The Wigan host of an international religious gathering has received a very special gift.
Bishop Steven Evans of Orrell-based Living Faith Church was presented with a cross which had been blessed and given to Rev Christopher Hughes by His Holiness Pope Francis during a visit to Rome.
The church was hosting The International Christian Church Network’s (TICCN) conference with delegates from as far afield as the USA.
Among those present was Bishop Michael Fleming – otherwise known as Pastor Mick from the Church on the Street in Burnley whom Bishop Steven consecrated and bishop and whose book Blown Away is currently number one on Amazon.
Also in attendance were Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Christine Kirk DL and the BBC’s special correspondent Ed Thomas who were both guest speakers.
Bishop Steven said he was deeply moved to have received the gift and that he would treasure it for the rest of his life.
What a day! Thanks be to God for all He has done and congratulations to my precious brother Bishop Michael Fleming on his consecration.
A consecration service like no other, with Mezzo-Soprano Samantha Oxborough, who opened the Commonwealth games, an award winning BBC Correspondent, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, and an abrupt interruption from a congregation member.
Our special guest speakers did a wonderful job, they clearly have a deep respect and love for Bishop Michael. Here we are with the BBC’s Special Correspondent Ed Thomas and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, Mrs Christine Kirk DL
Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire, Mrs Christine Kirk DL was interrupted during the service. Two people came to the front of the church shouting and clearly in great need. Bishop Michael embraced them in love and led them to the side. I explained to the congregation that the church is a spiritual hospital so we ought not to be surprised if we encounter some patients. I went on to conclude that we’re all patients, with differing degrees of need. In many ways, the incident was a perfect illustration of what a church could and should be.
TICCN minister Reverend Christopher Hughes attended the Sports For All Summit in the Vatican. People from around the world came together to promote the importance of sports for human, educational and spiritual growth. During the summit a Declaration was presented with a commitment from attendees to give greater promotion in their own institutions and sports organizations to the social and inclusive dimensions of sports.
Reverend Christopher was a cosignatory on the declaration and among the gifts that were exchanged he presented Pope Francis with the popular golden TICCN crest badge (see photo).
Pope Francis showed great interest in the work of TICCN and presented Reverend Christopher with a cross which Reverend Christopher will present to Archbishop Steven during the TICCN conference on 12th October.
Since the birth of modern sports in the 19th century, the Church has willingly accompanied and promoted the practice of sports. Using the words of His Holiness Pius XII, sport is not “a vain agitation of limbs,” but an “activity with high educational and social potential, capable of promoting the person.”
Archbishop Steven Lyn Evans has received an award in recognition for his loyal and devoted work towards the development of Pakistan from the Bright Future Society & Implementation Minority Rights Forum.
TICCN continues to support the work carried out by Bishop Yousaf Nadeem in Pakistan. Over the years this work has provided food aid, medical supplies, and other essentials to poor communities in Pakistan. This support has been especially important in recent years during the COVID-19 pandemic and now with the extensive floods Pakistan has experienced.
Church of England minister Reverend Chris Low and her husband John visited Living Faith Church to share from her new book ‘Shattering Glass Ceilings.’
She has a tremendous testimony of healing from Multiple Sclerosis and until recently was the National director of the OSL (Order of St Luke). The OSL is a healing order focused on bringing the essential healing ministry of Jesus into churches.
The Reverend Christine “Chris” Low has spoken on many occasions about the testimony of her healing from multiple sclerosis and has frequently been asked to put it in writing. Now she sets out to tell her story with the hope of encouraging others to step out in faith and trust to God’s enabling to fulfill their God-given potential.
Shattering Glass Ceilings presents a story of the frustrations and restrictions of gender-shaped glass ceilings and how Chris saw those ceilings come crashing down one by one. By God’s grace, she was healed of multiple sclerosis and enabled to follow his call to ordination. The road was far from easy, but through God’s Holy Spirit and the support of many good people, it became possible. Along the way she learned many lessons—most of all, coming to trust to God’s empowering and to refuse to allow the prejudices of others to determine who she was and what she could become. Inspirational and biblically based, this personal narrative tells one woman’s story of healing and empowerment as God’s grace and hand in her life made possible many great things.
Blown Away, the autobiography from Bishop-Elect Michael Fleming, is released tomorrow, 15th September 2022. Bishop Steven Lyn Evans and Michael sat down together to bring you a sneak peak of the book. In it Michael explains how important the role of TICCN has been in the formation of his own ministry, Church on the Street, and how Archbishop Steven’s mentorship has been invaluable over the years.
To coincide with the book launch, Bishop-Elect Michael and Church on the Street Ministries have produced an online resource which includes a series of videos designed to help individuals and churches learn to make a difference in the communities they serve. https://www.cots-ministries.co.uk/blown-away
I write to you today with the strange mixture of sadness and great hope. Sadness, because Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II our wonderful Queen has died at the age of 96. Hope, because of her sincere and deep Christian faith.
Earlier this year, Prince William The Duke of Cambridge, along with Duchess Kate, visited one of our TICCN Ministries. They met with Bishop-elect Michael (Pastor Mick) in Burnley and showed tremendous care and concern for the people. This deep care is something they shared with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who lived a life devoted to serving other people. This devotion stands as a clear reflection of both her Christian faith and deep commitment to public life.
