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Prepare your heart before God
Rest in His presence
Always with every request give thanks to God
Yield not to fear but yield in faith to God who cares for you.

As we continue through this trying time it is easy to lose focus or feel overwhelmed and anxious especially with so much uncertainty regarding the future. It can leave you with a sense of hopelessness and despair and when faced with decisions it can be hard to know what to do. This may be all the more real to each of us as we remain physically apart at this time. It can be challenging to say the least trying to work things out and have meetings over Zoom. As thankful as we are for its provision, it is a poor substitute for meeting in person.

Nevertheless, life goes on and each of us are having to adjust and do what we can. As we have been informed by the Trustees, finances are not looking good and no doubt this feels like another weight that is not needed. However, when considering this I want to encourage you by reminding you that we serve a God who is greater than our greatest difficulties and who gives us the victory in all things when we look to Him. As I know many of you are concerned at this time about the church, let this not be our focus. The challenges facing us as a church cannot be ignored but we are not to look at the challenges but look to Jesus. No matter how big the problem, that is not our concern. Our concern is serving the Lord Jesus Christ and looking to Him. Take our eyes off Him and we sink.

In regards to prayer, I want to offer some helpful aids that we can all together as a church body be praying. There is power when we pray as individuals, how much more when we pray together to God in the name of Jesus our Lord. This leads me to my first suggestion.

  1. Let us remember and hold out before the words of Hebrews 4:16 which says,

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  1. Let us pray together in agreement.

Jesus said in Mathew 18: 19 Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them. ”

  1. Let us pray to God.

  2. Let us pray in the name of Jesus.

  3. Let us pray for God’s will to be done, not our will.

  4. Let us come with boldness.

What to ask for?

  1. Ask the Father in Jesus name, what is your will concerning our church? How can I best serve you in these troubled times? Talk to Him about it. Let Him know your heart. Approach with faith and full assurance. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

  2. Believe that when you come to God He hears you.

  3. Believe that He wants you to come. You are His child.

  4. Believe that He will not only hear but that He will answer.

  5. Have no agenda other than for God’s will to be done regardless of what that might be. 


A word from your Minister

It goes without saying that the past several months has brought unexpected change into our lives in ways that none of us planned for or foresaw happening. Because of this, we have each had to adjust and adapt to the present changes.

As we continue to go through the pandemic, we need to continue to make readjustments. For some of us, this will be harder than for others, especially with those who may be prone to worry as the threat of infection is still very real. Nevertheless, we must do our best to carry on and get on with life as best we can under the current circumstances.

As many of us are aware, from the 4th Of July Churches have been permitted to open. No doubt this was exciting news for all Christians. I think each of us are looking forward to once again worshipping our God together.

Clearly, when we immediately return to the building, it will be different and will take yet more adjusting. This may seem daunting to many so a list of guidelines on how this will look will be provided below to avoid confusion. It will (at least for the foreseeable future) look very different and will take getting used to for us all.

I am aware that coming back to the building will be a big step for many if not all. The church building has played a major part in many of your lives and has been for a time a place you were not able to attend. I know that the thought of coming back  for some will be daunting, and for others will be bittersweet. I would love to assure you that it will be easy but that would not be true.

Nevertheless, with this in mind I am certain of this one thing, as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He will hold us up and see us through. Whatever we may be feeling and going through, we can take it to Him. Cast all your cares on Him who cares for you (Ref). No matter what you are going through or experiencing know this God is for you. Bring your cares and concerns to Him, take them to the Lord in prayer, lay them at His feet.

For those of you who are especially worried about returning to the building do not feel you must run before you can walk. For what it is worth, I am here to support and walk alongside you through this process in any way that I can. I am here to pray and discuss any thoughts you may have and will do my best to assist you. Ultimately, coming back to church is a decision that lies between you and God. Whatever you decide, I will seek to support you and do what I can to spiritually build you up, and guide were I am enabled by God to do so.

Remember, we are in this together. As Christians we are all a part of the body of Christ and matter in the eyes of God. Remember He understands what you are going through and is there for you. Only fix your eyes on Jesus. I want to leave you some words of an old hymn that says,

My Christ He is the “Lord of lords” the Sovereign “King of Kings”

the risen “Sun of Righteousness” with Healing in His wings.

Remember, not only is He your Lord but more importantly you are His because of what Jesus has done for you. You are His precious pearl of greatest price, so precious in His eyes that He paid for you with His own blood.


