Christian Motorcycling Association

Mike’s Travels: 4th November 2023 – 21st March 2024

Mike’s Travels:  4th November 2023 – 21st March 2024

4th November - Face to face National Executive and Trustees meeting based at Connection Church Centre, Birmingham (formerly known as Kingshurst Evangelical Church). It was a very positive day, especially to see each other in person.

8th November – I had a meeting with Matt Brooksbank in Scarborough, regarding the National Rally in 2024.

10th-12th November – I rode to Northern Ireland taking the ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast. On Saturday we began with breakfast with the branch, it was wonderful to meet new members and catch up with those who have been involved for many years. Later, I met with some of the branch leaders and spent three productive hours discussing the way forward. The branch has been facing a few strugglers, but the future is very hopeful. On Sunday morning I attended two services at Newtownbreda Baptist church, it was a positive time meeting the congregation. My ride home was gale force winds and torrential rain, it felt like I was in a car wash, but our bike handled the conditions superbly. Thankfully I still enjoy riding in extreme conditions. 

18th November – I ran the CMA NE annual coach trip to the NEC International Motorcycle Show, we had 48 local bikers travel with us. I always book us in for breakfast at Morrisons near Rotherham. It was a very positive time and a great opportunity to get alongside a new driver who passed his bike test a few months earlier. Sandy and I met up with other CMA members attending the show. We know several show vendors, it’s always a good opportunity to catch up with them too. Sandy’s flapjack was a great success on the coach heading home!!

Sandy and I have been involved with our church’s latest Alpha Course, we find it keeps us on focused on evangelism and addresses many questions bikers have the rest of the year.

23rd November – Sandy and I had a meeting with Dan Gower CMA’s partnership link with Open Doors. We discussed his involvement in the National Rally 2024, the blessing of this year’s donation to OD ministry. In view of my experience in South Sudan and Nigeria visiting the persecuted church, Open Doors have invited me to attend an event at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 17th January, it is called The World Watch 2024 Launch. They have invited 140 MP’s from across the political spectrum to attend, to draw their attention to the persecution of Christians across the world. There will be an official presentation identifying the fifty countries in the world where persecution is at its worst.

30th November – I was invited to share the gospel to an elderly lunch club again at Stockton Baptist Church – they love hearing about CMA. I was pleased to catch up with the father of one of our past members, Brian Murphy, Brian sadly passed away a few years ago.

The same church has asked if I will speak at another event on Monday 18th January, they will be serving a Christmas dinner to 50 refugees from numerous countries. At least half will be Muslims, some are Christians who have fled persecution. I have been asked to present the Christmas message in a simple format on the basis of ‘This is what Christmas means to me.’

1st-3rd December – Sandy organised a weekend mini cruise from Newcastle to Amsterdam for Andy and Naomi, Gary and Pauline and me. We are always blessed to take time to relax and share fellowship together, especially on the ship. Good food and learning new card games in the evening. Amsterdam was dreadful, it was heart breaking to see drugs taken openly in the streets and the reputation of the red-light area seems to have increased. Thankfully the local map kept us clear of it. BUT we had an amazing blessing in the afternoon, we came across a worship band playing live in a large market square, hundreds of us joined with them singing worship, it became a very emotional time. The band are well known in Holland and other cities across the world – they proclaim the Gospel through worship in public. It was a glimpse of Heaven in a dark place. I last visited Amsterdam when I was 16 years old – drifting round Europe, looking for answers. I was approached by a YWAM worker handing out tracts and talking to me about Jesus. I didn’t really listen, but I’ve never forgotten that moment and` still have the tract in my man draw.

4th December - Sandy organised our NE Regional Christmas meal, it was a great success, we had 38 members attend, one lady called Dawn came, she isn’t a Christian yet, but she has been supported through a very difficult time and was moved to be invited. We have quizzes, we sing the 12 Day of Christmas (with 5 Goldwings) and everyone leaves with a box of Heroes!!

8th-10th December – Sandy and I are attending a weekend at the Windmill Christian Centre at Arbroath, I have been invited to preach at Amy’s Church on Sunday morning – Hillbank Evangelical Church, Dundee.

