Mike Fitton, National Chairman of CMA (UK), and his latest travels.
March – 2nd July 2016
On Saturday 2nd April Sandy and I went to the Wirral as guests of Mark Mitchell and his family, they invited me to share challenge from God’s Word and the ministry of CMA at a Men’s Breakfast at a local hotel. Mark hosts the breakfast, which was so well attended (usually 300) they had to turn away those who hadn’t pre booked. We had a large number of local CMA members present and we had opportunity to chat with the men afterwards. Mark is a Christian businessman and highly respected in the area.
On the 9th April Sandy and I attended the Motorcycle Action Group Annual Group Meeting which took place in Barnsley, West Yorkshire - we had been invited by the MAG Chair Selina Lavender to receive an award on behalf of CMA UK for services to the motorcycle community. The response of those present to CMA’s award was very touching. We must maintain the standards that have been established and push the boundaries to impact other areas of motorcycling in similar ways.
I attended the CMA UK National AGM at the Salvation Army Rushden near Bedford, the meeting was a great success and the weekend provides opportunity to meet with branches, members and supporters. I was invited by our AGM hosts to preach on Sunday morning. The whole weekend was one of unity in diversity, especially the business meeting which Brian handled brilliantly. Thank you to Bedford Branch for their excellent organisation. We look forward to the AGM at Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland next year.
On Saturday 23rd April Sandy and I were involved in leading sessions at the Scottish Regional Day held near Hamilton, south of Glasgow we had a very positive day and a good turn out. We are already looking forward to next year’s event. On Sunday morning I was invited to preach at Fraser and Roberta’s fellowship ‘The Potter’s Church’ Stewarton, East Ayreshire, the challenging Word I brought was warmly received.
5th – 7th May I joined the North Cheshire/ South Lancs branches at the NABD Rally (National Association of Bikers with a Disability) near Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, the team worked very well together and their passion to reach the lost is evident. I had to leave on Saturday to head off to Northern Ireland. John Finan needs a special mention for feeding the CMA team.
9th May I was involved in outreach at the North West 200 Road Races at Portrush in Northern Ireland, there were members from the Northern Ireland and Carlisle branches. We had a stand in the paddock which was ideally situated close to the race teams where all the public pass through; it was a very successful week. On Sunday prior to my ferry I was invited to preach at Lisburn Community Church near Belfast.
Between Friday 27th – Monday 30th May Sandy and I joined the CMA team travelling to the World Horizons French base near Lille, it was a very positive weekend organised by David Gallagher (World Horizons – Llanelli) involving members/supporters from Bristol, North East, East Yorkshire, East Mids, Norfolk, West Yorkshire. We met a WH team at the base from South Korea reaching out to the immigrants. On Sunday morning I was invited to preach at Warvin Community Church near Lille, the service was promoted as a biker event, the rain was torrential but it didn’t deter us. The Pastor Rob and his wife Sylvia (who kindly translated my sermon) worked with WH for thirty years and were thrilled with CMA’s input we have been invited back for future trips. It is a privilege to visit those on the mission field and encourage them. The weather on our return journey was gale force winds which made life very interesting especially when a huge tarpaulin blew off a HGV in front of Sandy and I as we led the team back to Calais, thankfully we were able to avoid it and warn the other bikes. This trip is ideal for anyone who hasn’t previously ridden abroad we always ride in small groups and visit local places of interest. Highly recommended. Look out for information for next years trip and book early.
Between 2nd - 9th June I led an outreach at the Isle of Man TT Road Races, I was joined by members of Carlisle Branch, East Yorks and supported by ex CMA members who live on the island. Over the years I have built close relationships with churches, local Christians, race marshals and key people involved in the TT. This year I was invited to speak at a biker service at Trinity Methodist Church in Douglas, it became clear that God had a plan in the life of a young local biker. He brought his Christian friend Hannah to the church with no intention of staying but Grace drew him. Everything I spoke of challenged his heart and we sat for an hour after the meeting and talked it through. I prayed with them both and feel sure that one day he will know the Lord that knows him. One tragedy of the TT are the deaths of those who race and those visitors who try to emulate their heroes. A well known racer Paul Shoesmith was involved in a fatal accident near where we were watching, it was very sad. I was able to chat with some marshals that I know who were involved and advised them to attend the counselling sessions the TT organisers provide. On Mad Sunday morning I was asked to be involved in Sulby Methodist Church service, each year they also ask me to decorate a church window to represent the ministry of CMA. On Tuesday of race week we run a Biker Bible stand at Ramsey Sprint – the organisers Straightliners are very positive about our involvement and never charge me to be on site. We had over 150 people ask for Biker Bibles. Next year is the 110th anniversary and numerous CMA members have indicated their intention to join us including the President and Treasurer of CMA New Zealand.
