The old saying goes ‘All good things come to an end!’ We at Elim Christian Centre are entering a season of change. It has been my privilege to serve as Senior Pastor for just over twenty five years, and I will be stepping down from this role at the end of April. I want to place on record, via our web page, my heartfelt thanks for having the opportunity of serving this Church over this period of time. There have been joys and also challenges, but through it all God has been incredibly faithful to me and my family. This marks the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new season of opportunity both for the fellowship here and for us as a family. Leaders come and go, but the task of Kingdom building and preaching the good news of the gospel continues. This task will remain at the heart of the activity of Elim Christian Centre, Glossop.

As for me, I am launching into a new sphere of ministry under the banner of ‘THE WATCHMAN MINISTRY’. This will release me from the day to day duties of leading Church, and will enable me to engage in a wider teaching and preaching role visiting Churches throughout the U.K.

Our continued prayers will be with the Elim Church here in Glossop, as they continue to serve the local community here. May God bless each and every one of you who may be reading this web page today. The great theme of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ remains the answer to the needs of our nation and communities in these uncertain times.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. I always rejoice when the month of March arrives in that it usually marks the beginning of the season of Spring with nature coming to life and the prospect of light evenings. The onset of Spring can bring on the feeling of ‘New Beginnings’ and can be the spur to embrace change and adventure. Spring is often the time of the year in which people move house, or contemplate a fresh opportunity in the field of employment. It is often the season in which couples get married!

For me personally, I am about to enter a season of ‘New Beginning’. This is the penultimate thought for the month that I will be writing for the Elim Christian Centre, Glossop web site due to the fact that I will be relinquishing my role as Senior Minister and moving into a new sphere of ministry. This will be a challenge in that I have served here in this position for twenty five years, but equally I am looking forward to a new season of ministry and service.

In thinking about this, I am reminded that the message of the Christian gospel is very much to do with ‘New Beginnings’. The person coming to faith in Jesus Christ is stepping away from an old way of living, and moving into a new dimension of life. Becoming a Christian involves a recognition that Jesus Christ came to be the Saviour of broken humanity, and through His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, has made a way possible for us to have the assurance of forgiveness and a hope for the future. The New Testament writer Paul, in describing this, puts it this way:-

‘THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW  PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!’

This ‘New Beginning’ is freely available to all who embrace Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of The Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. Here in Britain at the moment, we find ourselves in the midst of a season of political crisis as our Political Leaders seek to find a way through the impasse of BREXIT. As I write, there seems to be little hope of uniting the warring factions at Westminster, and the clock is rapidly ticking toward the E.U. exit date of 29th March. Many are fearful over the possibility of Britain exiting the E.U. on a ‘NO DEAL’ basis. It is legitimate for Christians to hold firm political views and ideals, but we are also exhorted, in the pages of Scripture, to pray for ‘KINGS AND ALL WHO ARE IN AUTHORITY’….We are exhorted to pray for our Leaders irrespective of their political colours!

There would be those that would say that this whole situation has been brought about by an absence of visionary leadership; that of course is a matter of opinion. However, leadership is a God-given gift when used in the right setting, and can be a source of great hope for nations and communities. During February, in our Church here in Glossop, we are going to be looking at the theme of effective leadership using stories from the Old Testament book of Judges. Two powerful leaders spring to mind, and we shall be examining their leadership skills:-

DEBORAH:  A woman of outstanding courage and fortitude who inspires a nation to victory against the might of a powerful enemy.
GIDEON:  Referred to as ‘A MIGHTY MAN OF VALOUR’. He was raised up by God to defeat a powerful enemy that had oppressed Gideon’s people for many years. Through Gideon’s inspired leadership, 300 men triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds.

Finally on a personal note. Recently, I had the very great privilege of being invited by the Christian TV station Revelation TV to record a series of programmes for them. This involved me in a 30 minute interview as part of their ‘IN CONVERSTION WITH series.

