Everything healthy is part of something bigger!

By Andy O'Connell and Mark Eley

Everything healthy is part of something bigger! That's a deep longstanding conviction for our family of churches – it's why we are in fact a family of churches – and it helps us understand the point of conferences. Mark and I had this conversation recently with our apprentices, and we thought it was worth sharing more widely.

Before we talk about conferences specifically, 'everything healthy is part of something bigger' is about more than conferences:

Leadership changes in our Advance family of churches

By Andy O'Connell

This coming Sunday, we will be joined by Rich and Anna Ellwood. Having grown up in Oxfordshire, Rich and his Belgian wife, Anna, have spent 13 years leading a church in Brussels. They have now relocated with their family to the UK. Rich works for Christians Against Poverty, and as of September 2023, now leads Salt & Light Advance.  

Andy O'Connell

Buy the Truth

By Andy O'Connell

Proverbs 23:23 counsels us to "Buy the truth, don't sell it". This phrase has long been a principle in our family of churches, reminding us that we don't know everything; we are all learning; and we need to keep finding fresh wisdom for our churches as we seek to bring God's saving message to a fast-changing world. This posture leads us to welcome regular guest speakers, send leaders (staff and volunteers) to external conferences, as well as hosting conferences and training in-house. That's healthy for us.

Small town - growing town - Big God! 

By Mark Eley, leader of Lifehouse Community Church

Let me introduce Rich and Anna Houghton to you. We have known them for many years having been first connected in Kidlington. Anna works as a primary school teacher and Rich works as a project manager for a design agency. They have two children and are fun-loving people that love sharing life with others in Banbury.

Mark Eley, leader of Lifehouse Community Church

New life in the Garden Town

By Andy O'Connell

There's a church just north of Oxford that we're family with! Although its exciting, being actively part of a wider family of churches may be a new idea for some of you, so we want to tell the story of how we got there, and how relationships are sustained today.

Chapter 1: Oxfordshire

In the 1970s, UK churches were impacted by a new movement that came to be called both the ‘charismatic renewal’ and the ‘house church movement’. It placed emphasis on authentic community, participation in worship, spiritual gifts, and meaningful discipleship.