A New Season for Westminster Chapel
Last Sunday we made an important announcement regarding the future of Westminster Chapel, and we would greatly appreciate your prayers for us during this transition time.
Some of you may know that for a while now, our Senior Pastor, Greg Haslam has been taking time off in order to rest and seek answers owing to difficulties he’s been having with his health. During this time, he and Ruth have received no definitive diagnosis, but what has now been made clear is that what is wrong with Greg, outside of God can’t totally be cured. In the light of this and in discussion with Greg’s doctor, Greg and Ruth have come to the conclusion that he can no longer stay as Senior Pastor of Westminster Chapel, so he will be retiring two years early.
This has been an extremely difficult and heartbreaking decision for Greg and Ruth, and they would value your prayers for Greg’s healing, but also for the Holy Spirit to minister powerfully through this time.
Speaking on Sunday morning, Greg said, “I have loved this church since the moment I walked into it, and the people I began to make friends with. I’ve had the enormous privilege of pastoring it for 14 years and I will never forget the sweetness and joy of those years, and nor will my wife.”
Ruth said, “After 14 years of being part of this church, in the last few months, we’ve felt really disorientated – we’ve missed you. We will continue to miss you. We know that the future is bright for Chapel, and we will watch from afar and eagerly await to hear good news as you continue to grow and flourish. We love you and we bid you a fond farewell.”
We want to send Greg and Ruth off with our blessing and love, so Sunday, 29th May at 11am will be holding a celebration and thanksgiving service for our congregation. We will also organise a separate event in July/August at which the wider church family will be able to show their love and appreciation. For those of you who have known and worked with Greg and Ruth over the years, we will be in touch with further information about this event, once the date is confirmed.
What Happens Next…
Obviously, this raises lots of questions about the future of the Chapel. We believe that God still has a great work to do here in this church, and our mission and goal is to Bring the Kingdom of God to the Heart of the Nation – that hasn’t changed!
In terms of the immediate future: Howard Satterthwaite, our Executive Director, will continue to oversee the preaching, staff team, ministries and Life Groups, working closely with our Leadership Team.
For the long-term leadership of the church, no decisions have been made yet. We are in touch with our apostolic team; Guy Miller and Malcolm Kayes who lead Commission, and will meet with our leadership team and their wives in May to discuss possible options, before then taking the decision to the church members.
Pray For Us!
This is a church led by a sovereign God, and we know he already has a plan! We read in our Bible in Two Years reading plan on Monday; “The Lord goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deut 31:6) God goes before us, and knows the way, so please pray for our Leadership Team and all involved as they seek God’s heart for what’s next.
Pray for Greg and Ruth to know the Spirit on them; reaffirming their identity and calling, and also for full healing for Greg.
We Will Greatly Miss Them!
Greg and Ruth have been the most amazing leaders, friends, encouragers and teachers to all of us, and we can never thank them enough for all they have said, done and modelled to us here at the Chapel. We know we are building on incredibly strong foundations. We, and they, believe that the Chapel’s best years are yet to come; and we want to seek God for his power to be alive in all of us, that many will be drawn to Jesus.