I’m pleased to say that the Carlisle branch and Steve Parker (CMA member and ex racer who lives on the island) are planning to have the first CMA Biker Bible stand at the TT Classic (previously known as the Manx Grand Prix) on Jurby Day. This is very exciting and will become an annual event.
On Saturday 10th June I led a ride out for the NE Branch to the Yorkshire Dales – (100 miles) then I continued south to Silverstone. I had been asked to preach at Silverstone for the Towcester Branch at a Biker Service, we had a great time together and clearly many were challenged. The weather was cold and wet – nice!
On Thursday 16th June I set up the huge Holy Joes Café at the MAG Farmyard Party Rally, Duncombe Park, Helmsley North Yorkshire only 35 minutes from where we live. We had approximately 40 members of CMA on our team to run a 24hr Holy Joes and marshal the ‘No fires campground’ for MAG. The four days went very well and gave us some significant conversations with bikers, the rally organisers and a chance for me to get to know new members and hear their hearts for the ministry. This year we felt even closer to the MAG Rally organisers and truly a part of the team as a whole. I tend to get approx. 3-4 hours sleep in each 24hrs at this rally but God carries us through. It was a great success.
Barry Dobson is a new member from the North East Branch his response was ‘I consider it an honour to serve God in the ministry of CMA, it was my first farmyard and it was fantastic. The opportunities to share were amazing.’ Lord please send more hearts like that…. what was it Wesley said “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”
Between the 24th-26th June Sandy and I travelled to North Wales to celebrate the wedding of Stephen Hughes-Burton and his wife Lianne. On Sunday morning I was invited to preach in Bob and Dawn’s church in Criccieth, the challenging Word was well received and hearts were changed.
I continue to organise the CMA UK National Rally at Lenchwood Christian Centre between 22nd-24th July.
The pre booked numbers on the 22nd June were as follows:
Pre bookings number to date - 129
I am working on the itinerary and finalising details of the rally. Sandi Buss is doing an excellent job compiling the Registration data and now has a team to assist her. We have Dutch and Belgium friends coming over again. There will be a minutes silence at the rally to remember the tragic death of Jon Pol (CMA Netherlands) who was involved in a road accident after the rally last year.
Since our last meeting I have again seen my Orthopaedic Specialist who confirmed that my surgery has been successful and any residue aches and pains will eventually clear up. I feel much stronger and we have begun cycling to build up my stamina for the travelling and often long hours my role requires. On the 27th April we bought a 2013 BMW 1200 GS Adventure with just 2,000 miles on the clock, in the past two months the mileage is now 5,400!
I have been invited to preach at this years EMC Rally by the host club ‘The Covered Backs For Him’ which takes place between 4th-7th August near Tarragona near Barcelona, Spain. I feel honoured and pray that God places His Word in my heart. Following this year’s EMC Rally we shall be taking leave to tour the Pyrenees on the bike and relax.
Mike's travels January 2016 to March 2016
CMA UK National Chairman’s
19th March 2016
Our last Executive / Trustees meeting was held at the World Horizon’s Mission base in Llanelli, they very kindly invite us to have a weekend away to focus on issues that need more time than our monthly meeting allow. It also gives an opportunity to catch up with the WH team and their mission across the world. As I was still recuperating from my surgery Sandy drove me down to Llanelli – my hero!
On the Sunday I was invited to preach at Ty Gwyn Community Church Llanelli where we received a very warm welcome, a number of the WH team attend the church.
During my convalescence I have been able to focus on planning my year and computer based work.
I received an invitation to speak about the ministry of CMA at a Methodist Church service in Middlesbrough that focused on ‘Home Mission’ – twelve CMA attended including some from Tyne and Wear. We had a superb response and the congregation gave a donation towards CMA.
As an Executive we have been looking into an online conference package that would enable us to cut down on the number of ‘face to face’ meetings we have at Birmingham, the basic Skype software hasn’t been effective enough. We are grateful to Jason for accessing alternatives and hope to have one in place very soon.
On the 3rd of March I saw my specialist at the hospital thankfully he confirmed that I can now drive and ride again; although my joints are still sore I really feel like I am making a good recovery. He anticipates the swelling and pain will clear by the end of May.
Sandy and I led the first NW Regional Day at Knowle Green Church, Clitheroe, Lancashire there was a good turn out with five branches represented and the feedback was very positive. We have booked the venue and same weekend for next year. The meeting involved Worship/Prayer, Regional Resources, Sharing Testimonies Effectively and we had an open discussion on the Cross/Patch. The South Lancashire Branch provided a substantial lunch and numerous coffee breaks.
