What’s happening in Bournemouth, UK? A Catch The Fire Church Profile
Written By Alice Clarke
Catch The Fire has over 30 churches planted all over the world. We’re a global family, with a passion for the world to encounter God’s presence, and we believe that the best way to do this is by church planting.
Church planting is all about establishing communities that are in love with Jesus; people whose hearts are being healed in the power of the Holy Spirit and who share the love of the Father with those around them on a day by day basis.
This is the first in a series where we’re introducing you to Catch The Fire Churches, so you can get to know more about who we are and what we’re doing.
Bournemouth is famous for…
...being a seaside town. It has 7 miles of beaches, a pier, Victorian architecture, curated gardens, and plenty of tourists coming into town throughout the summer to enjoy it all.
The leaders are…
…David and Adele Richards, Senior Pastors. They recently appointed Louis and Beth Meseg as the Lead Pastors. “In terms of the day to day running of the church, they [Louis and Beth] are going to be shaping the kids work, they’re going to be shaping the teaching, the hospitality team, the connect team… so sort of releasing Dave and myself to be a bit more big picture,” said Adele.
David is also a chartered building surveyer, running his own project management practice full time.
The church started…
...in September 2014. David and Adele previously lived and worked at Catch The Fire Church in Toronto for four years, where they fell in love with the values of hearing God’s voice, healing of the heart, the prophetic, and empowering through the Holy Spirit.
They’d received prophetic words about church planting, so when John Arnott, founder of Catch The Fire, asked if they wanted to plant a Catch The Fire church, it made sense to them. “We just love John and Carol and everything that God did though and in Toronto. It just felt like us, it’s our DNA,” said Adele.
Bournemouth is the Richard’s hometown. Adele described how church planting has shifted her perspective on the town, “out of familiarity and into a sense of ownership. I’m starting to see more and more that God has given us authority over the town. You know, you just feel like a small fish in a smallish pond, and you just think what we’re doing in a room on a Sunday and building a church is really on the periphery. But then you start to see, no, that’s not how God works. He gives His people authority and dominion and He’s training us to reign, so we are affecting spiritual atmospheres in the place.”
“We’re believing for revival in Bournemouth and a really big move of the Holy Spirit in Bournemouth, so we’re excited, and we love working with the other churches.”
When you go to Catch The Fire Church in Bournemouth…
...“People say, ‘there’s so much freedom in this room,’ ‘I really encountered the presence of God’, and ‘wow, what amazing worship,’” said Adele.
They’re Exploring What it means to be Apostolic and Prophetic
From the beginning, the team realized that they weren’t a traditional pastor/teacher model. Adele said, “We never wanted to be that church that was like ‘Come to our church, help us build our church, it’s all about church, your gift is for our family.’”
“We were more about sending and equipping and seeing. I guess what the prophetic does is sees the gift and the call and then tries to draw that out. So if you’re prophesying to someone, you know, you’re called to be a missionary, and then they go to the mission field, then you can’t cry into your cornflakes and say they’ve left your church. Because they’re extending the kingdom even though they’re not extending your church.”
Through reading Ed Silvoso’s book Ekklesia, and connecting with prophetic words from Dr. Sharon Stone and Arlene Westerhof, they began to form language around the identity that they’d already begun to develop.
“So we’re on this journey of discovering, you know, what does the apostolic do, what does the prophetic do, and how do you function out of that role,” said Adele. “Getting the strategies from heaven and then actioning them I think.”
In December 2018, they called a National Day of Prayer in the UK…
...which might seem like an unusual thing for a church of 100 people to lead! But the Holy Spirit was guiding every step of the way.
“I just had that revelation of ‘Oh my goodness we’re supposed to be calling for divine order in the government, in the seven mountains, in Brexit, in London,’” said Adele.
She felt God leading her to take a three day fast, and on day two, God spoke to her about needing a national day of prayer, “I literally sat in my chair thinking who do I know that I can get to call a national day of prayer?”
“Then I just thought hang on, don’t people say if you’ve got the vision for something, you should just do it yourself? So I thought well, why don’t I just do it? So, laughing heartily to myself, we set up this Facebook page, basically, and said, we’re calling the nation to pray.”
Reports flooded in from people across the UK and beyond, agreeing to pray on December 9, 2018. “We had lots of different denominations and churches praying all over the country and praying overseas as well,” said Adele, “We prayed in our church from 9-5. People came in fired up, full of the Holy Spirit, repenting on behalf of the nation, praying for God to intervene, and it was just like that or 8 hours. It was just really powerful.”
“Personally I did feel a shift in the country afterwards… I believe that because so many people have prayed and are praying that God will have his way, and it may all well not look how we expect or want it to, but I believe that He’s going to work his purposes out through the politics, and through Brexit.”
You also might want to know…
...that the toilets don’t always flush. But hey ho, you could always take a dip in the sea if you’re desperate. It’s only about a 40-minute walk away.