Friday, March 16, 2018

Job Opportunity: HR & Safeguarding Administrator role

Due to people changing roles within the Kerith Staff Team we’ve got a full time job opportunity for somebody to work as an administrator for HR and Safeguarding within Kerith.

You can get more information along with a detailed job description here. If this might be of interest to you, or to someone you know, than please take a look. Otherwise please join me in praying that we find the right person to fufill what is a key role for us as a community.



Friday, March 9, 2018

The day I applauded too

I remember the first time I was on a flight where people applauded when the plane landed. It was going to Poland about 12 years ago, and I must admit that I remember feeling a bit superior about it. Why applaud? What did they expect to happen? Planes take off and planes land, why would anyone think landing was an event worth celebrating when it happens thousands of times a day all around the world. I would never be one of those people who applauded something so mundane.

So it has continued over the years. Lots of flights, lots of applause, but never me.

That was until this Monday. I was on an EasyJet flight into Lisbon. There was a big storm over the city, and as we approached the airport the plane was bouncing around all over the place. I had a window seat, so could see what was happening as we came into land. One moment we were over the runway, the next moment we were off to one side or the other. That was until about 50 feet from the ground, where the pilot decided it wasn’t going to happen and aborted the landing. We rapidly accelerated back up into the air.

Everyone was very calm, but suddenly landing didn’t seem like the formality I’d always assumed it was! We climbed round in a big circle and around 10 minutes later came in to try again. Once again the plane was all over the place, and just before we touched the ground I’m sure the plane was pointing more across the runway than along it. But the pilot executed one of the smoothest landings I’ve ever experienced, and once all the wheels touched the ground everyone applauded. And I applauded too.

One of my daily disciplines is to try to pray what we call the Lord’s Prayer every day. Not in the rote way I did at school where the aim was just to get through it as quickly as possible, but slowly and thoughtfully, pausing over every phrase and even individual words. Almost every time I do it one part of the prayer will particularly resonate with me, and I’ll stop and spend time there. Reflecting, meditating, thanking, talking to God and listening to what he might be saying. Who knew you could have a deep encounter with God simply reflecting on the word “our”!

Well on Tuesday morning I got stuck in the phrase “Give us this day our daily bread”. Such a simple phrase which I must have prayed thousands of times before, yet on Tuesday it took on a whole new significance. Reflecting on all the things in life which I take for granted, but each of which is a miracle of God’s provision to be grateful for, to be applauded. Planes landing, a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, food to eat, water to drink and wash in, my family, my friends. The list goes on and on.

So from now on I’ll be applauding in a fresh way. Applauding the things I take for granted. Grateful, thankful and humbled by the God who day after day pours out a grace I haven’t earned and I don’t deserve. And all of that before I get anywhere near Jesus!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Amazing Daughter

On International Women’s Day I wanted to write a few words about my amazing daughter Alice. 

Catrina and I have got three children, two boys Zach and Jacob, and last but not least our daughter Alice who will be 20 in about 3 weeks time. We’re really proud of all three of them, but today I’d like to write a few words about Alice.

Lots has been written about being a pastors kid (PKs as they get called in the States).

At one level it’s a huge privilege. Getting to see the inner workings of church life, spending time with the amazing people who make up our community, having meals with the different speakers who come to serve us, hopefully seeing that their parents are the same people in private as they are in public. I’ve got very special memories of Alice when she was young getting up early to come with me to the Saturday morning prayer meeting. Taking her to wedding rehearsals where afterwards she’d debrief me on all the things I should have done differently, and how the wedding could be improved. Seeing her make her first time commitment when we visited Hillsong in Australia (never one to miss an occasion!). Leading events, doing spoken words, preaching and playing in the band in our LIFE youth ministry. Running our REAL women’s conference. Going together to Zambia last year to see the girls dormitory and visit Sam and Hannah Fairs-Billam and their children. 

But it can also be tough. Sharing your parents with the rest of the church family. Living in the spotlight of other people’s opinions. The possibility that your peers treat you differently because of what your dad does for a living. Having parents who are very often among the first to get to church and the last to leave. Having a dad who uses you in sermon illustrations!

All that to say that I’m hugely proud of the woman Alice is becoming. She’s taken a very different path to her brothers, both of whom went to University. Instead she decided to leave school half way through her A Levels (despite our advice and encouragement to see them through!) and has set up her own business where, in her own words “I’m a digital marketing coach, empowering entrepreneurs to create and implement an effective strategy behind their online presence”. Basically she helps companies use things like blogs, twitter and facebook to tell people about what they do! Please read more about it here.

She has also recently started doing her own podcast, interviewing female entrepreneurs from around the world. She’s often in our living room with a “do not disturb sign” on the door as she interviews an amazing woman in some distant city or country!

And above all that she loves Jesus and is actively involved in the local church. What more could a dad ask for!

Alice please know how proud I am of you, and how much I love you. It’s a privilege to be your dad, and to call you my daughter. Know that you’re never to be defined by what you do or what others think of you, but by how God sees you and his never ending love for you. And know that to me, and to God, you are an amazing world changer!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Our Kerith Rhythm of Prayer

Tonight (Friday 1th) we’ve got a half night of prayer in the K2 building on our Bracknell site, from 8pm until 2am on Saturday morning. I encourage everyone who can from across our three sites to come if you can, either for some or all of our time together. We’ll be praying for a whole load of issues, as well as taking time to worship and just enjoy slowing down to be with Jesus. I’m really looking forward to it :)

It would be true to say that for some time now the corporate prayer life of Kerith has been a bit all over the place in terms of consistency! We’ve had nights of prayer, weeks of prayer, half nights ot prayer, monthly prayer meetings, no monthly prayer meetings. I know people have found it confusing, for which I want to apologise, but in future we want to have a much more consistent pattern so we all know where we’re going.