As we mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, our hearts are filled with memories of her throughout the years. Most of us will have memories of Royal occasions, news reports, television programs and media images. Some of us might have even had opportunity to have met Her Majesty or seen her in person. What a unique mixture of character, strength, integrity, and many other good ingredients she possessed. We remember all these things at this time but especially we remember her faith. Defined by service and commitment to her God and country, she was the longest-reigning monarch. Her Majesty was well-respected around the world, her hard work and faith was an inspiration to all people.
The first outward sign of Her Majesty’s faith was when she was only 13 years old and she presented her Father with a Christian poem which read: “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.” The King was so moved by these words that he went on to quote the poem in his 1939 Christmas speech, encouraging Britons who were facing the awful circumstances of World War II.
Her Majesty dedicated her life to public service and on her 21st birthday, and at her coronation in 1953, she prayed, “God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.” Around 20 million people were watching the ceremony and she also promised to “maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel.”
Throughout the almost 70 years of her Reign, Her Majesty exemplified duty and service to her people. According to the Royal family’s website, she saw “public and voluntary service as one of the most important elements of her work.” The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this year was an opportunity for people to come together and create shared local spirit. “I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days,” she said, “and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.” TICCN have produced an attractive simple Christian tract to help both celebrate the Platinum Jubilee and share the Gospel.
The Queen frequently expressed her Christian faith in public. She shared her hope that her family would follow Jesus saying: “I would like nothing more than that my grandchildren should hold dear His ideals.” In 2002, she said: “I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God… I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”
Perhaps the most famous messages given by Her Majesty were the The Queen’s annual Christmas broadcasts. These were part of British culture and a feature of Christmas Day for most millions of viewers. She openly shared her faith using this platform, in 2012 for example, she talked about the God “Who sent His son to serve not to be served and in doing so restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ.” Again, in 2014, she said, “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, He stretched out his hands in love, acceptance, and healing.” Her Majesty would point to Christ in her Christmas speeches making it clear that He was not just a teacher or philosopher but “the Saviour” with the “power to forgive.”
Her Majesty’s life reflected Christian values such as service, forgiveness, reconciliation, and prayer. Prayer was a vitally important part of the Queen’s life. She thanked people for their prayers, prayed daily, and spoke about the power of prayer. Her legacy is one of devotion and service to her people and a consistent and sustaining faith in God, one of the most well-known Christian public figures in the world, we thank God for her life and service to this nation.
Please join with me over this next period of time in praying daily for the Royal family as they mourn the death of Her Majesty. Especially for our new King Charles III, that he would experience and enjoy the same clarity of faith as his Mother. We pray that the Royal family would find comfort in God as they grieve. We ask that they would be protected in all that they do and that faith in Jesus Christ would enrich all of their lives. That Godly wisdom would guide and steer them throughout their days. Therefore, we join together in saying “God save the King!” In the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Facebook Post from 8th September 2022
The flags were lowered, formal notice was posted on the railings of Buckingham Palace, and suddenly, a rainbow appeared over Windsor Castle.
Some might think that Her Majesty is dead, not I! She is more alive than ever before, with her Lord, at the eternal residence. The Castle she now occupies is grander than any earthly imagination could ever conceive. Proof you ask? Her life and testimony, and God’s rainbow which appeared over Windsor Castle, the Biblical sign of a completed covenant.
Our faithful Queen, completed her race, gracious, strong, and true, she has won the prize and is now in conference with the King of Kings. All our lives we’ve prayed in song: ‘God Save Our Gracious Queen,’ and God certainly did.
– Archbishop Metropolitan Steven Lyn Evans –
Send a message of condolence to the Royal Family using the link below:
Archbishop Metropolitan Steven has thanked former Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his kind words to Bishop-elect Michael (Pastor Mick), regarding the work that our churches are doing in response to the Cost of Living Crisis. TICCN ministers are at the forefront of meeting both spiritual and physical needs.
Archbishop Steven continued: “Whilst it’s not easy for people with differing political opinions to work together, we must make every effort to find a way forward at this time of great and urgent need. My concerns are growing, as the response from political leaders to date, seems to lack the urgency that is needed to meet this crisis.” He concluded with the simple but nonetheless profound wisdom of Reverend John Wesley:
“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”
Listen to Bishop-Elect Michael and Gordon Brown on Radio 4.
Blown Away shares the incredible journey Pastor Mick has been on over his life, from hardened criminal to the call of God and the start of Church on the Street. Interest in Pastor Mick’s journey has grown year on year and has been covered by the BBC, Songs of Praise, The Guardian, and many more.
“I was the worst of the worst and in every area of darkness, but I had hope I could change.”
Pastor Mick Fleming
Pastor Mick’s journey is a testimony to the change God can make in a persons life, you can’t change yourself, but through God, it’s possible.
‘It’s impossible to visit Church on the Street and not be deeply moved by the work the organisation does for those in need. It is an extraordinary place . . .’ HRH THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, from the Foreword
The book is set to launch in September, and is available to pre-order now.
In the meantime you can discover some of Pastor Mick’s testimony in this interview with Bishop Steven Lyn Evans.