More about 40 salvation responses in DarloAdrian Holloway on December 16, 2019 with 0 Comments
Here’s some more about a wonderful night at King’s Church, Darlington yesterday. Pastor Phil Hillsdon thinks that it was the church’s highest ever Sunday attendance. And if the question is “are you feeling Christmassy yet?” there’s no doubt that the superb Leyburn Band (Leyburn is about half an hour south down the A1M) provided a monumental YES answer. There’s something about the brass and sliver intro’s to “Once in Royal”, “Hark the Herald” and “O Little Town” that just make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. When I was a student in Durham, 30 years ago, we at Emmanuel Church Durham supported this church, and I remember Sunday morning coach trips from Durham to Darlington for joint meetings back in the late 1980s. Of course back then I would have found it spooky in the extreme to be told that one day I’d be preaching at King’s Church, Darlington. This is a church with a huge warehouse complex from which King’s run a furniture ministry, a sports outreach, a major foodbank, (which Phil told me served 70,000 meals last year,) to name just a few. It might be the largest Newfrontiers church building in the UK in terms of square feet. And the response was fantastic last night. In addition to the 40 people, who told us they were not part of any church, who prayed the salvation response prayer with me, there were others who didn’t pray the prayer but did say they’d like to know more about Christianity. Finally, I’m bound to say that if a football fan, had turned up as a first time visitor at last night’s Carol Service, they would have been struck by the presence of a former England football team manager in the congregation. Steve McLaren was there with many of his family. In addition to holding the top job in English football from 2006-07, Steve managed Middlesbrough, Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, and QPR, in addition to his incredibly successful stint as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United. Steve has been part of King’s for many years. Phil told me the story of Steve’s conversion reading Nicky Gumbel’s ‘Questions of Life’, during his time at FC Twente in Holland. Finally a massive thanks to Phil and Sally Hilldon, who had me stay in their home and have done an amazing job building, in many cases literally, the church.