On the first weekend of 2019, members and friends of Hambleton Evangelical Church, near Thirsk, met to give thanks to God for his faithfulness over the fifty years since the church was founded. A list was compiled of fifty things for which to feel gratitude.
The Saturday afternoon saw a time of recollection. A display around the church illustrated various activities which had occurred since the church’s founding. This was followed by a time of informal fellowship and a buffet.
An illustrated talk by Malcolm Peters followed. Malcolm was the first pastor and spoke of its founding. Three couples with young families had covenanted together to form a church and asked Malcolm to be their pastor. Taking this step involved personal sacrifice, but they stepped out in faith. The three surviving founder members were able to be present and remain an encouragement to us all.
Initially, the church met at Hall Farm, Topcliffe. The Lord blessed it with growth and in 1976 they were able to purchase the present building in Carlton Miniott.
Malcolm retired in 2002 and was followed by Jonathan Bayes. Jonathan later stood down to work with Carey International, and the present pastor, Richard Wigham, was called in 2012.
Saturday 5 January was the anniversary of the first services held. The Sunday was, therefore, the first of the 51st year and we began with the Lord’s Supper, after which Malcolm preached at both services.
How good it was to be able to look back, but also to look forward in confidence to the future, encouraged by the words we took as our motto text: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ (Lamentations 3:22-23).