In June last year, Whitby Evangelical Church, North Yorkshire, and many friends gave thanks to the Lord for 40 years of faithful ministry in the region. If this was a bitter-sweet moment, it was that we had been without a minister for four years and our pastoral search was beginning to dry up, as we faced the summer months.
However, the Lord changed that when we heard of the availability of Peter Robinson (Honiton, Devon), who came and preached here on 6 October and then again in late November.
A lot happened in between these two events, but one thing that became clear to both the Whitby fellowship and Mr Robinson was that the Lord was calling us together. This was duly confirmed by the church early in January. At the end of the month, Mr Robinson and his family, Ange, Mel and Jono, moved up to Whitby.
On Saturday 29 March, we held a happy induction service, confirming the call of Mr Robinson to Whitby. William Horsburgh of Ryedale Evangelical Church led the service, John Tindall of Monyhull Church, Birmingham, led the induction and charge to the fellowship.
Mark Ladds of Westcliff Congregational Church, Whitby, preached from Colossians 4:2-6, outlining the need to persevere in prayer, proclaim the Word and watch our personal conduct — a message that resonated with the 200 members and friends attending.
Our special thanks go out to the many good and faithful men who preached for us throughout this period, whose ministry, prayers and friendship became one of the mainstays of our unity, as we prayed, searched and waited.
Any church at this ‘waiting’ stage should be encouraged to make faithful preaching and earnest prayer their highest priority, for the Lord will answer.