I have been in contact with Bibles For The Nations in Sweden to order another 10,000 copies of the Biker Bible, Roul Akkeson has agreed to remove any testimonies of non-CMA members. I have kept Phil in the loop. We don’t have a delivery date yet, but I shall inform you as soon as I hear.

I have contacted my friend Jan, Vice President of Holy Riders Norway, they recently produced their own version of the Biker Bible, he will share with me the process they went through and point out any pit falls we can avoid when we compile our own in the future.

7th January - I was invited to preach at Warrington Bikers Church, it was a great blessing to see everyone and meet new members.

8th January - I travelled to the Isle of Man to attend the funeral of a past CMA member’s son, a tragic loss, the celebration of his life was very well attended.

12th January - I travelled to Worthing for a meeting with the Sussex Branch, accompanied by Phil Roberts. The evening went very well, we prayed for new members and organised support from neighbouring branches.

17th January - I travelled by train to London for a presentation of the World Watch List by our mission partners Open Doors, it was held at the Houses of Parliament. 130 MPs were invited and responded very well to those who delivered the heart-breaking presentation. It was a great privilege to be invited.

20th January - Sandy and I hosted the NE Regional Day at Boston Spa Methodist Church, our regular venue. The following branches attended – North Yorkshire Vales and Dales, North York Moors and Coast, Tyne and Wear, South Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire. It was an excellent day with good interaction.

27th January - Sandy and I were invited to a post-Christmas meal with East Midlands Branch, it was a lovely evening and good to meet new members.

4th February - I preached at Rievaulx Methodist church, which is situated close to the Farmyard Party Rally venue. They always pray for CMA as we share the Gospel with the motorcycle community during the rally in June. They have invited me to preach at an open air service in July at Rievaulx Abbey, a location where bikers regularly pass through.

I have taken part in the monthly CMA European Leaders Zoom conference calls, we always give an overview of the events that have taken place in our country and seek to encourage leaders as we share new ideas.

Sandy and I took a week’s leave in February.

23rd – 25th February, Sandy and I attended the National Executive & Trustee’s Envisioning weekend at Llanelli, South Wales. We stayed at the UK base for our mission partners World Horizons. It was a good time to discuss the future of CMA, pray together, be encouraged by God’s Word, and share fellowship. ICE CREAM DID PLAY A PART on Saturday. Those who could make it, attended Ty Gwyn Community Church in Llanelli on Sunday morning.

10th-11th March - I rode to Scotland to attend the funeral of Ron Swinton, a treasured member of Forth and Tay Branch. There was a large turnout on the day, including members of the Harley Owners Group, Ron and his wife Wanda have made a huge impact in their lives. I was asked to share a few words during the service on why it is so important to have CMA sharing the Gospel in the motorcycle community. As a result of the day, I believe that future conversations will take place at Thunder in the Glens Harley Rally on August Bank Holiday in Aviemore.

12th-13th I travelled to Norfolk to join the branch AGM, it was good to meet new members and catch up on the events in the area.

14th March – I rode to Carlisle for a lunch meeting with some of the branch, plans are in place for temporary support from Tyne and Wear Branch. I believe the branch will have a positive future as we pray for an influx of new members.

15th-16th March – Sandy, Naomi and I attended the North West Regional Day at Ebeneezer Baptist Church, Mold, North Wales. It was a good turn out and we covered a variety of subjects, together with worship, prayer, and fellowship over a very nice lunch. Dave organised the day well, which was attended by the following branches – North Wales, North Cheshire, South Lancashire, Lakes and Lancs, Staffordshire and Shropshire. A very encouraging time together.

21st March I was invited again to preach the Gospel at Stockton Baptist Church senior’s lunch. This time the new pastor’s wife told me she used to ride a Kawasaki back in the day, she asked for advice about local opportunities for her 6yr old daughter to train in off road riding. I had lunch with Ken the father of a member of CMA who passed away ten years ago, (I spoke at his funeral). Ken and his brother often come on the Bike Show Coach Trips I organise.