Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

I had the privilege of attending a special service on Saturday at St. Hilda's Community Church on the Greatfield Estate in Hull to give thanks for and wish farewell to priest Alison Gilchrist and her husband as they leave to go and minister in Australia. Alison Gilchrist is a founding trustee of Acts 435 and her role has been key in those early stages of setting up the charity.

Before Acts 435 even had a website, when it was simply a great idea, Alison could see how the vision would operate in practice within the community where the church she ran had been planted. A pioneer in Hull, a pioneer for Acts 435, she was key in rallying support amongst the churches in the area for the Acts 435 initiative. Acts 435 ran as a pilot from October 2009 to July 2010 and the requests these churches posted were the all-important testing ground for how well Acts 435 could operate on a larger scale.

On Saturday it was wonderful to meet the Acts 435 advocates and especially to hear various people during the service mention the charity and what a wonderful tool it had been as they continued to minister to people in the local community. Especially encouraging was to hear a gentleman named Paul speak of how Acts 435 had helped bring him to church. He had been a key speaker at the national launch of Acts 435 on 12 July 2010 when Alison brought him to share about how Acts 435 had helped him and how that had showed him God cared about him and so did God's people, the church.

We wish Alison Gilchrist well in the next step of her journey in obedience to God's call on her life and are truly indebted to her for the part she played in those early days of Acts 435. She took a small team to a church building that had been locked up and has revitalised it and formed a new community where those who have give to those who are in need. Acts 435 continues to be an excellent resource for St. Hilda's as it seeks to reach out to those in need.