New Lent book: An Ocean of Grace

My latest book, An Ocean of Grace, is now available from all good booksellers. It’s a collection of daily prayers adapted from some of the greats of church history. It’s designed around Lent, but can be used at any time – both personally and corporately. Here’s the blurb …

An inspiring collection of daily devotions and prayers from great Christian writers of the past, including Augustine, Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, Catherine Parr and Martin Luther.

The heart-warming words of these saints of old exalt the grace and glory of Christ’s work, and will encourage and inspire readers as much today as they did when they were first written.

Each daily reading has been selected, edited and introduced by Tim Chester to make these treasures accessible to every reader. They will help you reflect on Jesus in the run-up to Easter. Ideal to start at the beginning of Lent.

And here are some commendations …

Alistair Begg (Bible Teacher, Truth For Life; Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Cleveland, Ohio)

‘All our yesterdays,’ according to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, ‘have lighted fools the way to dusty death’. Not so, writes Tim Chester—instead we hear the voices of the past telling of the mighty works of God and helping us to fix our eyes on Jesus. Every page of this book is an opportunity to sit and learn at the feet of saints of old as Chester brilliantly guides us from the foot of the cross to the empty tomb. In An Ocean of Grace we discover one blessing after another.

Steven Lawson (President and Founder, OnePassion Ministries)

Voices from the past provide great encouragement in the present as we navigate our way into the future. In this devotional book, Tim Chester has drawn collected writings from those who have gone before to inspire us as we run the race set before us. Here are classic meditations designed to prepare our hearts for celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter. In these pages, I am certain you will find strength for your journey of faith.

Clare Heath-Whyte (Author, Old Wives Tales)

Lent is a great time to slow down and take time to think again about the events of the first Easter. This book helps us to do just that. After a typically clear and thoughtful introduction by Tim Chester, each day there is a treasure from a great Christian writer of the past. Each of these prayers, poems and mediations makes us slow down and take time as we get to grips with the richness of the language and the depth of thought, and allow these writers of old to bring us fresh insights into the wonders of the gospel.

Paul Mallard (Author; Pastor, Widcombe Baptist Church, UK)

We live in an age of superficiality and ‘chronological snobbery’, which tends to treat the past with disdain. This series of Lent readings is a wonderful antidote to the spirit of our age. From Gregory of Nazianzus to Catherine Parr and from George Herbert to Charles Spurgeon, we meet a galaxy of men and women whose lives were moulded by Scripture and lived out in fervent devotion to Christ. As you listen to these voices, your heart will blaze as each witness shows you Jesus. This book is highly recommended.

Kathleen Nielson (Author; Speaker)

This collection of prayers from the past is a gift that stands out in a world of quick and casual words. Tim Chester has provided a profoundly beautiful way to help lead the church in prayer during the Lenten season. The prayers of these men and women are not only saturated with biblical truth; they are also shaped with imagination that awakens us and love for Jesus that pierces our hearts.

Olly Knight (Musician, song-writer and Worship Team Leader, The City Church, Canterbury, UK)

When I read books like this, my desire is to learn more about Christ and to grow in my worship of him. This collection of prayers and writings from brothers and sisters that have gone before us does both. Each contribution serves as a wonderful daily devotion to lift your eyes to Christ. I thoroughly recommend this book.

You can buy An Ocean of Grace direct from The Good Book Company or from your favourite bookseller. 

Sabbatical

With the support of my elders, I have decided to take a sabbatical. The revelations of the hurt experienced by people during their time in The Crowded House have left me feeling broken and fragile. So I want to create some space for personal reflection and spiritual refreshment. I will honour my existing commitments as well as continuing to do some ministry in the local church and through Crosslands. But I will not be taking on new commitments or accepting new speaking engagements for 2021 or, at this stage, for beyond 2021.

New Christmas Song: Welcome Home

Here’s a new Christmas song based on the theme of home which I co-wrote with Phil Moore for his Home for Christmas album.

There’s no lead sheet as yet.

Welcome, welcome Jesus’ birth,
born to make his Father known,
comes to us upon this earth:
welcome to our home.

Temple lamps burn through the night
through the darkness and the gloom,
sinners welcomed by the light
back to our true home.

Chorus:
Jesus Christ our King,
come to save your own,
with one voice we join and sing:
“Welcome to our home.”

God Almighty over all,
leaves behind his royal throne,
in exchange for stable straw:
this is now his home.

God eternal, heaven’s King,
clothes himself in flesh and bone,
joins us in our suffering,
makes our world his home.

Jesus Christ our King,
come to save your own,
with one voice we join and sing:
“Welcome to our home.”

Word made flesh, the light of life,
comes to those who are his own.
Yet we greet him with our spite,
force him from our home.

At his birth there is no room,
at the end he dies alone.
Yet he overcomes the tomb,
leading sinners home.

Father, Spirit, Son,
speaking from the throne,
come to us with words of love:
“Welcome to our home.”

© 2020 Phil Moore Songs | Tim Chester Publishing | Song Solutions

Crosslands is expanding

From September 2021 Dan Strange will be joining Crosslands as a senior faculty member and to head up a new Centre for Culture, Religion and Mission under the auspice of Crosslands. Dan is currently College Director at Oakhill Theological College.

The aim of the Centre is “to strengthen the church in cultural engagement and missional innovation, equipping leaders and disciples to engage and confront the pressing issues of today with gospel confidence, biblical insight and intellectual robustness, to strengthen the church for global mission”.

Click here for more information on this exciting development and to sign up for updates.

Thirtyone:eight Report on The Crowded House

I welcome the Thirtyone:eight report on The Crowded House in Sheffield along with the opportunity the review process gave for so many people to tell their story and share their experience of the church’s culture. I fully accept the report’s findings, and I want to thank the review team for their diligence and care.

I want to express my profound apologies to all those who have been hurt by The Crowded House. I was part of the wider network of churches from 2000 and was an elder of the Sharrowvale congregation in Sheffield between 2010 and 2015. While there are things in the report of which I was unaware, it is also clear to me that at times I failed to take the action I should have taken. I am deeply sorry for this. I acknowledge my failings and offer my sincere apologies to all those affected.

While I remain committed to the broad principles underlying the vision of The Crowded House and Total Church, I want to take time to reflect in the light of the report on how these principles should best be implemented. There are important lessons for me to learn and I want to let these shape my future ministry as well as exploring with my current church what changes we need to make. To allow us prayerfully to consider our next steps, I will not be making any further comment at this time. I also want to express my gratitude to Grace Church Boroughbridge for their on-going support and to my fellow elders who, having read the report, have expressed their continued confidence in my leadership

New advent book: Fixated

I have a new advent book out from 10Publishing. There are 24 readings based on the opening chapters of Hebrews which encourage us to fix our eyes on Jesus and his incarnation.

It’s available here from 10ofThose for just £3.99 with some great discounts for bulk purchases.

Here’s the blurb …

We all know that Jesus ought to be the focus of our celebration at Christmas. And yet, we so easily fall into the trap of sidelining Him each year.

In these 24 Advent devotions, Tim Chester encourages us to look away from the distractions of our culture and instead, be engrossed by Jesus. This might not sound very practical, but it is life-changing. Using the opening chapters of Hebrews as a tour guide, these devotions show us the key sights of the Lord’s glory and invite us to fix our eyes on Jesus this Christmas.