On Saturday 12th March I organised a non - profit coach trip to the Edinburgh Bike Show for local bikers and their families, 48 attended. It was a successful day and gave me opportunity to meet up with members of the Forth and Tay / Rest of Scotland branches, vendors, Tribe of Judah etc. I was particularly pleased to spend time with Nigel Mills (Forth and Tay), who recently lost his leg, he is a great inspiration.
We have a Scottish Regional Day planned in April, Sandy and I will be attending to lead some of the seminars, the following day I shall be preaching at The Potters Church, Stewarton, Ayreshire.
I recently had a meeting with Pete Walker of the Motorcycle Action Group regarding the northern MAG rallies, he has also invited Sandy and I to attend a large event in early April at Doncaster to receive an award on behalf of CMA UK ‘For Service To The Motorcycle Community’. What a testimony to the commitment of our members, well done!
I attend the funeral of Mick Collins a very well known biker from Teesriders MCC who died in the demolition disaster at Didcot, Oxford. Hundreds attended from all over the north of England and it was covered by the BBC.
I was invited again to preach the Gospel at a lunch for over 60’s in Stockton on Tees many of them rode bikes in their youth and like to reminisce about their Triumphs, BSA’s and Norton’s I love to meet them and chat ‘Once a biker always a biker’.
I am in the process of organising the CMA UK National Rally at Lenchwood Christian Centre between 22nd-24th July I anticipate the booking form will be printed within two weeks.
We shall be taking leave for a week over Easter.
On Saturday 2nd April I am speaking at a Men’s Breakfast on the Wirral - 150 often attend. The local branches will be supporting the event too.
God Bless you, Mike
National Chairman CMA UK
Mike's travels November 2015 to January 2016
29th November 2015 - 16th January 2016
On the 29th November I organized another coach trip to the NEC International Motorcycle Show Birmingham taking 55 local bikers, it is a great way to connect with familiar faces, build relationships, meet exhibitors/stall holders and any CMA members who attend.
I had to collect some Biker Bibles from the warehouse in Scunthorpe for Scotland and the NE Branch, whilst there I met up with local members hopefully I was able to encourage them both.
Sandy, Gary, Pauline and I travelled to Arbroath and spent the first weekend of December with Amy at her second Scottish CMA Fellowship Weekend at the Windmill Christian Centre. If you wondered why it is called the ‘WINDMILL’ Centre - the weather explained all – it was severe gales and torrential rain straight off the sea! Despite the rain it was good to see so many attend (including Ian and Lesley). I led two sessions and we engaged with the local community during a Christmas Fair in the hall running a Holy Joes with a CMA stand. On Sunday morning we all went to Amy’s church in Dundee where I was invited to preach and give a children’s talk.
On the 10th December I had invasive surgery on my feet and since then I have been on sick leave, I hope to be signed back on to work for office duties within the next month. I am making progress but it is still quite painful to walk on crutches. On Thursday 21st January I am due back at the hospital for an X-ray and if the results are favourable they will remove the internal pins. I shall then begin physiotherapy for a few weeks but unable to drive or ride for quite a while – unless God chooses otherwise.
Soon I shall organising the National Rally and would appreciate offers of help.
I shall be attending a CMA European Leaders Conference in Bulgaria between 27th-29th May.
Sandy is planning to drive me to the Llanelli Exec weekend. I am booked to preach at Ty Gwyn Community Church Llanelli at 10.30am Sunday morning.
Confirmation of future European Motorcyclists For Christ Rallies (EMC Rally)
2016 – 4th-7th August, Tarrogona, Nr Barcelona, Spain (venue & booking details to be
2017 – Latvia
2018 – Holland
2019 – UK
Sandy and I have been invited to be guest speakers for a week at the Spring Harvest Holiday Centre, Camping Le Pas Opton, Le Fenouiller, France 18th-25th September, 2016. We will be speaking morning/evening and leading ride outs for any motorcyclists on site. Spring Harvest will be advertising it on their website and in their literature specifically encouraging motorcyclists to attend, the facilities are excellent and provide a great basis for a holiday. If anyone from CMA would like to join us please check out the website www.springharvestholidays.com/ or contact me direct on Chairman@bike.org.uk
It will be a great opportunity to promote the ministry of CMA and make contacts within the Christian community.
God Bless you,
CMA UK National Chairman.
Mike's travels October / November 2015
Following our last Executive meeting I attended the CMA UK Ladies Conference held at The Hayes Christian Conference Centre, Swanick, Derbyshire. I preached during their final meeting on God calling us to be Light in the darkness therefore we need to go into the dark places to reach the lost they won’t come to us. The weekend was very effective and well attended including CMA members from Holland and Belgium.
Sandy and I attended the CMA Midlands Regional Day at Woodgreen Evangelical Church, Worcester and led a seminar based on ‘How to share your testimony effectively’. The day was a great success with excellent presentations by Elaine and Ian.
