their concern for Wales into a hart opening intercede before God. There was a deep sense in this conference that God can revive his Church in Wales, even a belief that the renewal had already started.

So who or what is WalesWide exactly? Waleswide facilitates the planting of new churches in Wales and the strengthening of existing ones where appropriate. They sense urgency from the Holy Spirit for this being felt across the various Christian networks in Wales. Waleswide seeks a cooperative effort among Christians throughout Wales in order to encourage the multiplication of Bible believing Christian churches throughout the nation. They work with church groupings and networks that share their values and doctrinal distinctives whether Anglican, Baptist, Reformed, Charismatic, Welsh Language denominations or independent. They are not seeking to form a new denomination or church grouping of their own.

Elfed Godding a David Ollerton

Jesus is ever intent on building His church (Matthew 16:18).  We live in a day of opportunity, resources and freedom to spread the Gospel and start new churches without hindrance. As society fragments, lawlessness increases and secularism breeds despair the living church of Jesus Christ stands out for truth, reconciliation and hope. The world at its worst needs a church at its best. At the start of the twenty-first century many areas of Wales are rapidly becoming a spiritual wilderness with ageing congregations, closing buildings, the Gospel rarely preached and little expectation of an improvement. It is time for obedience to the great Commission. A hundred and fifty years ago the majority of people in Wales were listening regularly to Biblical preaching.  Seventy years ago the chapels had more members than ever in their history. Today less than 2% of the population can be described as evangelical. Dozens of towns and hundreds of villages have no Bible believing church, and many that do have are seeing relentless decline. Stronger churches in other parts of Wales are doing much in their immediate area, and overseas, but few have a clear commitment and strategy for their own nation. Waleswide believes that the Lord Jesus would see healthy, Bible believing churches established in all areas of Wales including the inner cities, valley communities, mid Wales and Welsh speaking communities.

That is the vision of WalesWide, and that was the vision that was shared during the conference. The post has gone a bit long now so I’ll reserve the rest of my say for the next post.

Pictures of WalesWide conference

March 13, 2009

Yesterday I went to the WalesWide Church planting and transplanting conference. It was an awesome day filled with inspiration from the Spirit. I’ll try and find time over the weekend to write a detailed post about the conference but for now just a post to share some brilliant pictures i took at the conference:

David Ollerton

The rest of the photo set

WalesWide and Church Planting in Wales

February 19, 2009

Church planting is a much talked about thing everywhere these days and Wales is no exception. There has been very few Church plants, those that came because of splits I don’t count here, in Wales over the past half century. The number of Welsh language plants have been even smaller. But planting is very much the vision, even the calling, of a man called David Ollerton who established WalesWide/CymruGyfan. I first heard about David through a good friend of mine who I met at University in Aberystwyth; John Derek Rees was bought up in his David’s Church, Rhiwbina Baptist in Cardiff. David has now moved on from Rhiwbina and is one of the leaders of a Church plant in Porthcawl, Grace Community Church, in addition to being visionary and director of WalesWide.

Here is a video of David sharing his vision:

WalesWide have got a conference coming up next month: ‘Church Planting and Strengthening Conference
 – Principles, models and examples
’; Thursday 12 March 2009, 10am to 4pm
Hope Community Church, Dolfor Road, Newtown, SY16 1JD. Speakers include Julian Richards, Marc Owen, Rob Jones and David Ollerton
. Seminars with Meirion Morris, Ian Parry, John Parkin, Darren Mayor and Mark Bennett with time for questions and answers.

It’s exiting stuff and I hope to attend the conference. Will I see you there?