Looking unto God

There is no doubt that when we look around us, we see that things have changed, at least in the present anyway. Some are talking as though life will never be the same, whilst others are trying to live as though nothing happened. Others are doing the best they can to abide by the advice given by the Government, while others seem bent on doing the opposite. Maybe for you, you are somewhere in-between.

Whatever may be the case, it is clear that when we go out of our door, when we look at the television, when we meet people we know, when we go to work, from the time we get out of bed to the time we sleep life has changed. When we look around us, we see the changes and feel its effects.

As we look around, we can be forgiven for being weighed down and affected by it all. However, as Christians, we should not be moved by what we see going on around us, or troubled by current events, or surprised when such things occur. Nor are we to look for a solution apart from God. No, for the Christian is not without hope, for our hope is in God, our hope is in Christ. Not in ourselves nor in the world. We do not look to the world for hope or for a solution. We look and hope in God.

I am thankful for the doctors and those working tirelessly in the Government and other sectors who are doing all they can to keep things running as smoothly as possible. I am grateful for the advances in medicine and the many benefits we enjoy in today’s society in which we live. Yet my well being, and life is not dependant on these things. My hope and faith are not in them. They may prolong my earthly life a little, but they cannot deliver me or save me from the certainty of death and therefore have no eternal value.

As followers of Jesus Christ our Lord, we are not exempt from the cares of life. We cannot change these things or prevent them from occurring, but we can change our attitude. This we are responsible for. Our attitude and life should line up with the Word of God. It is in the Word that we find direction and instruction of how we should live in every situation. Our attitude and life should be in line with the Bible.

A lesson from the Psalms

In Psalm 121 the Psalmist writes, “I will lift my eyes to the hills - from whence cometh my help? He asks the question, where does my help come from? Is it from the hills?”

The hills and mountains were at times and still can be in some settings a place of refuge. For example, in the Bible we are told that the armies of Sodom and Gomorrah fled from the battle to the hill country (Gen 14:10 see also 1 Sam 13:6). Also, when the angels rescued Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah, they told him to flee to the mountains (Gen 19:17). When Joshua sent out spies they hid themselves for three days in the hills on their return so that they would not be found. Also, Jesus warned the disciples, “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains (Mark 13:14). From this we see that the hills and mountains were at times used as a place of refuge. This is further demonstrated in Revelation 6:15-16 where we are told that in vain “… the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb”.

Though the hills and mountains may be a point of refuge they offer no help or aid. For as the Psalmist says, “from whence comes my help?”. It certainly is not from the hills and mountains. Jeremiah 3:23 says, “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel”. This same sentiment is echoed by the Psalmist in the following verse when he writes, “my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”. In another place David says, “Shall I flee as a bird to the mountain?”. As believers and followers we are not to flee to the mountains but to take refuge in the Lord.

Let us take to heart the words of that old hymn that says, a mighty fortress is our God.

Let our eyes be ever fixed upon God and not the changing situations we find ourselves in. In these days of change, let us put our trust in the unchanging God. Let us fix our gaze on Him. As we see all that is going on around us, that is were our eyes are to ever and always be, on the Lord our God, for from Him and Him alone will our help come, from God who alone made the heaven and the earth. Let us together join with the Psalmist and ever say, “I lift up my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven” (Psalm 123:1). Let us heed the words of the prophet Isaiah when he said, “Lift up your eyes on high: Who created all these? He leads forth the starry host by number; He calls each one by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing” (40:26). Let us look up to God and not down on this earth. Let us not look within but look to God. It was a lady called Corrie Ten Boom who once said, “look without and be distressed, look within and be depressed, look to Jesus and be at rest”. Corrie Ten Boom was used by God to speak all over the world, yet during world war 2, she spent much time in a concentration camp suffering under the hands of the Germans. If she could write that after going through what she went through, then we should take heart and take heed and ever and always in all circumstances look to Jesus our Saviour. He alone is the sure foundation.

May God richly bless you,

Rev. David Bracken.


A short word of encouragement -


A Word from the Minister -

I think it is not an exaggeration to say that we at this moment are going through an extraordinary time. Never before in peace time have we been told to self – isolate and avoid public contact, to stop meeting in public gatherings, for those who can to work from home, for pubs, restaurants, shops as well as schools to close. We are seeing lockdown in countries on an unprecedented scale. Up to a quarter of the world is on lockdown according to the news.  So much is changing so quickly. It was only at the end of December 2019 an outbreak of Covid-19 was identified in Wuhan, China and seemed a million miles away from us. That has all changed. No longer is it in China alone, it has spread throughout the world, affecting many people in many countries. Moreover, there is still so much about the virus that is not known, and we are yet to have a vaccine or treatment. There is so much being said, some true, some false about the virus. If you were to take it all in, you would be left confused and bewildered.