On Remembrance Sunday I preached twice - the morning was in Whitby and the evening in Barnard Castle, both were well received. I spent time chatting with the parents of a young man called Andrew who was a Christian and a biker. In May he crashed at high speed on a country road and was sadly killed just outside his parent’s farm. His parents are both lovely Christians and found encouragement in what I shared but his loss is still very raw throughout the church. He had spoken to me about joining CMA one day - our loss and Heaven’s gain.
On the 12-13th November I assisted Jay and Sue Phelps to set up and run the CMA stand at the Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham, they did an excellent job with a nice mix of bikes on show together with Fred and Fran Gill and the Pilgrim Bike. This is a huge event that is spread across 11 NEC halls and draws in excess of 65,000 visitors. The exhibition is Friday to Sunday and our stand was very busy with approximately 300 – 400 Biker Bibles being taken. Jay has asked if someone else can organise it in future, as yet we haven’t found a volunteer. I understand that the cost of exhibiting is approximately £350, Rob Jones has asked if someone could compile a guide explaining how to organise the funding for events like this. I have asked Rob to address it. I feel it would be a big mistake to drop this event.
Sandy and I attended a fellowship weekend involving members from the North East and Tyne and Wear branches at a forest based outdoor centre in North Yorkshire, three of us went on bikes but regretted it when the snow began to fall. The weekend was a great success and we finished by taking a service in a nearby Methodist Church, which is struggling and may have to close next year. The highlight for me was when Ray the Chapel leader (87yrs) said with tears in his eyes that we had been a great encouragement to them all.
After the service I went to Teesside to share my testimony at a house church in a huge estate of over 40,000 houses, the house was crammed full and my message was well received. There were a few bikers in the meeting many had Christian wives and had resisted the Gospel for years but they were grateful to receive Bikers Bibles. The Pastor of the Church has been a Biker all his life riding Jap bikes he said he was interested in joining CMA - hallelujah!
Just to remind everyone I shall be having surgery on my feet on Thursday 10th December in York. I have been informed that I shall have limited movement on crutches for six weeks with internal splints then two months without driving cars or riding bikes… I’m not sure which will be most painful – the surgery or not driving or riding!! Sandy has asked that you pray for HER as I don’t sit still very often. Once the splints are removed I shall be office bound but Sandy will drive me to the NE Regional Day and our Executive weekend in Llanelli.
I shall be attending the NEC Bike Show on Sunday 29th November, I am running the annual coach trip to the show for bikers in the Teesside area there are 55 in total travelling with the NE branch.
I am organising the NE Regional Day for Saturday 23rd January 2016 at The Methodist Church, Boston Spa near Wetherby. This involves the following branches: North East, Tyne and Wear, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Usually we have 40-45 attend. The itinerary shall include seminars, debates around the Cross / Patch, getting the best out of the website and cake… lots of cake!
Between the 4th-6th December Sandy, Gary, Pauline and I shall be supporting the CMA Scottish Fellowship Weekend that Amy has organised at the Windmill Christian Centre in Arbroath. Last year was a great success and we look forward to more people attending this time. On the Saturday we shall be interacting with the local community at a Christmas Fair in the Centre then I shall be presenting a seminar in the evening. On Sunday morning I have been invited to speak at Amy’s home church in Dundee. That will be my last trip this year before my surgery.
I have been approached by Mark Mitchell a Christian businessman asking me to share my testimony at the Wirral Men’s Breakfast on the 4th April 2016, they usually have around 150 men attend. Mark is a passionate Christian and bought the CMA projector 9-10 years ago after I spoke at his church. I have informed the local branches so that we can have a large turnout.
The Carlisle Twig is doing incredibly well and growing steadily in number, some of their members helped on the NEC Classic Motor Show stand at Birmingham. Their diary is already busy for 2016.
On Tuesday 8th December we have a Christmas Party for the North East and Tyne and Wear Branches, last year 48 attended, I am the quiz master!
Mike's travels until September 2015
Following our last meeting in June I completed my sermon for the European Motorcyclists For Christ Rally in Finland, I was asked to send it in advance so that a translation could be projected as I preach in August.
In late June Sandy and I organised the CMA team and equipment for the large Holy Joes Café at the Motorcycle Action Group Farmyard Party Rally, Helmsley, North Yorkshire. The rally has 5,000 – 6,000 bikers attending and MAG kindly provide us with an enormous marquee and we run the café 24hrs a day between Friday and Sunday, it was a great success and having a large team we could get alongside bikers and supply marshals to cover camp fields etc. We are privileged to have a close relationship with MAG and they really appreciate the hard work CMA contributes to the rally. This year I conducted a wedding blessing for a couple who live in Norfolk, this was planned well in advance and provided an opportunity to share the Gospel, we presented them with a celebration cake and a Biker Bible. It was a very positive time and it was clear their friends were moved by what was said. We had two great friends from CMA Netherlands working with our team at the rally (Ineke and Mark) they were interested in Holy Joes to see if it would work in their country.
