Summer Fire special guest

Organisers of Summer Fire, the annual celebration of the Southport Holiness Convention, are hoping to welcome the principal of Cliff College, the Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, to take part in the week-long programme in the ‘Big Tent’ soon after becoming President of the Methodist Conference.

Dr Atkins will be the preacher on the Wednesday evening in the middle of the event, which will run from Friday 27 July until Friday 3 August, on the convention ground at Mornington Road.

The Southport event, launched in 1885 to promote the teaching and personal experience of scriptural holiness, meets each year for a July/August week. Co-ordinating the event is the Rev Rob Cotton, currently working with the Bible Society. Preachers at 7.00pm each evening will include an evangelism enabler with Scripture Union, the Rev Piers Lane; director of evangelism at Cliff College, the Rev Steve Wild; evangelism enabler in the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District, the Rev Ashley Cooper; superintendent minister in the South Ribble circuit, the Rev Phil Gough and Rob Cotton.

Bible studies at 10.00am each day will be led by a minister from the Plymouth and Devonport circuit who has had a long association with the Southport convention, the Rev Dr John Haley. The convention team also run children’s and youth work during the week.


A first for the Salvation Army

Commissioner Elizabeth Matear has become the first Salvation Army officer to be inducted as Moderator of the Free Churches.

Commission Matear will serve as Moderator for four years, until 2011. She was inducted into the post by her predecessor, president of the World Baptist Alliance the Rev David Coffey, at a service held in London.

-336 The Free Churches Moderator is the public face of the 21 member denominations of the Free Churches Group, which includes the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

As Moderator, Commissioner Matear will serve as one of the four presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE), alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Armenian Orthodox Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian, who represents all other English Churches.

The presidents meet regularly to pray and discuss matters concerning the Church in England. They also take the lead in representing Christians at state events, such as the Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.