A full stop and new chapter for Tim Harrold
As some of you know, Vera and I have recently been to Singapore to meet a new 10-week old family member. Now that we’ve returned – and recovered from the jet lag – it’s time to announce changes at the Transformation Thurrock charity.
As many of you know, Colin Baker, Chair of TT for a decade, has resigned his pastorship at Grays Baptist Church and is moving from the area in March to take up a new position at Caversham Baptist Church in Reading. (News of a farewell party on Saturday 10 March can be found elsewhere on this website.)
I am also withdrawing from TT, having been its facilitator since its inception in March 2008.
I made the decision back in December to cease being TT’s ‘Creative Consultant’ once I had completed the Thurrock Faith Organistaions’ Survey, which has been done in partnership with Thurrock Council. My part in this project was concluded in early February.
While away, a still small voice has been reminding me that, to paraphrase Bono, if we don’t have a vision bigger than ourselves, we diminish our humanity. Vera and I desire to step into that bigger vision which we believe God is downloading to us at this time. In early December, I received the very same word on the very same day from two independent sources which was, in essence, “Full stop. New chapter..” (A similar word was given to me at Eastgate Church in Ebbsfleet in January.)
Since December, such regular events as the Thurrock Leaders Prayer, the Grays High Street Supernatural Evangelism and Thurrock Watchmen seem to be continuing satisfactorily without my involvement or facilitation.
I have told the TT trustees that I am sure my decision is a disappointment to some, and confusing to others, while others may completely understand. I can only apologise to the first group; reassure the second; and thank the third. As you read this, you may feel you fall into one of those three catagories as well.
Vera and I are satisfied that God has spoken through the unfolding circumstances since last August when it first became apparent that the charity was not the right fit for me. In my opinion, TT had begun to grow away from its core vision and values. Indeed, it felt very much like I was trying on Saul’s armour – I am far more comfortable and freer with five smooth stones!
As for the Church of Thurrock, there seems to be a coming together around the Following & Fishing and Supernatural Evangelism methodologies of outreach. I would encourage the Church of Thurrock to continue to celebrate Pentecost together, fully conscious that the Holy Spirit knows no denominational boundaries, only the kingdom. I would also encourage TT to connect with Movement Day / Gather UK, which promotes unity and helps local churches connect on all kinds of levels.
Vera and I are now knocking on various doors to see which the Lord opens. These are initially in the creative sphere, as a response to a number of words we’ve received. I also have a whole raft of speaking engagements across the borough which take me up to and including December 2018. My passion is to see believers of all churches discover their true identities in Christ and be unlocked from the prevailing historic notions of worthlessness, intellectual faith, and captivity to religious thinking. This is our prophetic heart, and creativity plays a great part in this.
In the meantime, we are continuing to visit Eastgate Church on Sunday evenings (we’ve now had connections with the church for five years), where we are ‘soaking’ up the atmosphere, out of the local context. What this will lead to, we are yet to discover. But we are made to feel comfortable there and are in agreement with much of Eastgate’s ‘DNA’. Eastgate practices a culture of honour, which makes it welcoming, supportive, free and safe. The worship flows and there is a constant stream of good news stories of healing and the miraculous.
We are also in relationship with an emerging Essex-wide network of churches that aspire to that Bethel/Eastgate ethos, without becoming carbon copies of those two places. This is based around New Life Crouch Valley in Wickford, which is led by two good friends of ours. In January, we spontaneously decided to attend a Sunday morning service there – and it felt like the message was just for us!
I thank each of the trustees (in alphabetical order) for having had a good stab at making the TT charity work…
- Judith Acreman (Thurrock Christian Fellowship, Corringham) for the long held friendship since the days of the local CARE Core Group, and for your expertise and wisdom gained from the professional areas of your life.
- Colin Baker (Grays Baptist Church) for chairing TT old and new, for all your encouragement, belief and Grays Baptist Church’s support over the years.
- Andy Blakey (Wellcome Church, Grays) for your secretarial prowess in doing a lot of TT’s backroom work and your connections in the community. Thank you for making those links with TT and the Thurrock Leaders Prayer from which a lot of recent stuff we’ve done has come.
- Roy Edworthy for treasuring with attention to detail, helping to establish Thurrock Watchmen, and your support and encouragement over the years from the days of Grays Pentecostal Church, the Grays Community Prayerhouse, and the Craftsmen.
- Kim Ford (St Catherine’s, East Tilbury) for your sensitivity, humour, abundant hospitality, get-up-and-go and practical gifts that you have brought to the table.
- Frank Gaisie (Destiny Chapel, South Ockendon) for your boundless prophetic positivism, effervescent energy and supportive smiles.
- Andy Higgs (Stifford Parish) for your support for TT ever since you arrived in the borough and for co-founding the Thurrock Leaders Prayer in 2002.
- Niyi Olijobi (Church Of His Presence, Grays) for all your encouragements, your vision for the TT charity, and heart for the kingdom to be revealed in Grays.
No one is to blame as no one could’ve foreseen this outcome. TT is shifting into new areas of potential activity and emphasis. But the Lord has spoken through it all, and Vera and I feel at peace and liberty as we transition to the next phase of our walk in God.
I would also like to thank other churches and individuals who have supported me – and therefore TT – in various ways over the years. Of course, while my association with and representation of TT is at an end, I continue to live out my discipleship through creativity and expression, as indicated above.
Now, the remaining trustees of the TT charity have some decisions to make. Please pray for them. If TT carries on, may it continue to build – both self-organisationally and body-corporately – according to the Lord’s leading and guidance. May the trustees find the right Chair to enable this process of progression.
If it is felt that the Lord is saying close TT, then strengthen the things that remain. These are the things left standing, those things instituted by the Holy Spirit and not by man. Nothing has been or is or will be wasted. TT’s legacy stands regardless.
Some scriptures (NIV) that have spoken to us recently…
Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them…
‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This is my final post for the Transformation Thurrock website.
“And if I don’t see you, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Good Night!”
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.