The week after the Farmyard Rally I rode to Helensburgh to meet with the Rest of Scotland Branch, we had a good meeting with supper and I gave some training on ‘Looking beyond the outward appearance of those we are trying to reach.’
The following day I joined the Forth and Tay Branch running a Holy Joes tent at a Scottish MC Rally, the team worked well and made a good impression. Most of my time in Scotland the weather was very wet but my new set of tyres (Pilot Road 4 Trail) were excellent.
I was invited to share my testimony in Cleveland at a Full Gospel Businessmen’s meeting.
In early July Sandy and I rode to a Biker Breakfast at Torver a small village near Coniston in the Lake District, Cumbria – the Lakes and Lancs branch are involved in the breakfast that is hosted by St. Lukes Church and the branch led the short service before the breakfast started. It was incredible to see approximately 100 bikers from all backgrounds arriving for the breakfast we spent hours chatting and gently letting people know that God is interested in their lives. The bikes included classic, vintage, off road, touring, custom, sports bikes etc. a great cross section of the biker community. If you are able to attend these breakfasts you will be blessed, they occur on the first Sunday of each month April to October, the service begins at 9.30am for half an hour then the breakfast follows.
Sandy and I led a ride out with mostly Harley’s to the Yorkshire Dales we had a good day connecting with many bikers we know through the Bike Show Coach Trips I run.
Mid July after I finished my preparation and planning we set off for the National Rally based once again at Lenchwood Christian Centre near Evesham, we were blessed to have Rene Changuion the CMA International Coordinator with us again and he gave two seminars on the Qualities of a Leader and was our main speaker on Saturday evening. Our mission partners Open Doors and World Horizons attended the rally and took advantage of getting alongside our members. During the rally we showed the ‘God’s Not Dead’ movie it was a great challenge and motivated us to have an answer for the Truth we believe in. There were a number of Netherlands CMA with us at the Rally and sadly as they rode home one member John Pol was involved in a road accident and as a result of his injuries he passed away. It was a desperately sad end to an amazing weekend but our memories of John will always be of him worshipping the Lord with a huge smile. A few days later His family came over to Oxford to identify his body, Ted and I met up with them and gave our condolences on behalf of everyone in CMA UK it was a privilege to be able to bring comfort at such a difficult time.
Two days later I left to travel to the EMC Rally in Finland, the journey was time out for me with the Lord to prepare my heart to preach and be an encourager to leaders of other clubs in Europe. Sandy couldn’t get time off work to ride with me so she flew in for the weekend and engaged with the Ladies on site, God was doing a mighty work of Grace in many lives. The rally was a great success and situated an hour from Helsinki at a Lutheran Christian Centre, 550 bikers attended; we had numerous speakers and three Presidents meetings all at different venues 50 kms away. During our Presidents meetings I was asked to be on a sub committee of four leaders to contact all clubs in Europe to discuss how we can improve the rally to increase attendance particularly with new clubs and we were able to confirm the dates of EMC rallies in the near future as follows: 2016 Spain, 2017 Latvia, 2018 Holland, 2019 UK.
Two days after returning from Finland, Sandy and I had a much needed holiday.
On the 25th August I went to God’s Garage the club house of the God Squad in Stockport to hear John Smith the GS founder speak, it was good to meet up with John again, he has been suffering from cancer for quite a few years and although unwell his passion is undaunted.
The first weekend in September Sandy and I organised the CMA team and equipment for Stormin the Castle MAG Rally at Witton Castle, County Durham, approximately 5000 bikers attend this rally, we run a 24 hr Holy Joes and have an amazing time connecting with bikers we have known for many years. I was on site for four days. During the pre rally Marshals meeting which was held in Holy Joes (150 present) Lindy the Marshal Coordinator who has become a close friend told everyone that “This is Holy Joes run by CMA, these people care and will look after anyone that needs help!”
On the 13th September I attended the Ace Cafe Brighton Burn Up working with Sussex Branch and a few nearby branch members. This event is huge with estimated attendance nearing 40,000 just for one day, many bikers ride from the Ace Café all the way to Brighton, the sea front is jam packed with bikes and bike related promotion stands, we had a CMA tent backing on to the beach. Our day was very busy sharing the Gospel with many people that God had prepared, one young man read my testimony on my bike and when I explained in more detail he was amazed that God could give him a new start. Before he left he gave me a big hug with tears in his eyes. ‘Lord bring him to his knees that he might find you.’
