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stonepavement church planting
Location: Bourton-on-the-Water
behind the scenes

2002 Coming soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

16th century church plant

345 years ago a group of non-conformists challenged by the Holy Spirit, broke English law and met to preach the gospel and worship as a community without a lisence, without the common prayer book and without a Bishop! here in the Cotswolds. They risked fines of upto 1 years salary.

They challenged the law and for the rest of the centruy up to the 1689 until Parliament passed the Toleration Act, they met privately and started to build the church we now worship in. Our Pastor (Rev Ken Davies) this week reminded us of the price they were prepared to pay for the freedom to worship. Early Dissenters suffered ruiness fines, break up of their worship and even times in jail.

For what? To freely worship God. They proposed the simple use of English, prayers that came from the heart (not a worshipbook), hymns sung by the congregation, and sermons not written and read by professional sermonwriters in the bishop's employ but sermons crafted by the local preacher out of his deep and prayerful study of scripture.

As a church today the old 16th century hall is now the back hall. As the church grew they planted and sponsered new church plants in sight of the Hill on which Stow-on-the-Wold stands. They funded and supported new church plants impacting the rural community for miles around. When mission forms the central priority of any church, blessing will follow. As God's own give themselves away in obedience, He builds His kingdom.

Today: The Hills of the Cotswolds, which saw Wesley preach from surrounding fields in a horse and cart is praying again that new life and growth will come...as their people remain faithful in outreach....Many older churches, small in size are in a situation that resembles the stresses and pressures of new church plants...the needs are the same, (excluding maybe a building)..the unbelieving community is the same,...and the demand on ministry is the same...we just need the workers...people, who with no thought for themselves will abandon their ambitions on this earth for those of the next...Amen

Luke 10:1-3 "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves."


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