On 18 January, a recognition service was held at Chorlton Evangelical Church, Manchester, giving thanks for the call of Mike Judge as pastor.
More than 120 people were present, many from other churches in the Greater Manchester area and further afield. This included a number from Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church, where Mr Judge had been previously a member.
Those present were united in joyful praise and thanksgiving for God’s goodness. The service was led by Matthew Cox and Richard Clark, both elders at Chorlton. The preachers were Dan Peters, pastor of Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church, and Walter Johnston, elder and retired pastor at Chorlton.
Mr Cox noted the Lord’s graciousness to the church in leading them to call Mr Judge, in less than 12 months after Mr Johnston retired. He also expressed gratitude to God for the various preachers from other churches who helped fill the pulpit in the intervening months.
Mr Judge recounted how he had been led to accept the call to the pastorate after 14 years as head of communications at the Christian Institute. The members at Chorlton would encourage all believers to continue to support the important work of the Christian Institute in the coming days.
Next, Dan Peters gave a message for Mike Judge, drawing from several New Testament passages and speaking of the importance of the gift of teaching, emphasising that there is no room for pride, complacency or defeatism.
Mr Clark then took the lead, as first Mr Judge and then the church members made vows before God, after which he led the congregation in prayer for the new pastor.
Walter Johnston then preached a message for the members at Chorlton, reminding them that the church is at the centre of God’s eternal purposes, that it is a privilege to belong to the church of Jesus Christ, and that we are to be like Christ in putting others before ourselves.
As the service drew to a close, Alan Thomas (elder at Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church) led all present in a time of prayer. After the service, there was an opportunity to share in refreshments, renew fellowship with existing friends and get to know new ones.
Pic (l to r): Richard Clark, Matthew Cox, Mike Judge, Dan Peters, Walter Johnston