January 15th, 2015

John and Jan Ward Begin Their Third UK Interim Pastor Assignment

By: Chuck McComb

Since John Ward’s retirement from Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, TX, he and his wife, Jan, have served 2 assignments in England and began their third in November 2014. They are at Bootle Evangelical Church in Bootle near MIllom in Cumbria, UK.

John and Jan Ward--ready for any kind of weather

Bootle Evangelical Church was established in 1780. It came very near closing, but about 15 years ago, they joined the Rural Ministries group of Evangelical Free Churches and with their help managed to keep the church open. Bootle Evangelical Church was served by a much loved British pastor for 10 years until his death in 2013.

Bootle Evangelical Church

In early 2014 they accepted the recommendation of Rural Ministries’ Executive Director, Rev. Simon Mattholie, and invited American Interim Pastor Ministries, Inc. to supply volunteers.

Rev. Simon Mattholie

Although the congregation of BEC is small, they are working hard to reach their community. Each week they have a Tuesday Coffee Morning, a Tuesday Mums and Toddlers Meeting, a Wednesday Evening Bible Study, and a Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting. Each Friday night they have a Model Railway Club Meeting. They have recently added a Saturday Morning Men’s Breakfast every other month. They have a Saturday Morning Women’s Breakfast alternating months. A bring-and-share light lunch is served to all comers the first Monday of each month. Contributions toward that meal are given as a mission offering–currently to persecuted Christians in Syria. Each month there is a Sunday afternoon service at Bootle’s Abbyfield Retirement Home with singing, a brief message and tea and biscuits. The last week in August 2014, they had a very well attended Holiday Club.

Bootle Evangelical Church enjoys a great relationship with the Anglican Church in the village. They join in their messy church services, Lent lunches, Christmas rota of services, etc.

The village of Bootle and immediate surroundings has about 400 homes. Some BEC members live in the village of Bootle and others live in the town just a few miles to the south called Millom.

Near Bootle in England's Lake District

In working with Rev. Simon Mattholie in planning a path forward, the folk at Bootle Evangelical Church made a list of the top five traits they consider important in a Pastor. Those traits are: 1) Evangelism, 2) Community activities & presence, 3) Preaching & leading 4) Teaching 5) Counseling. The American interim pastors they select have those traits and they are busy working with the BEC folk to bring the church to the place that they can have a British pastor with those same traits.

Photos by Cath Brough, Bootle, Cumbria:

Rainbow Quote by Cath Brough 1.18.15

Sunset by Irish Sea about 3 miles from Bootle

Sheep grazing near Bootle

Filed In: