Revive – July 2015

The event started earlier this month, and we were blessed with sunshine to enjoy a very tasty BBQ (thanks to Jeff Lewis and family). A great team effort served up a lovely social time during the BBQ, and then quickly transformed the set up to enable a memorable service to start on time with well over 100 people ready to worship.

Our two guest speakers were Tony Bartley from Wellspring, and his good friend, Neil Baldwin.

Neil was the inspiration for the Bafta winning “Marvellous”. Tony and Neil chatted through an amazing life story, from being a ‘clown’ to a ‘kit man’, chaplaincy to a friend to many. Underpinning every story was the simple dependency and trust in God that Neil has with every situation.

Tony introduced aspects of Neil’s life through video clips from “Marvellous”. Tony and Neil then discussed the topic and each time faith, prayer, and a sense of humour were very apparent. It was clear that Neil has had an incredible life, with God leading him through the ups an downs. Neil has a bible that has been signed by several well known people, but much more important to Neil is starting the day reading his bible.

The final clip summed up the impact Neil has had on everyone in his life, from students to the famous, footballers to community members.

Derek Balsdon then shared his thoughts on what we can learn from Neil with a message based on the total trust Neil has in God.

We concluded the evening with hymns that included Neil leading us as we sang ‘How Great Though Art’, a personal favourite of Neil’s. It was also fitting to sing ‘Beautiful One’, particularly with the line ” How marvellous, how wonderful you are’.

Mark Owens