Induction at Belhus Park Chapel
Saturday 20 October was a joyful day in the history of Belhus Park Chapel, South Ockendon, Essex, as Simon Ward was inducted to the pastorate there. He recently completed ministerial training at London Theological Seminary (LTS).
The service was led by LTS Principal-designate Robert Strivens. The chapel was filled with members and friends and a joyful note was set in the opening hymn, ‘O praise ye the Lord’.
Prayer was offered by Rev. Strivens and this was followed by a statement from Dr Robert Winston (retiring pastor) on the congregation’s unanimous call to Simon Ward; and from Simon on his spiritual pathway from deacon at Westbury Chapel, Wolverhampton; through LTS; to the growing sense of a heart union with the people of Belhus Park Chapel.
The ordination and induction was led by Pastor Kevin Price of Bethel Strict Baptist Chapel in Kendal. Kevin has been a personal friend of Simon for the past 16 years.
Simon reaffirmed his belief in the fundamental doctrines of the faith and promised to fulfill his charge: ‘faithfully preaching and teaching the Word of God, leading his people, warning against error, praying for the congregation, caring for their spiritual needs, seeking to maintain the peace and purity of the church and doing the work of an evangelist’.
Simon’s wife, Helen, likewise promised to give him all possible support, the Lord helping her. The members of the chapel then formally received Simon as pastor and the deacons came forward to welcome him.
Trevor Argent, representing the Essex Thameside group of FIEC churches, read from Acts 20. After the singing of ‘The Church’s one foundation’, Dr Gareth Crossley preached from the text, ‘Take heed unto yourselves’ (Acts 20:28).
The anointing of God’s Spirit was upon the preached Word and we were all encouraged and challenged by it. The closing hymn was Charles Wesley’s ‘Give me the faith which can remove’, following which Pastor Simon Ward gave the blessing.
We give thanks to God for his goodness and pray for Simon and Helen as they proclaim God’s Word in the needy community of South Ockendon.