Welcome to the family spring 2020

Welcome to the Family (Spring 2020)

Five more churches have been affiliated to FIEC, joining more than 600 other Independent churches who are working together to reach Britain for Christ.

It remains a continuing encouragement that a steady stream of new churches is affiliating to FIEC.

All the churches that affiliate confirm their wholehearted agreement with our Doctrinal Basis and Ethos Statements. They will be visited personally by an FIEC representative and have to supply references from other churches to support their application. This rigorous process, overseen by our National Recognition Team (NRT) and the FIEC Trust Board, ensures that we maintain our integrity as a fellowship of churches united by core beliefs and practices.

However, I am especially delighted that churches are joining because they share our vision to be “independent churches working together to reach Britain for Christ,” and see the value and importance of standing together with other like-minded churches.

I am thrilled with the five churches that were affiliated to FIEC at our winter meeting – apologies for the delay but the coronavirus pandemic has occupied our recent attention.

These five churches vary in size, heritage, and geographical location. I am especially pleased that some are in areas of the country where FIEC is currently thin on the ground, including Essex and Stoke-on-Trent, which will increase our national coverage.

It is also hugely encouraging to hear that people are being converted through their ministry, assuring us that the gospel remains the power of God for salvation.

Their affiliation brings the total number of FIEC churches to 620.

Danbury Mission Church

Danbury Mission Church was founded in 1910 and has a Brethren background. Today it is a large church with 300 members and over 500 regular attenders meeting in the village of Danbury in Essex, midway between Chelmsford and Maldon. The village has a population of 6,500 people.

People travel some distance to come to the church, attracted by its faithful expository ministry and because there is a dearth of bible-centred churches in the area. The pastor is Simon Medcroft, who was formerly assistant at Carey Baptist Church in Reading, and who trained at Oak Hill College.

A new building was opened in 2012 incorporating a coffee shop staffed largely by volunteers, which provides a good bridge to the local community. The church has seen nine baptisms and five professions of faith in the last year.

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

“We already have close connections with FIEC. In recent years we have received support from FIEC in legal matters, pastorally and in an advisory capacity on church planting. We are in full agreement with the FIEC doctrinal basis, ethos and vision and, with a new church plant into Chelmsford due to launch next Easter, the elders see this as the right time to formally join.”

The church is also a member of the Evangelical Alliance.

Duke Street Evangelical Church, Northampton

Duke Street Evangelical Church in Northampton is another Brethren background church, founded in 1919 and led by an eldership team. It has a membership of 50 adults and has seen two professions of faith in the last year.

They are located in Castle Ward, an area of high-density housing ranked as the poorest in the town. The area is close to central Northampton, a town with a population of 250,000, which has relatively little gospel witness compared to population size.

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

“1. To be of a national organisation supporting gospel work in the UK; 2. Networking with other churches; 3. Professional support in areas such as safeguarding, child protection and legal assistance in one point of contact.”

They are also members of Partnership and the Evangelical Alliance.

Mirfield Evangelical Church

Mirfield Evangelical Church is in a town of 20,000 people in the middle of the Leeds-Huddersfield-Wakefield triangle in Yorkshire. It was planted in 1986 by Dewsbury Evangelical Church, which also belongs to FIEC. It has a regular attendance of over 80, including 17 children.

The church is led by David Puttick, who became pastor in 2018 after training at Oak Hill College and serving as Assistant at Emmanuel Church Canterbury.

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

“We want to work together with other churches to help reach our local area, wider region, and nation, and we see joining FIEC as a valuable way of doing that. Our pastor has already benefitted from the FIEC Training Fund, Pastors’ Network and conferences, and we are excited about being involved in mission, in training, and in supporting other churches, especially beyond our local area. We see great benefits in being part of a larger family of churches, especially as the UK becomes and ever more complex and sometimes hostile environment for gospel ministry.”

Park Church

Park Church is in Shelton, on the edge of Hanley Park in Stoke-on-Trent. It was founded as a Congregational Church in 1898, but by the 1970s had declined to a small group meeting in a room in the building. It remained independent rather than join the United Reformed Church.

Today the church has been revitalised and has a thriving congregation of over 200 regular attenders. In the last year they have seen 11 baptisms and 10 professions of faith. The church is led by a team of elders including Jon Mason and Simon Mawdsley. Jon came to the FIEC Leaders’ Conference in 2018 and the leadership team attended an FIEC Gospel Vision Evening in Stoke a few weeks afterwards.

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

“To be part of something national, to feel like we are part of the ‘UK church’ not just a ‘Stoke church’. Access to resources, legal support if necessary, expertise in leadership and church planting.”

They are also part of NOSFEC (North Staffordshire Fellowship of Evangelical Churches).

The Livingroom Church

The Livingroom Church meets in Wallyford, a former mining town with a population of 3,000 on the east side of Edinburgh that is rapidly growing as new housing is built. An outreach was started in the 1920s as a prayer union, which then became the Wallyford Mission.

It was taken over in 2004 by Carrubbers Christian Centre, Edinburgh, and began to meet as a church in 2010. It now has a congregation of 100 on a Sunday. The church is led by Pastor Andrew Agnew and a team of the elders. In the last year they have seen two baptisms and one profession of faith.

Their reasons for joining FIEC were:

“Community, unity in numbers, part of a bigger organisation with the same purpose – to bring God glory”

Joining FIEC

If you share our theological and ministry convictions, and want to work together with others for the re-evangelisation of our nation, please consider joining FIEC.

You can find out more about affiliation on our website. We’d love to hear from you.

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