Fast-growing church bucking the trend with rising youth congregation appoints new leader

Chris Taylor becomes the new pastor at Bethel Christian Fellowship. Pictured left to right are Suzy

Chris Taylor becomes the new pastor at Bethel Christian Fellowship. Pictured left to right are Suzy Taylor, Chris Taylor, Mayoress and Mayor of Witham, Gordon Crick and Liz Crick. Picture: BETHEL CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP - Credit: Archant

A new pastor has been appointed at a growing church which is bucking the national trend.

Bethel Christian Fellowship, which meets at Maltings Academy, Witham, welcomed Chris Taylor and into the position at a time when the fellowship’s number of young people is expanding.

Churches are widely perceived to be in decline in this country, but the worship was led at the induction service on Saturday, September 1 by a talented team of youngsters aged 14 and upwards who love music and God.

Construction support manager Mr Taylor, who will lead the Pentecostal church with his wife Suzy following a handover from previous pastor Gordon Crick, said he felt “a mixture of excitement and a weight of responsibility” at taking on the role.

Witham mayor Tom Pleasance and his wife attended the service at Maltings Academy, along with ministers from other churches and special guests.

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Mr Taylor said: “God first stirred me to go into ministry 17 years ago and it has taken this time to get me to that place of becoming a Pastor.

“Having the period of transition from Gordon to myself ensured there was a good handover for the church.

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“We spent much time working as a team to achieve this goal and now we look forward to a new season as a church.”

The 43-year-old dad to sons Luke, 18, and Arran, 15, paid tribute to the enormous support and encouragement which Mr Crick and his wife Liz had given him and his wife as they prepared for this new role.

Health and safety inspector Mr Crick, of Witham, said: “We have been planning this move for some time.

“I am delighted that this day has arrived to hand the baton over to Chris Taylor, and a new leadership team.

“I sense the hand of God in this decision, and I am deeply satisfied that this succession is taking place in a phase of growth in our fellowship.

“We try to be led by the Spirit of God in all we do at Bethel, and I look forward to moving into a new phase of life and experience of God’s love in the Fellowship, as I move from a position of responsibility, to simply being one of the team.”

A hog roast was held for Mr Crick’s farewell service on Sunday, September 2.

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