Recently I had an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon and it transpires that I have to have surgery on both of my feet removing sections of bone. I shall be in casts with metal pins for six weeks followed by physiotherapy, it will take three months before I can ride or drive. It is hoped I can have the operation in early December so that I can be back on the bike by April. I anticipate that I shall be off work for a month but then be office based on computer etc. during my recovery. Please pray for Sandy – I don’t do sitting still not even on a bike!
I have been working with Bibles For The Nations to order another 10,000 copies of the Biker Bible we are nearly there.
I have received an invitation to visit CMA Belgium next year to preach and bring some training.
I have been invited by World Horizons to preach at a church in Roubaix France next May as part of the WH/CMA weekend near Lille.
Mike’s Travels to March 2015
Mike’s Travels December – March 2015
Following our November Executive meeting I preached at Kings Road Chapel, Rushall, Walsall and in the evening at Kingshurst Evangelical Church (the church that hosts our Exec meetings) I also gave a presentation of the ministry of CMA at both churches. Kingshurst Church requested a few Biker Bibles to reach out to local bikers. I have obtained a Russian Biker Bible for a contact via Kings Road Chapel.
I have been working on a new batch of CMA promotional posters and ‘Introducing CMA’ leaflets for local branches. Now printed and available.
I was invited to preach the Gospel to an over 60’s luncheon club at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle in Cleveland, many of those present have a motorcycling background and two fathers have lost sons who were bikers. The message was well received.
I attended the fellowship weekend organised in Arbroath by Amy of the Forth and Tay branch, we had a good turn out and everyone was encouraged. I gave some training and preached on Sunday morning. We met many local Christians some of them bikers at a Christmas fair held at the Centre.
We organised a Christmas Party for the NE Branch and Tyne and Wear Twig, 40 attended it was a great success with a Bike Racing/Christmas quiz, someone asked if I could use the same questions next year!
I organised the CMA NE Regional Day at Boston Spa, near Wetherby, 38 attended from the NE branch, Tyne and Wear Twig, West Yorkshire and two strays from East Mids. Andy Hogan brought the Merchandise. Sandy and I led training on sharing your testimony, Ian and Colin (East Mids) spoke about the benefits of a three year vision. As usual there was a lot of cake. It was a very positive time together.
I had a lunch meeting with Pete Walker from MAG organiser of The Farmyard Party Rally and numerous others. It was a productive meeting discussing the practicalities of CMA’s involvement at the rally.
Due to bad weather we cancelled the January Exec meeting in Birmingham, and held a skype meeting instead.
I visited the Norwich Branch and gave some training on ‘Looking beyond the outward appearance of those we are trying to reach’. The meeting was a great time of fellowship and received well, we closed with prayer.
Whilst in Norfolk I also attended the funeral of Terry and Jan Riddle’s daughter Jo, Terry was the Chairman of East Mids prior to his death two years ago. Jan was very grateful for me representing CMA.
Following the sudden death of Roy O’Hara in Cheshire I was asked by his wife Tina to preach the Gospel at his funeral. Approximately 300+ attended with many CMA members on bikes and friends from the God Squad. It was a great celebration of his life and evident he made a huge impact on many lives.
I had a meeting with the National Rally band in Scarborough, plans are going well, I am working on the booking form now.
The National Executive had another annual residential weekend based at the World Horizons Headquarters in Llanelli, South Wales. We are grateful to them for the opportunity to spend more time together and discuss the way ahead and to meet with WH staff. The weekend is always free of charge to express their appreciation of our partnership in mission. I was invited to speak at the local Apostolic Church on Sunday morning and lead communion – a great privilege, a number of the WH staff attend there.
Following the Llanelli weekend Sandy and I attended the South Wales Branch meeting, they have had a tough time following the sad loss of Debbie the Chairman and their close friend. We discussed a new approach to reach the local biking community, and gave challenges to address. I am excited to see the outcome.
I organised another Coach Trip to the Scottish Bike Show in Edinburgh for local NE bikers, we took 50 this year with a good turn out from the NE branch and Tyne and Wear Twig, I met up with numerous members of CMA in Scotland, God Squad and Tribe of Judah.
Mike’s Travels September to November 2014
Following our last meeting I gave some training to the North East Branch based on Safeguarding – Children and Vulnerable Adults. It was an interactive seminar covering aspects of ‘Who is vulnerable?’, ‘Occasions when CMA members may come in contact with young people?’, ‘Identifying different kinds of abuse’, ‘What do I do if I suspect abuse has taken place?’. It was well received and has stimulated conversations since. I would like to take this to other branches in the months to come.