This has now been put on YouTube. Simply search for Alistair Cole and you will be able to view this programme.

Praying God’s blessing upon you and your families through this month of February. Here in the U.K. we are looking forward to the dawning of the season of Spring!

May I take this opportunity on behalf of the Church community here at Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire. U.K., of wishing each and every one of you a very Happy and Blessed New Year. At this time of the year, once all of the festivities of the Christmas season have died down, we often pause and reflect upon the year that has just closed, and look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of the year that lies ahead of us. The passing of a year can serve to remind us of the good times, but also the more difficult moments we have been through. For some, reading this today, 2018 may have been a year of disappointment, loss, and heartache. If this is you, may I assure you of my thoughts and prayers as you read this today. My prayer is that for you, 2019 may be a year of renewed hope and prosperity. From a Christian perspective, this can only be fully realised as we place our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who promises ‘Peace in the midst of the storm’!

As we embark upon this year, we do so against a backdrop of political fear and uncertainty in our nation. Our Political Leaders seemed to have reached an impasse over the whole issue of BREXIT, and it would seem that there is a very real possibility of us exiting the EU on a ‘NO DEAL’ basis. Many are expressing grave concern were this to happen. Whatever our views on this issue may be, there is one thing for certain, and that is that our nation stands at a crossroads in terms of its spiritual life and health. There is an urgent need for the Church in the nation to re-discover her prime mission, that being the agent through which the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and demonstrated to our communities. This message is a message that brings hope, peace, joy, and a purpose for life. A strong and prosperous nation must be built upon strong spiritual foundations.

The Bible exhorts us to pray for those who are in authority, yes, our Political Leaders, that whatever their persuasion may be, that they will seek to govern with righteousness and integrity. Imagine the change in the political climate in the nation were this to happen.
May 2019 be for you a year of great opportunity and blessing as you face the issues and circumstances of the weeks and months ahead.

Seasonal Greetings to all of you from members and friends of The Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K.  We sincerely hope that you and your family may enjoy a great time this festive season. Perhaps the greatest Christmas song ever recorded was the song made famous by Bing Crosby; ‘I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS’. People in some nations of the world place bets on the chances of snow falling on Christmas Day. For them this would provide the perfect backdrop with which to celebrate their festive season.

Christmas is clearly a time in which family and friends come together to exchange gifts with each other. It is particularly great to watch as our children open their presents and to witness the joy on their faces as they unwrap the gift of their dreams! In the midst of this, we must always remind ourselves of the real reason for the season. For the Christian believer, it is the time of the year in which we celebrate the greatest gift ever given to mankind; the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Paul, the New Testament letter writer, in referring to this glorious event, describes the coming of Jesus as ‘GOD’S INDESCRIBABLE GIFT’! The Babe in the Bethlehem manger represents this great act of love by God in sending His Son; Jesus to be the One who would bring peace, freedom, healing and forgiveness into a broken world. This message is not just a dream it is a reality! Right at the heart of the message of Christmas is the statement; ‘FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE’……………

Whatever our hopes and dreams may be this festive season, my prayer for each and everyone of you may be that you experience the power and presence of our God and Saviour; Jesus Christ. I close this by quoting a line from one of the Carols that many will sing this Christmas time:-

‘THE HOPES AND FEARS OF ALL THE YEARS ARE MET IN THEE  TONIGHT’.

Have a great time, and may the joy and hope of this blessed season be yours this Christmas tide.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. Sunday the 11th of November will be Remembrance Sunday, a day in which millions of people here in the U.K. and in nations of the Commonwealth, will participate in acts of remembrance, honouring those who have fought and laid down their lives in the two World Wars and other conflicts. Their noble and courageous sacrifice has served to provide for us the freedom we enjoy. It is right that we honour those who have served their country with such bravery and self sacrifice.

