A couple of weeks ago my wife and I moved. We had been in Sheffield for 16 years, having moved there from London to help plant The Crowded House. Now we’ve moved to Grace Church, Boroughbridge, in North Yorkshire. Grace Church was planted with the help of The Crowded House a few years ago. It’s a small church in a rural context. I’ll continue to work two days a week for the Acts 29 Oak Hill Academy. But I’m no longer salaried as a pastor so I’ll need to do a bit more writing.
Why have we moved? There are a number of reasons.
- My family are from North Yorkshire and County Durham so we have long had a concern for the region which is one of the UK’s most unchurched. It is also England’s largest county and one of its most rural. So in many areas people have to travel half an hour to their nearest evangelical church.
- There has been a lot of talk in recent years of reaching cities to reach regions. But the gospel does not flow from the city to the countryside by magic. It requires us to be intentional about it. At the same time rural unbelievers will not readily travel into the city to hear the gospel.
- The church was being led by Del de la Hoyde who has had a long-standing concern for France. Our move to Boroughbridge has enabled him and his family to move to be involved in church planting in France.
- We knew and loved the people in Grace Church. And so we are excited about being part of their community and mission.
- KJ Pugh, an Acts 29 church planter from the United States, has recently joined Grace Church. But we wanted to ensure a good context for his transition to the UK and to Grace Church.