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News - Assistant pastor for Surrey churches - Paul Burden

December 2009

Assistant pastor for Surrey churches

 

Lower Kingswood Evangelical and Tollgate Evangelical Churches have appointed an assistant pastor, James Murkett.

     Mr Murkett, a recent Oak Hill Theological College graduate, and his wife Eve, were called to serve Tollgate and its partner church, Lower Kingswood, in Surrey. This followed a partnership between the two churches in May 2008, to bring pastoral support to Lower Kingswood so that it could develop into a fully-fledged evangelical church.

     Lower Kingswood's new premises were opened formally in October 2008, but its major concern was to appoint a pastor. After much consideration, the two churches believed that an assistant pastor would be needed to serve both churches, but with primary responsibilities at Lower Kingswood.

     In May 2009, after much searching and prayer, the two churches agreed to invite the Murketts to serve both churches.

     So much work was necessary to make the Lower Kingswood church flat habitable, that completion to meet the target for James and his wife moving in at the end of July seemed humanly impossible. But by the Lord's grace and faithfulness, with considerable practical help from the folk at Tollgate and further financial provision, the flat was ready in time.

     The induction service, held on Saturday 19 September and conducted by Ian Cooper, pastor at Tollgate, was full to overflowing with friends of both churches and the
Murketts.

     After testimonies about the leading of God, the sermon was preached by Simon Ogborne, pastor of Ridgeway Church, Marshalswick, St Albans (the Murketts' home church). This was taken from John 21, on ministering in the mould of the Lord Jesus Christ.

     There are new outreach opportunities into the village of Lower Kingswood, including starting a mums and toddlers group. We are confident that the wonderful ways in which the Lord has provided for the church in recent years, and brought us to this point in partnership with Tollgate, are an encouragement to trust him for the future with excitement.

 

Paul Burden

 

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