Peter J Farmer of Mission Britain and Newforms Resources has just spent three days meeting with folk around the borough, bringing with him a radical vision of pioneer mission and discipleship that multiplies rapidly.
In Chadwell St Mary on Monday afternoon, Peter met with local church-in-the-house (CITH) members and Mission Shaped Communities’ leaders from Thurrock Christian Fellowship. Present were John Espin, Roy Edworthy, Andy Blakey, John Peters and Tim Harrold. Peter heard about Transformation Thurrock; TCF’s journey; how the CITH came into being; and also touched on aspects of the Rock Thurrock project.
On Tuesday, Peter was introduced to the ‘thin place’ that is St Peter’s Chapel by the North Sea in Bradwell by Tim Harrold, who recounted the story of early Pioneer Missionary St Cedd. They also went in search of a Peculiar People chapel in Tillingham and pondered upon the spiritual connections between these moves of the Holy Spirit across south Essex and the Thames Gateway, and what other seeds of the gospel lie dormant in the land.
That evening, the CITH hosted Peter at Richie & Claire Ballah’s in South Ockendon. Peter talked about how Jesus taught his disciples to make disciples, who then made disciples who made disciples… and pioneer evangelists, pioneer prophets and pioneer apostles. Talking aorund 2 Timothy 2:2, Matthew 10 and Luke 10, the conversation was absorbing, challenging and revelatory.
On Wednesday Peter came to the Corringham Safety Centre and met with a small group that shared their stories and then heard his story, from church youth worker on an inner city estate in Nottingham to having the vision to see believers across Britain and Ireland equipped to make disciples. Present were Edwin Hughes, Bob Love, Judith Charles, Rob Groves, Tim Harrold, and a guy from the Isle of Dogs called Rob. We talked at some length about the mechanics of Rock Thurrock from origin to follow-up.
We discussed the prospect of having the New Forms’ training in the borough and it was agreed that this is a ‘God idea’. Peter has recently done training in a variety of church settings, including simple / house church, MSCs, Baptist and Anglican.
So plans are being made for Peter to do some training events later in the year. It is likely there will be more than one event, giving everyone an opportunity to experience to put into practice the method of discipleship that Jesus originally taught.
Please look out for more information about this on www.transformationthurrock.com as it becomes available.
Top picture: Edwin Hughes and Peter Farmer on Wednesday at the Corringham Safety Centre
Middle: Richie Ballah, Roy Edworthy and Peter compare Bible versions on their smartphone apps at the CITH on Tuesday night
Bottom: Bob Love and Rob Groves listening intently in Corringham
See also www.missionbritain.com and www.newformsresources.com.