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News – Celebrating 40 years at Tinshill

January 2009 | by Martin Sellens

Celebrating 40 years at Tinshill

 

At the end of September 2008, Tinshill Free Church in Leeds celebrated their 40th anniversary with two weekends of special events.

     It was good to be joined by many friends for the thanksgiving service on the first Saturday. They included a minibus of people from Bethel Free Church, Wigston, in Leicester, where one of Tinshill’s first trustees, the late Harry Sutton, had pioneered and pastored an evangelical free church.

     Malcolm Peters, a long time friend from Hambleton Evangelical Church, ministered the Word, as he had done when the new church building was opened in November 1983.

     Our own pastor, Glyn Williams, spoke about the original vision placed on the heart of Eric Roberts of Ventnor Street Methodist Mission for a new work on unreached housing estates in the suburbs of NW Leeds.

     The Tinshill site was acquired in late 1957 shortly after Pastor Roberts had passed to glory. A temporary wooden hut was transported from Hull docks in 1960 and Sunday services and youth works established.

     In 1968 the decision was taken by that fellowship to leave Methodism and begin an independent church, at the same time as Glyn and his wife Margaret were moving into the area.

     Glyn became the first elder of Tinshill Free Church in 1978, and in 1990 left his job in the computing department at Huddersfield Polytechnic to become full-time paid pastor. Glyn continues in office, God willing, until March 2011. In the meantime the church is seeking a successor.

     Over 40 years many lives have been affected. We are grateful to God for his dealings with us and the growth of the church. A strong emphasis on evangelism remains; the second anniversary weekend consisted of special events for neighbours and long-term contacts of the church.

     In between weekends, we had a surprise visit from Fastone Goma, an elder at Lusaka Baptist Church – en route to Zambia from a medical conference in Canada. Fastone and his family spent three years with us in Leeds a decade ago. It was a reminder that a local church can have an international dimension and influence, in God’s good purposes.

Martin Sellens

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