The next day Sandy and I headed up the team in Holy Joes at The Farmyard Party Rally situated on the North Yorkshire Moors not far from our home. The MAG organisers moved us to the centre of the main arena in a huge marquee (50m long x 20m wide) that they provided. We were incredibly busy with approx. 7,000 drinks being served, we interacted with the bikers and numerous Bibles were given out. The team worked well together and certainly went the extra mile. Feedback from MAG was very complimentary. CMA members have been included in some of the MAG rally reports in the national ‘Road’ Magazine.
Shortly after the Farmyard I headed north to join the ‘Rest of Scotland’ Branch on their charity ride. We met in Edinburgh and took the coastal route to Aberdeen. It gave me a positive opportunity to spend quality time with them. After Aberdeen I headed south to Ayrshire to visit the Forth and Tay Branch who were running a Holy Joes Café at the Blue Angels Rally. This was predominantly a patch club event. It was good to see everyone and meet a few leaders from Scottish MC clubs. George and Amy have made excellent in-roads to this rally over the past five years; God Squad were present and I had chance to catch up with Howie Pickering from Manchester. I was feeling tired and hadn’t been to my own church for a couple of weeks so I decided to ride home that night rather than camp.
On the 2nd July I attended Barton Bike Night near Hull. This is an unusual event that takes place once a year in a small town – there are very few vendors or anything of major interest other than 10,000 bikers attend!! The roads are closed and bikes pour in coming from far and wide. The local branches have a good relationship with the Salvation Army and have a stand / display outside their church. The night lasts approximately four hours. I wonder if there is any other evening meet that can compare?
The following Sunday Sandy and I attended Rixton Bikers Church where I was invited to preach – the turnout was good and very encouraging. Many people said they were challenged.
In conjunction with Robert Oates and Andy Hogan I continue to support the Tyne and Wear Twig. In July we visited their meeting after Phil and Gilian Roberts have moved to Quatar following a job offer. (A week later Sandy and I attended Phil and Gilian’s farewell party). The Twig has been enthusiastically attending rallies, Bikewise, and connecting with their local bike clubs and weekly biker meets.
The National Rally seemed to go really well with great enthusiasm for Lenchwood Christian Centre. Approximately 170 registered on site, which was a decent number considering the lack of rooms available. The catering team of THREE from Carlisle Twig did an incredible job providing in excess of 350 meals. The caterer Colin is a retired professional caterer and offered his services six years ago when we met at the TT. The layout of the site kept everyone together and worked really well. The weather caused a few problems but it didn’t matter. The Lord challenged many during the meetings especially the ‘Not a fan’ DVD. I have never seen so many in tears and struggling to speak. It was good to have Mike Adams back again and the unscheduled word from Sid on Sunday morning. I felt Dan Harris did a great seminar on ‘Reaching Youth through motorcycles’, and Fred’s on ‘Fasting’ was well attended too. Our collection on behalf of ‘Open Doors’ was in excess of £2,000. A momentous occasion at the rally was our wedding anniversary! Regarding next years venue I have booked Lenchwood for 2015 and 2016. As previously discussed I had hoped we could go to Blaithwaite House near Keswick but their price per bed (not per room) is £23 per night without en suite or food! Rene Changuion (CMA International Coordinator) has agreed to attend our rally next year.
Shortly after the National Rally, Sandy and I rode to the European Motorcyclists For Christ Rally near Lisbon in Portugal. We were both invited to speak. I preached on Friday evening and Sandy spoke at a ladies breakfast meeting. Our days consisted of meetings, fellowship and private conversations with club leaders chatting over issues they faced, very successful. Considering Eddie (CMA Portugal President) and his team had to find an alternative venue four months before it was due to start they did an incredible job – the pool – (yes pool!!!) was completed a few hours before the first person jumped in. In view of the temperatures being in the 30’s the pool was essential. The numbers were low but this was the first EMC in the southern section of Europe and hopefully more people will attend in future. We had a number of new clubs represented. The EMC in 2015 is to be hosted by Gospel Riders in Finland. CMA Spain had hoped to run the EMC in 2016 but it hasn’t been possible. We had 16 people attend from the UK. Sandy and I took a couple of days to relax on the way home staying in Salamanca and the Picos De Europa mountains. Both are incredible places and a must if you find yourselves in northern Spain.
Following the EMC I attended a BMW Owners Club Rally in Kelso to assist the Borders Branch running a drop in style tent. The club had hoped for 900 to attend but sadly only 300 made it, but it was an excellent event and gave us great opportunity to share the Gospel with many. This was my first BMW event and I was amazed how God placed me in the path of various people on the rally particularly a biker from Oxford, he heard the Gospel numerous times and received a Bible. I went on the ride out with them and connected time and again at coffee stops and lunch at St. Abbs. A great event – the BMW Club have asked if CMA can do the same next year somewhere near Winchester I believe? They have a different venue each year.
