Oxford is a very special city. It boasts some magnificent history rich in Christian influence. It is extraordinary to walk the streets and recall that the Wesleys and Whitefield met there in their holy club, that martyrs were burned at the stake, that CS Lewis and Tolkien enjoyed fellowship there.
The city is also currently the home for many dear friends of ours such as Charlie Cleverly and Michael Ramsden at St Aldates, Steve Thomas at the Community Church, as well as the fine and influential Vaughan Roberts at St Ebbe’s.
It was a special joy, therefore, to preach at not only a public celebration but also specially at our Newfrontiers Emmanuel Church, originally planted by David Coak freshly arrived with his wife Margaret from the tremendously successful church which he planted in Cambridge but now joined by Matt and Wendy Partridge. Matt is now the senior leader of a fine team.
I was thrilled to look out at a good crowd of people, including students and families, and especially to talk to a number of freshly-converted people.
There was such life manifest and a great sense of promise for the future. I am so blessed that we have such a key church in such a massively influential city. I am full of expectation that it will continue to grow and enjoy remarkable influence on many lives in the future for the glory of God.
One French girl student, who was healed at the end of the service, told me that she had been saved only one month and it was her first visit to the church. Now all her pain had gone, so she could cancel her osteopath appointment for the next day.
My days before the Oxford weekend were spent with Newfrontiers leaders from across the UK who, when they gave local reports, spoke of ongoing blessing and growth, fresh church plants and extraordinary adventures of faith, both in terms of healing on the streets, the planting of new churches and great faith adventures regarding financial commitment and the purchase of very substantial buildings for the gospel’s sake.
Steve Tibbert, leading King’s Church Catford, continues to pioneer with great courage as they prepare to go for a multi-million church building in the Catford area. How I thank God for that church and its robust and courageous growth.
Also, Simon Holley from Kings Arms Bedford gave a thrilling account of multiplied healings in his church. His talk on believing for signs and wonders given at this year’s TOAM conference in Brighton (Part 2 of Lex Loizides Training Track) is highly motivational and faith-imparting and can be downloaded.
It was also tremendous to hear from Tope Koleoso about the growth in Jubilee Church London in the cinema where they meet, using a growing number of screens throughout that very large cinema.
This coming weekend sees Wendy and me going to be with John and Alex Kpikpi in Accra, Ghana, where we will gather his leaders and have a series of meetings, which will be largely focused on the gospel of the kingdom and the place of healing. I trust we shall see a great breakout of God’s healing power as we gather.