Crown Lane Free Methodist Church
This morning I spoke at the Men’s Breakfast held at Crown Lane Free Methodist Church, located in rural north Preston. The full English breakfast was superb and it was worth travelling just for that.
I do have a special spot in my heart for Crown Lane. It was back in late 1998 that I really felt the call to preach. I was 19 and at university, but no one ever asked me. So I prayed. I asked God to take away the call if He was not willing to provide me with an opportunity to test it. Of course I could have asked churches to let me preach, but this smacks of desperation. Frankly, if someone asked me to let them preach at Martin Top, I’d just say no. Furthermore, a great man of God called Bert Chambers with whom I was acquainted had advised his grandson and I never to ask.
And so the phone rang, and Mr Jim Parkinson asked me to speak at Crown Lane one Sunday evening in January. God had heard my prayer. I felt both elated and terrified at the prospect. I spoke on Simon magus, and still have the tape. I think it was pretty bad, and can’t bring myself to listen to it. But bless them, they had me back. And I’ve spoken there at least annually ever since.
It’s important we guard our pulpits from heretics and hypocrites. We should also guard them against genuine Christians who deliver interesting lectures on spiritual themes, but fail to expound a text. But may we open them to young men who feel the call of God. Jim Parkinson took a risk.
This is Crown Lane's website: http://www.crownlanefm.org.uk/
The picture, taken from their website, shows their new extension. Some churches are retreating and shrinking. Not this one.