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October 2011 | by David Porteous


An ordination service was held in Sheffield welcoming Dr Kevin Bidwell as a minister of the gospel and to the work of church planting for Sheffield Presbyterian Church.
    On Saturday 2 July around 150 people attended this event, including 19 elders and ministers from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales (EPCEW).
    Members from a number of EPCEW congregations throughout the country, together with a good number of people from local evangelical churches, met together, offering encouragement and support. As a member of the EPCEW, Sheffield Presbyterian Church is linked to eleven other congregations in England and Wales that adhere to the Westminster Standards.
    The congregation in Sheffield is conscious that a vast number of people both in Sheffield and nationally are in great need of the gospel. Seeing the UK as a mission field, they have a strong desire for the growth of sound biblical and confessional Christianity.
    Sheffield Presbyterian Church began with Bible studies in Dr Bidwell’s home in early 2010, and its official Sunday services commenced in September that year. Since that time God has been pleased to add to the number of those who attend regularly.
    The church was constituted in April 2011, when a number of the congregation were received into communicant membership by Rev. Brian Norton (Durham Presbyterian Church).
    These events, together with the ordination of Kevin Bidwell, represent progress and provide a great source of joy and encouragement to the congregation.
    Brian Norton led the service. He had helped the congregation in Sheffield in the early days, particularly in providing teaching and pastoral ministry.
    During the service, Chris Kavanagh of Chelmsford gave a chronological history of the events leading to the ordination. The ordination vows were led by Todd Matocha of Cardiff.
    The sermon, delivered by Dr Bob Letham of Cardiff, was drawn from the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13.
    Dr Letham gave a sobering but helpful message, pointing out that the kingdom of God advances among disappointment, setbacks and opposition.
    After the service, many people commented on the feeling of unity and blessing the service evoked, and were struck by a deep thankfulness for what God has accomplished.
David Porteous