NEWS 17 Jan 03


Dear Church Planters

You will read below of the first church planters exchange in Britain – oraganised by David Cox with the support of Aris Votzalidis (South England) and Paul Haworth (North England). This has been an inspiring time. I would like to encourage the coordinators of church planting in each country

– with the planter coaches and field leaders – to plan an annual planters exchange. Last year the Hungarian Union set an example with a country wide church planting tour. Laslo Szabo (Church Planting Coordinator) conducted a travelling church planters exchange by hiring a small coach – making it possible for all planters to travel together and visit each others church planting projects. Others (Rudy Dinjan, Martin Vukmanic, Atte Helminen and Dzintars Geide) have taken core groups to visit church plants in nearby European countries. We greatly value the support of all church planting coordinators – and, church planters, we want you to know that you and your teams are in our prayers. You are doing God’s work!

Christian regards

Peter Roennfeldt





Last weekend almost 50 church planters gathered for the first church planters’ exchange in the British Union Conference. “There have been church planting schools conducted in Britain before,” says Peter Roennfeldt, coordinator for church planting in the Trans-European Division Church Planting Director, “But this exchange provided opportunity for the

planters to share their ministry ideas.” David Cox, coordinator for

church planting in the BUC – who organised the exchange – reports that “most of the participants in the conference had no idea of the excellent church planting initiatives taking place in so many places in the UK.”

Case studies were presented by Dana and Leslie King (Yeovil Family Church), Mike Simpson, Bryan and Isobel (Cottage Beck Cafe Church), the group from BLUE at Stanborough Park, a new plant in Sheffield – and other new initiatives. There were also studies of planting among major ethnic and spiritual groups in London.

David Cox writes, “We also linked up for extended phone conversations (while using their powerpoint pictures) with Atte Helminen in Helsinki

(CafeSEED) and two of the planting team in the Uniek project in Utrecht.

Now most of those who attended want to attend the CHURCH PLANTERS X-CHANGE in Finland later in the year.”

Participants in the BUC exchange have been enthusiatic. “It was a highly inspirational time and clearly marked the moving of the Holy Spirit among the mission minded up and down the country,” write planters Dana and Leslie King. “The variety of presentations demonstrated the creativity and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit required to reach the unchurched that live around us.” Aris Vontzalidis, church planting coordinator for the South England Conference, reports – “We had a very good church planters exchange. We had 21 from the South England Conference. I am very encouraged to see members taking initiatives or being part of the core groups.”


The members of the Riga Cafe Church – kept busy with regular Bibles studies with their unchurched friends – have also organised a worship service in one of Riga’s hospitals. According to planter Dzintars Geide – about 40 people have enjoyed this opportunity for worship.

“We have also had the unforgettable experience of visiting three prisons,” writes Dzintars. “For most of our core team members it was the first time to visit inside a prison! In one there were around 100 inmates.

It was a great experience to tell them about Jesus and to introduce them to the work that Cafe Church is doing.”

For the continued growth of the Riga Cafe Church core team and membes – the team has started a simple worship service on Saturday afternoons called “Logo of the Soul.”


Robert Vine, senior pastor at Stanborough Park (South England

Conference) is encouraged by the outreach of BLUE. Robert writes, “BLUE continues to develop with about 60 coming to the Seeker service and 80 to the Cafe Blue. Each event is monthly so there is something going on each fortnight under the leadership of Japhet De Oliveira and Ali Kingston – with great help from the young people themselves. Of these figures, about half will be inquirers or former members of the church, so there is great potential for growth.”