This has caused much fear and panic. A fear of the unknown, a fear of something that cannot be seen. I think much of this fear is driven from the fact that it is something unseen. An enemy seen you can deal with, or at least identify, but one that is not seen, this is a different situation altogether.

As I ponder this, I am reminded of David in the bible and what he did in challenging and fearful situations. David was chosen and anointed to be king of Israel, however, he was no stranger to adversity and challenging situations. Often times he found himself in situations that were life and death, and yet in all of these instances we see David did not look to himself but to God.

For example, in Psalm 3:5-6 he says, "I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me." He goes on to say, "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around." David's trust was not in himself but in God and therefore his confidence was not in himself but in God.

Before David became king he was on the run from king Saul for many years. One account in the bible of David that stands out to me is when one time he and his men returned to their camp and found that their goods had been plundered, and their wifes and children taken. We are told that at that time some of the men that followed David wanted to kill him. We are told that these men cried until there was no more power to weep and that David was greatly distressed. People, what I want to encourage you with is David's response. David did not cave with fear, but strengthened Himself in the Lord His God (read 1 Samuel 30 for the full account and outcome).

David did not face Covid-19, and if he did, we were not told about it. However, what we are told about is what he did in a time of crisis. Friends, I want to encourage you to do as David did and to strenghten yourself in the Lord. Do not give into fear but rest on the Lord our God and in His everlasting arms.

Psalm 46:1-3 tells us that, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." Let us likewise not fear but look to God and meditate upon His word. Let His word dwell in you richly and your trust be only in Him. God will not fail us. He is with us in every circumstance we face. Put your trust in Him, He will not fail you nor forsake you.

Let us take to heart the word of Nehemiah when he told the told the people, "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Friends, the joy of the Lord is our strength too. Let nothing steal your joy in Christ from you. Whatever troubles you, take it to the Lord in prayer, and as the hymn says, "in His arms He will take and sheild you, thou will find a solace there."

May the Lord our God bless you, and keep you, and cause His face to shine upon you, and give you peace.



A message from Rev. David Bracken:

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I am writing this email in response to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus. I am mindful as I am sure many of us are that the total number of diagnosed cases continues to rise. I am aware that this news may cause worry and anxiety. Especially with constant updates and conversation regarding the virus.

In the midst of concern, let us not panic but keep our eyes on Jesus. Nothing comes as a surprise to God. He who kept Israel in the desert for 40 years can keep us.

As I write this, I am reminded of what God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to His people Israel when He said,

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Saviour".

Though this was spoken to Israel, it is equally applicable to us who God has purchased through His Son Jesus. He who has redeemed us by Christ, will keep us in Christ. He who has redeemed us from this world, will keep us and see us through whatever may face us in life's journey. As the text says, He will see us through whatever we go through. Just as Jesus also said in John 17,

"I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one".

Let us put our trust and faith in God who alone is unchanging, who is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Psm 102:27, Dan 7:14 Heb 13:8). Who alone is our Rock.

Let us be praying for one another and our community and especially for those most vulnerable and for those who have contracted the disease as well as for the health services that are working around the clock. Where we can let us be on hand to help one another, look out for one another and do whatever we can to help serve our community. In all that we do let us do it as unto the Lord Jesus Christ who we serve.

Also, let us be mindful to follow the advice of the health professionals and keep up good hygiene. I would advise checking the NHS website and GOV.UK website for updates on the ever changing situation. I have attached documents (some of this information is already dated but still relevant) sent by the WRU regarding procedures based largely on information found on the NHS website.


Basic advice:

1. Please ensure that you are washing hands thoroughly on a regular basis and if coughing, using a tissue and discarding it shortly afterwards.

2. If you feel you may have symptoms (or any sickness) take appropriate action and heed the advice of the medical profession.

3. If you have access to the internet, then by all means look for a service online or go to YouTube and listen to a worship service or sermon, spend time in prayer and bible reading, and keep in touch with one another over the phone, being especially mindful of those who are more at risk or worried among us.

4. Let us act wisely in the eyes of God, and not react hastily in the current climate. These are mere suggestions based largely on the advice many other churches are given to their congregants and I feel only right that we do the same. Consider what I have said prayerfully and may the Lord give you peace.


May God richly bless you all,



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