This year marks the centenary of the end of ‘The Great War’; the First World War, that was so cruel that it was initially referred to as ‘The war that would end all wars’! Millions of lives were lost in the mire of Flanders Fields and the Western Front. Sixty thousand British soldiers were killed in one day at the Battle of the Somme. Sadly, twenty one years later, the world was once again plunged into the terror of a second global conflict resulting in over 55 million deaths!

In remembering these great acts of sacrificial courage, we reflect upon the greatest act of love and sacrifice our world has ever seen; namely the death of our Lord and Saviour; Jesus Christ. He willingly offered Himself through His death on the cross of Calvary, to atone for and to break the power of mankind’s greatest enemy; sin! War, terrorism, and all acts of human barbarity are symptomatic of this condition of sin that blights the human spirit. Mankind, in and of himself, is unable to remedy this problem, but Jesus has made a way through which this power can be broken bringing forgiveness, peace, and hope.

As we remember the heroics of those who gave their lives in the cause of our freedom, Christian believers daily thank God for sending His Son Jesus Christ to provide the path to spiritual freedom and security.

Honesty and the simple exercise of telling the truth seem to be at a premium in the days in which we live. We read of corporate greed in the market place and of business leaders rewarding themselves with exorbitant bonus levels bringing upon themselves negative reputations of greed etc. Multi-nationals are often accused of tax avoidance and failing to pay the right levels of tax in the countries in which they trade. As I write, the news media in America is dominated by the Senate and Congressional hearings that are being conducted as they hear accusations made against a Senior Judge who has been nominated by President Trump to be a life long member of the Supreme Court. Such hearings are replete with salacious rumour and accusation. There seems little prospect of getting to the actual truth, and all of this played out before a global T.V. audience!

The failure to establish the truth and the rank dishonesty on display reminds me of the story of a dentist who sought to be truthful with his patients as to the exact nature of their treatment. He sought to model deep candour:-

‘HE BENT OVER THE PATIENT WITH A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE IN  HIS HAND: YOU MIGHT FEEL A LITTLE STING. ON THE OTHER  HAND, IT MIGHT FEEL AS THOUGH YOU HAVE BEEN KICKED IN  THE MOUTH BY A MULE’!

Jesus at all times sought to portray honesty and integrity. On one occasion He was asked about paying tax, a question that was designed to trick Him. He asked for a coin, He then asked whose inscription was upon the coin. The people answered; ‘Caesar’s’, to which Jesus replied in response to the paying of tax; ‘RENDER TO CAESAR THE THINGS WHICH ARE CAESAR’S, AND TO GOD THE THINGS WHICH ARE GOD’S’! The people marvelled at His wisdom!

Honesty and integrity should be at all times qualities modelled by those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. This is very much a part of the call made by Jesus to His followers to act as ‘SALT AND LIGHT’ in the midst of a confused and uncertain world.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of The Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. What a glorious Summer we have enjoyed here in the U.K. with record temperatures and many flocking the coastal resorts both at home and overseas. September marks a change in the seasons as the early stages of Autumn begin and the nights start to close in. September is always the start of the new academic year with children returning to school and students leaving home to study at University. The start of a new season for many!

I have always looked upon this month of September as the beginning of a new season with fresh opportunities and challenges. As a Church Leader, September marks the beginning of the busy period leading up to the Christmas season. As a Church Minister, one of the great privileges I have is the responsibility to bring teaching to our congregation. As a Team here in Glossop, we regard this as a vitally important part of Church activity. As we approach this new season in the life of our Church, I have been led to focus on the early chapters of the New Testament book; The Acts of the Apostles. This records the story of the explosive growth of the Christian Church from small beginnings, to a movement that spread the message of the gospel to the entire Roman world in less that fifty years. Today, in our world, over two billion people consider themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ, and the Church in some parts of the world is currently experiencing powerful growth.

This exciting story, recorded by the historian Luke in Acts, describes how that a small group of Christ’s disciples received the power of The Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This became the motivation that launched a great missionary movement that brought the message of the gospel to nations, cities, and communities. The title of this new teaching series will be; ‘THE YOUNG CHURCH IN ACTION’. We shall be looking at this powerful story and seeing how that this same message and this same power is available to the Church today.

