On 25 August around 200 people gathered to witness the induction of the new pastor of Mitchley Hill Evangelical Church (MHEC), Sanderstead, South Croydon.
The service was led by Juge Ram, pastor of Emmanuel Church, Birmingham. The main speaker was Brian Edwards, former FIEC president.
Winston Saunders, retired pastor of Selhurst Evangelical Church, prayed. The message was from 1 Timothy 6:3-21 and focused on the task of the pastor in the local church.
Mr Edwards reminded listeners that the pastor is called to preach, teach, apply and model the Word of God so that the church might grow in Christ-likeness. In return, the congregation is to support him in this task, without grumbling, so that he might fulfil his calling with joy.
Before his appointment at MHEC, Mr Ridgeway had completed the Cornhill Training Course and pastored a church in Ashford, Kent, for almost eight years. He is married to Meena, who originally comes from Birmingham and was converted from a Hindu background.
What first attracted Mr and Mrs Ridgeway to the church was the warm and loving spirit among its members. This was matched with a united desire to move forward as a fellowship, especially in the area of evangelism.
The church itself is well placed for outreach, as it meets in a building surrounded by residential housing. A casual stroll through Sanderstead on a Saturday often reveals a community composed of teenagers and young families, as well as older and more senior folk. Like many parts of South London, it is pleasantly multicultural. Obviously the opportunity for productive gospel work is immense.
So, how does MHEC hope to approach the challenges ahead? Its method of ministry will be simple: preach and teach the Word in the church; get the Word out into the community.
MHEC needs the prayers of God’s people. The Lord Jesus Christ told his first disciples that a bumper harvest awaited them as they went into the world. He said that the available workers were few, flagging up the need to pray to God to raise up more (Matthew 9:37).
Please pray then that God might raise up more workers, to help the church fulfil its ambition to make disciples of all nations in South Croydon.