November 2017

A personal reflection by a WVCC member.

Why I know that God is coming to Bishop Auckland

One thing I have realised is that when God is trying to get through to me he says the same thing several times in a variety of different ways. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. Dream big. Have faith. These are all messages that have come to me loud and clear from different sources over three days. I do have a big dream. It is more than just a vague hope. I know that God is coming to Bishop Auckland and he is coming soon. But why am I so sure?

I have got to know a lot of people throughout the town in the last 18-24 months who have recently moved into the town. They have all said something very similar. They knew that God was calling them to the area, but they were not quite sure why. And there is one couple from Switzerland who felt that God was calling them to pray specifically for this region. A year ago they felt that God was saying that there would be an African coming to the town, and he is now here. The only conclusion that I can come to is that God has a big plan for the area.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” It is that simple. But for years denominations have been at loggerheads because “They believe something different to us.” But according to the bible it is that simple. And the churches in Bishop Auckland are starting to realise this fact. For the first time that people can remember we have the strong possibility of leaders from every church in the town meeting together in one place and getting to know each other. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for another.” Unity will bring God’s blessing.

This last year we have been doing prayer walks on the Kynren site. On one of the early ones I had the strong sense that this year God was going to start moving the blessing from the site to the rest of the town. One construction firm in Shildon this year has trebled its workshop space because of the amount of work they are getting in. In the last month I have heard of 4 new shops opening in Bishop. The indoor market has opened with a few new shops. The mining art gallery has opened and the cafes in the market place have noticed a large increase in sales. The blessing and regeneration is certainly taking hold, it is moving into the town. But I do not believe that God’s blessing is primarily economic. If he is doing this, how much greater will be the spiritual blessing?

So I have a big dream. God is coming to Bishop Auckland. It may seem a long way off, but I can see lots of little steps being taken towards its fulfilment. It is coming.

But there is one further thing that convinces me that God is coming to this town. I believe that he has told me to pray for it. And I don’t think he would have me waste my time.



A personal reflection by a WVCC member.

August brought in a variety of weather, some good, some pretty poor but none of it stopped us from appreciating and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. Take, for instance, the 10 days holiday we took. Fabulous weather most of the time, so we drove around Scotland breathing in the lovely air and feasting our eyes on the rugged beauty of the lochs and glens and the Cairngorms. It is not very often that I am at a loss for words but I have to admit that Scotland at times had me beat. How many times and you say beautiful, magnificent, amazing, gorgeous, stunning, fabulous, breathtaking, without becoming truly boring with your repetitious exclamations. I had to just sit and stare in humble appreciation of God’s wonderful handiwork. It is not only a pleasant feast for the eyes but it makes me feel very small while filling my thoughts with awe and wonder at the magnitude of our Creator. How very fortunate we are to live in this green and pleasant land, especially when we see how many people live in danger of wars and starvation. It amazes me how we can sit and grumble so often, and I include myself in that statement, when all around us is in such disarray. Then I remind myself of the scripture that tells me that we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, belonging to God. He is true and honourable, meeting all our needs and I know that this is true. He has seen me through so much, and continues to do so as He blesses me daily. I love my church and have enjoyed being a part of it. The amazing thing is that this morning, as I was writing this, psalm 139 was going through my mind and that was the very psalm that the sermon was based on today……how’s that for ‘coincidence?’ It just proves that God is still in business and guiding each one of us. Yes, we are fearfully and wonderfully made but so is His created world, everything you see, mountains, trees,flowers, birds and animals, the very air we breathe, and of course an amazing assortment of people. We may not care for some of them but in God’s eyes they are special and He made them in His image. I find that there are changes going on all around me, which is good. Churches are beginning to work together now instead of keeping to their own kind. Sometimes it may seem like a rare mixture but when we are all working together in harmony the outcome starts to look more interesting and a fresh hope stirs in our hearts. I pray that we are beginning to see a new, deeper and fresher community, united and strong, building an army of people who will work together for the glory of God.