Back to the Future

It’s been great to hear recently that so many people and churches are praying for us as we prepare to plant in the Spen Valley this Summer. If you don’t receive our monthly prayer letter, and would like to, please do get in touch. One of our big prayer requests has been that the Lord would send workers to this corner of His harvest field, and we know that many have been praying exactly this for us. We still need, and are praying for, many more workers. But, as so often, those prayers have begun to be answered in a bit of an unexpected way!

Over recent months I’ve been in conversation with a friend about the possibility of coming to work with us at Spen Valley. We’ve been waiting for final confirmation, but now it is with great pleasure, that I can announce that Derek Ventress will be Spen Valley Church’s first ever Assistant Pastor.

Derek has been the Pastor at Staincliffe Baptist Church for seven years, having served as an Elder there since 1999. He also has church planting form, having been part of the team that planted Mirfield Evangelical Church. Before becoming Staincliffe’s Pastor he was a Maths teacher, starting his career at the Spen Valley’s own Whitcliffe Mount High School, before moving on to the Mirfield Free Grammar School, where he taught for 26 years. Derek is the Chaplain at Batley Bulldogs RLFC. He’s also a local, hailing from Batley, West Yorkshire born and bred!

I am thrilled at the prospect of working with Derek. He has been a friend, and a great encouragement, for more years than I care to remember. He has a huge heart for the Spen Valley and its people, stemming right back to his time at Whitcliffe Mount. In fact Derek was one of the first people to mention the Spen Valley as a needy area, at a Gospel Yorkshire meeting, nearly three years ago. He brings wisdom, experience, and a pastoral heart that is second to none. I, for one, am extremely grateful to the Lord for this opportunity to work with, and learn from, such a godly pastor as Derek.

Please do pray for Derek as he makes this transition over the next few months. Please also pray for Derek and I, as we begin to make plans for what ministry life at Spen Valley Church will look like. And please pray that Derek might be just one of many new joiners to our team, that we might be equipped to shine the light of the Gospel into the Spen Valley.

On that note, we’re having a prayer meeting, in the next few weeks, for anyone who’s seriously considering whether they could join us in the Spen Valley. Coming along wouldn’t imply any concrete commitment to join us, but it’s a great chance to get to know others who are thinking about being involved, and to pray together for the Lord to grow our number and be at work in the Spen Valley. Do give me a shout if you’re at all interested.