Last weekend Sandy and I spent four days heading up the Holy Joes Outreach Team at Stormin the Castle MAG Rally. We had an excellent team of 28 from CMA and MAG were very grateful for all we did, it really felt like we took our relationship with the rally to another level – this year was my 14th or 15th Stormin The Castle.
I have managed to keep up my fitness routine of swimming and exercise. This has really helped with my energy levels for travelling and long hours.
Following our last meeting I rode to the Autumn Madness NABD Rally near Oxford to work with the Thames Valley Branch running a 24hr Holy Joes. I received a very warm welcome and had opportunity to get to know them all much better. I also met up with key people in NABD that I know from the Cheshire NABD rally. I have organised to visit the branch in November to share some training.
After NABD I stayed with Alan and Liz Robertson at Gloucester, we attended their church on Sunday night providing opportunity to connect with the Vicar that I previously met. Monday evening I had a training evening with the branch based on looking beyond the face of those we seek to reach with the Gospel. They are a branch with potential, but really need a boost of new members. I have asked Thames Valley to connect with them as they are quite close; Bristol Branch have built up a good working relationship with Gloucester particularly for Hoggin The Bridge in October.
I had a meeting with one of my key contacts at the Bible Society in Swindon. We discussed the progress of the Biker Bible – it was agreed that other than changing testimonies there wasn’t any real gain by adding any extras.
I had hoped to meet with Open Doors in Witney but Roger Faulkner couldn’t make it.
After running our local village show I began riding towards Brighton to attend the Brighton Burn Up and then spend time with Hampshire and Dorset branch, but at 8pm, three hours south, I had a nasty rear tyre blow out. There was a large hole in the tyre. Thankfully I kept the bike straight as I pulled off the motorway. Sadly I missed the events and arrived home on the back of a truck at 2.30am.
I rode to Suffolk to set up the Copdock Bike Show CMA stand at Ipswich with the local branch. We shared fellowship in the afternoon and attended a local church fundraiser for Missionary Aviation Fellowship in the evening. The show went very well considering it is a single day. It is a huge event worthy of a weekend. We had a good CMA team made up of members from Suffolk, Norfolk and MESS branches, numerous opportunities to share the Gospel, offer Biker Bibles. I spent a lot of my time counselling and praying with members.
Following our last meeting Sandy and I attended the CMA International Leaders Conference and Changing of the Colors Rally (their spelling) in Arkansas, USA. The time we spent with the other leaders and the 4,500 members of CMA USA that attended their rally was very positive and busy. We were especially blessed to meet a number of new faces from France, Bulgaria, Canada, Macedonia, Finland, Mexico and Peru. It was exciting to meet some new young leaders with passionate hearts surrendered to God’s call. We found ourselves involved in giving advice and contributing a great deal throughout the conference. During the conference we have numerous ministry times involving prayer and worship. Every day begins with a Word to focus on. Each leader is given the opportunity to share from the main stage an overview of what their country has been doing. It was very encouraging to see new opportunities opening up. We had an update on the process a new country goes through to become a chartered CMA country, a focus on Hope, Goals & Visions, Ministry to Bikers, Seasons of Refreshing (USA version of Regional style Meetings). Rene preached on Personal Growth and Discipleship. We had separate sessions on ‘Ministry to men’ and ‘Ministry to women’ - Living to stand out rather than blending in. During the initial Colors Rally we were all given opportunity to address the rally main meeting from the main stage and as usual we were given a huge warm welcome. The days are long (6am-10.30pm each day) with little down time but the blessings far outweighed the fatigue, at this stage we do not know when the next conference will take place - possibly in two years if funding allows. We had a great sense of unity throughout the team. We were asked by Lisa the Australian coordinator to visit their country one day to meet the members and ride with them one day…. God willing one day! On our return home I had a minor struggle with jet lag and eased back into my diary.
I led a seminar at the East Midlands Regional Day in Nottingham about ‘Looking beyond the outward appearance of those we are trying to reach’. The day was very well organised and we had a great sense of unity during discussions. Following that meeting I attended a presentation party night with the East Mids branch in Nottingham in relation to the Rock and Bike Fest.
It has been a huge blessing to attend our own church for four weeks running, I have led worship, preached and concentrated on CMA office work.
I organised a coach trip for 47 local bikers to the NEC International Bike Show. We had a very positive day and two new guys asked for Bikers bibles. I met some members of CMA and vendors I knew. A retired Cleveland Police inspector who comes on the coach trips has asked Sandy and I to attend the Cleveland Police Carol service. His wife wouldn’t go unless Sandy came – guess what – we are going!!
Last week I visited Carlisle to speak to the forming Twig that I have been working with for many years. We had an excellent turnout and at least two new people expressed interest in moving forward with CMA (they now have approx. 8 committed to Carlisle). They have numerous events planned and are making an in road to their local bike community. I am excited about their future.