It was a hot afternoon in June 1975; as he delivered invitation cards around Lawford; so hot and dry with hardly any breeze, that using the car was out of the question; nothing for it but to stuff the pockets with cards and sally forth ……around 4 in the afternoon in open necked white shirt and hat…. when it was hoped the heat would lessen a bit, keeping walking until all the invites had been used…praying whilst walking….talking to any who had doors open because of the heat.The year was to be declared an official drought, and was in fact to be followed by a further year when long hot, dry weather would dominate. The drought strengthened; gardens became parched; there was a kind of ‘silence’ which hovered like the heat haze over the countryside; people sought out the beach in great numbers every weekend.
But Christians began to wonder, ‘should we pray for rain?’ or ‘should we pray for the nation’? Clearly there were two kinds of drought and both were making an impact. The story of Elijah and the drought was on most Christian’s hearts. The words of Amos that “there will be a famine, not of food ….but of hearing the Word of God” made sombre thoughts. But there was also the promise of Isaiah “that God would pour water on the thirsty ground and give springs in the desert…..(checkref)
The invites? These were to
publicise the first public meeting of Lawford Christian Fellowship,
a Bible Rally, with the expressed intention of ‘bringing Evangelical Bible Ministry to the locality’.
Lawford Christian Fellowship came to be as 4 families, two of whom were involved in leadership with a mission group for rural evangelism, who lived in Lawford but who travelled out for Worship began to test whether the Lord would Bless a new church work in Lawford. From an initial Prayer time in February ’75 it was agreed to proceed. Meeting again on the 4. March , the preaching of Vernon Higham by tape proved an encouragement as his text was “I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him”. Eccl.3:14
There followed a number of
months of regular prayer meetings from March onwards and the first public
meeting was planned for July 1. 1975 at Ogilvie hall, in , Lawford
where the preacher was Rev. Paul
Bassett, the minister of Melbourne Hall Evangelical Church Leicester. The windows open because of the heat, made the
preaching audible outside as Paul preached to a crowded hall about Evangelism
and being “put in trust with the Gospel.”
From this meeting grew the assurance to seek God for forming a local church.