Personal prayer - The 24/7 Prayer Room

Prayer begins with each of our individual prayer lives with God. Jesus gave us very clear direction when he told us “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew ‭6:6‬)

We encourage everyone to make space every day to follow that command, even if you can only find a few minutes. 

To help with that we have an amazing resource in our 24/7 Prayer Room based at the Bracknell site which is available to book through the home page of the website. This can help you create space in your schedule to pray. You can book as an individual or with a small group.

Corporate Prayer - Kingdom Come Events

1. Kingdom Come Evenings of Prayer

At each of our sites we are going to have a monthly event in order to gather together to seek God and pray into the life of our church.
  • Bracknell                    Second Tuesday in the month 7:30-9pm K2 Building
  • Sandhurst                    First Sunday in the month 6-7:30pm Sandhurst School
  • Windsor                      Last Thursday in the month 7:30pm- 9pm Gospel Hall
We won’t meet for corporate prayer on any of our sites in August or December.

Keep an eye on the what’s on page of the website or your site social media feed for any unforeseen date changes, but as far as possible we’ll look to stick to this pattern. 

2. Kingdom Come Nights of Prayer

As a church we go deeper with a half night of prayer 3 times a year as a one church event, where we encourage everyone from all our sites to come together. These are incredible times of hearing Gods voice and personal refreshing.

These will tend to be on the Friday at the end of each half term, but listen out on a Sunday and keep an eye on social media for dates as they may change depending on what else is happening in the life of the church. 

We are also going to partner with the Thy Kingdom Come events in May organised by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Watch out for plans as we head into the spring.

Hopefully that’s all clear, if not please ask! Please put these dates in your diary and make them a priority.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wildfires - Please book before Monday 5th March

I’ve just booked tickets for Catrina and me for Wildfires, and want to encourage everyone else who wants to come to book your tickets before Monday 5th March. The festival is being limited to 3,000 people for this first year. We have an allocation of tickets specifically reserved for Kerith, but on the 5th March those tickets return to the general pool, and once it’s sold out that will be it!

If you buy a ticket for Wildfires then that includes a ticket for the Big Church Day Out (BCDO) on the preceding Saturday and Sunday. I’d strongly encourage you to think about coming to both events - BCDO is one of my favourite events of the year with something for everyone.  If you’re camping then you can turn up from midday on Friday and stay until midday on the Thursday - whatever you do don’t miss the Wednesday night of the Festival which will finish with a bonfire and a candlelit procession.

All the information you need can be accessed via the Kerith website. Any questions please contact Sarah Harvey via the form on the website.

If you need any more encouragement take a look at this video of Pete Greig encouraging us all to go!

Hope to see you there :)


Wednesday, January 24, 2018


If you were around for the vision nights you’ll have heard me talk about Wildfires, a three day festival being organised by our friends at 24-7 prayer which we’re encouraging all of Kerith to consider coming along to.

Since the Stoneleigh Bible Week finished in 2001, I have personally missed the opportunity for us to gather together as a community in a context where we get to spend more time together than is available on a Sunday or in a midweek small group, and where we’re also exposed to the wider things God is doing in the nation and the nations. We’ve talked a few times as a leadership about whether we should organise our own camp, or get involved in some of the other excellent gatherings which take place around the country, but neither of those options have ever felt like the right thing to do.

However, from the moment we heard about Wildfires it seemed like a really good fit for us, both in terms of the people who will be there from other churches and organisations we already connect with, and the whole prophetic sense behind it of God doing a new thing which won’t replace but will enhance things God is already doing in the nation. And we get to sit around campfires, catch up with old friends and make new ones!

If you book in you get a ticket for the Big Church Day Out (BCDO) on the Saturday and Sunday, as well as for the Wildfires festival on the Monday to Wednesday. I’d encourage people to think about going to both - our family have been going to BCDO for the last few years and love it.

If you want to book in, or get more details, then go over to the Wildifres section on the Kerith website and click on the link that says “Book Tickets”. This is a Kerith specific link which will mean that everyone who books using it gets to camp together. You’ll also hopefully find all the info you need there too.

If you do have any questions then please direct them to Sarah Harvey, who is heading up the event from our end.

Hope to see you there around a campfire!


Friday, January 19, 2018

Job Opportunity - Afternoon Receptionist

At the recent Vision Nights (if you missed them then you can listen to either the Bracknell or Sandhurst version) one of the things we announced was that Marija McKean has been appointed as our Bracknell Site Kids Leader. This is really exciting as we look to strengthen and improve further the already excellent kids work on our Bracknell site. Please be praying for Marija in her new role and supporting her in any way you can.

A consequence of that decision is that we will lose Marija as our afternoon receptionist in the Kerith Centre. For me our resrptionists have one of the most important roles in our community, being the first experience many people have of Kerith when they either walk into the Kerith Centre, phone us or contact us via email. Getting that first impression right is so important in us being the peachy community we all aspire to be, and so I’m passionate we get the right person to replace Marija, who has been outstanding for us in that role. 

I’m therefore asking all of us to pray that we’ll find the right person, and consider whether it might be you or someone you know. You can find a full job description here. If there are any questions then please email our HR Manager Ali Hudell

Many thanks,