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!