Encountering the love and grace of Jesus will always bring a person into a new season in their life and experience. My prayer is that many will come to know this Jesus who has the power to change lives and impact communities bringing peace, hope, and reconciliation.

Rev Alistair L. Cole:
Senior Minister: Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. I write this the day following the completion of the visit to the U.K. of President Donald Trump, a visit that has certainly ruffled a few feathers! I do not want to comment on the policies or the person of the President, but I do believe that there has to be respect for ‘The Office he holds’. It is in the interests both of our nation and the United States that a strong bi-lateral working relationship exists in the areas of trade, defence, and relationships with the wider global community of nations. At the same time we need to defend the right for there to be the expression of legitimate and constructive political debate and dialogue.

Some months ago, in the early months of his Presidency, Donald Trump coined the phrase ‘FAKE NEWS’ in response to what he considered to be factually incorrect reporting by CNN in relation to some of his policies. During his visit to the U.K., he was interviewed by the Sun newspaper and made unflattering comments about the British Prime Minister; Theresa May and her policy on BREXIT. When holding a press conference with the Prime Minister, he sought to ‘Row Back’ from some of the comments made in his interview with the Sun and labelled them ‘FAKE NEWS’! Unfortunately for Mr Trump, the Sun newspaper has been able to produce the original sound transcript of the interview!

The word ‘GOSPEL’, commonly regarded as the core message taught by Jesus Christ, has an interesting meaning; ‘GOOD NEWS’ Amidst all of the claim and counter-claim of politicians, the message of the gospel is a message that brings hope and light into situations where there is confusion and despair. At the heart of this message are the words spoken by Jesus Christ when He likened Himself to be ‘THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD’. The mission of the Church has always been and always will be to proclaim and to demonstrate the abiding values that Jesus taught and modelled, values such as forgiveness and reconciliation.  It is the genuine article and not FAKE!

Once a year, here in the U.K., an event is held in which people who have overcome major difficulties i.e. serious injury, injury in military conflict, notable acts of bravery etc., are rewarded for their courage and perseverance. They are usually welcomed to this event by members of The Royal Family and other notable people from various walks of life. Recognition is given to those who have persevered in the face of life changing circumstances, and have gone on to rebuild their lives through determination and courage. This reminded me of the following story:-

When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality and he had to work to support them. At age nine, his mother died. At twenty two, he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to go to law school, but his education was not good enough. At twenty three, he was in debt to become a partner in a small store. At twenty six, his business partner died, leaving him with a huge debt that took years to repay. At twenty eight, after courting a girl for four years, he asked her to marry him but she said no. At thirty seven, on his third attempt, he was elected to Congress, but two years later, he failed to be re-elected. At forty one, his four year old son died. At forty five, he ran for Senate and lost. At forty seven, he failed as the Vice Presidential candidate. At forty nine, he ran for the Senate again and lost. At fifty one, he was elected President of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln, a man many consider the greatest leader his country ever had. He persevered!

The Apostle Paul, the author of several of the books contained in the New Testament, faced major hurdles and challenges in his life including terms of imprisonment, beatings, shipwreck, opposition, and the daily responsibility of caring for the Churches he had planted. There were times when he almost gave up, but he learned the secret of perseverance. Towards the end of his life, he was able to write the following words:-

‘I FOCUS ON THIS ONE THING, FORGETTING THE PAST AND LOOKING FORWARD
TO WHAT LIES AHEAD, I PRESS ON TO REACH THE END OF THE RACE AND RECEIVE
THE PRIZE FOR WHICH GOD, THROUGH CHRIST JESUS, IS CALLING ME’.

No challenge or circumstance in life is too big for our Lord Jesus Christ. He has promised His peace and provision to all who receive Him as Lord and Saviour, and to all who embrace His forgiveness!