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Chatteris Community Church

February 2013 | by Colin Silvester

Chatteris Community Church    
 
On 1 December, the Christmas lights were switched on in Chatteris and we met to acknowledge the leading of God in the creation of a more important light for Christ and the gospel of grace.
    Roughly 60 people gathered to give thanks for the constitution of a new church based in the north of Chatteris and to induct Robert Read into the pastorate of the church.
    The service of constitution and induction was led by Barry King, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Wood Green, London, and general secretary of the Grace Baptist Partnership (GBP).
    As part of the induction ceremony, Mr Read was asked to give a brief account of how he and his wife, Jackie, came to be involved in planting a church in Chatteris. Mr Read explained that initially neither of them had seen themselves as church planters. However, they were approached by some Christian friends for ministry and had begun meeting for worship on Sunday mornings in their own home in Chatteris.
    Before long, contact was made with Mr King who asked them to consider seriously the need for gospel witness in the area of the town in which they lived. After much prayerful consideration, they began to understand that God was calling them to serve in Chatteris.
    
Spiritual growth

To begin with, the church held a day of evangelistic outreach in the north of Chatteris involving Mr King and other GBP friends. The first public meetings of Chatteris Community Church were held in June 2010 in a local community centre, commencing with a Christianity Explained course.
    Since then, the Lord has graciously blessed with modest increase in numbers and spiritual growth in members.
    Responding to questions from Mr King, Mr Read affirmed his commitment to the biblical requirements of the pastorate and his wife also declared her support of this commitment. The church then confirmed their call to Mr Read as pastor.
    Colin Silvester, church secretary, welcomed them, extending the right hand of fellowship to them on behalf of the church. Mr King then preached from 2 Peter 2:15-16.
    He acknowledged that this was an unusual text for such an occasion, but from it he outlined correct and incorrect motivations for ministry. Drawing from the negative example of Balaam, Barry brought out the Scripture’s teaching that the only true motivation for ministry is to serve God with loving joy and not for gain or fame.
    The church members were also exhorted to value, love and give respectful support to Mr Read in his work for the Lord. Following the service, we shared rich fellowship with friends from other churches as we enjoyed a veritable feast prepared by the members of the church and others.
    We now look to serve God by reaching out with even more determin-ation into the community that surrounds us.
Colin Silvester

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