Part of my role as a Christian journalist the last four decades is to cover what the Holy Spirit is doing around the world. We’ve had many reports on revivals in different parts of the world. One part of the world where there seems to be little activity is Europe. However, a recent guest from England says there are hopeful signs!
His name is Steven Halford from Portsmouth, England. He is married to an American, has lived in America for many years and has worked in various charismatic ministries on both sides of the ocean for a number of years. He also has a passion for evangelism and is gifted in preaching on the streets and winning people to Jesus.
When he spent time in our offices recently, I recorded a podcast with him on the Charisma Podcast Network, which will air next week. I am interested in what is happening in England because I am going there in a couple of weeks to attend Empowered21 in London. I’ll be speaking there and will be involved in some other interesting activities, which I will report later.
Steven reports that Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican church that has been connected with the renewal for more than two decades, is having enormous impact. His own mother accepted Christ through their Alpha Program, which was developed there and spread worldwide. I attended services there once and hope to again on Mother’s Day.
The Elim denomination, which celebrated its centennial last year, is also growing. The leading church there is Kensington Temple, and I have attended several times when I’ve been in England. Elam has been able to embrace each move of the Spirit over the decades and has a vibrant freshness.
One of the most hopeful signs is what is beginning to happen in the Church of England, the official church of which Queen Elizabeth II is the titular head. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is a Spirit-filled Christian who speaks in tongues. Steven told me that recently he gave an altar call and prayed for each person who came forward for the baptism of Holy Spirit. This is virtually unheard of.
His predecessor was said merely to preach on intellectual subjects from books he read and never from the Bible. He also had himself ordained not only as an Anglican priest but also as a Druid. Can you imagine the head of the Anglican Church cooperating with a pagan religion?
There are of course negative trends in the Anglican Church, including some embracing gay marriage and many churches drying up. But there is also a lot of excitement and a new freshness in that historic denomination.
One of the things that’s happening is the “tent on the green” for three days in mid-May on the grounds in front of Winchester Cathedral, the historic seat of government in England during the days of Alfred the Great. The Anglican Church is cooperating with modern “charismatics” for three days of prayer and praise as well as evangelistic outreaches. When I discovered I would be there during that time, I decided I wanted to attend, and I will be reporting on it.
I am also looking forward to Empowered21, where some of the best Pentecostal preachers will be ministering. I am giving a seminar with Bishop Ken Ulmer of Los Angeles and Pastor Lawrence Khong. It is an honor to be invited to speak, and I will report on that as well.
Each generation must believe God for revival in their generation. While times do seem bleak, this is not the first generation to face these circumstances. Other generations have believed God and seen great things happen. I am encouraged by the report of my friend Steven Halford that the stirrings of revival are taking place in many parts of “the mother country.”
I encourage you to subscribe to my Strang Report” podcast and then you can hear my interview with Steven when it is posted next week.
What do you think about this report? Are you aware of other examples? Send this to your friends in England and ask them to participate in our dialogue on charismamag.com.
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