History of Milton Keynes Alliance Church
Our story began with a family’s relocation to Milton Keynes. The family grew up in Alliance churches. They tried hard to settle into some Chinese churches, after God had brought them to this entirely new place. Yet they always cherished the time at Alliance Church. After 9 months, they decided to contact their pastor back in Hong Kong, enquiring about the possibility of having an Alliance church in Milton Keynes. As their mentor over the years, the pastor reminded the family that churches often trace their origin to small groups of believers meeting together. The pastor urged them pray about it!
Our Church started with a Small Group
Being touched by God, the aforementioned family swiftly formed a small fellowship group together with three other families. All the families used to attend Alliance churches in Tuen Mun and North Point [both places in Hong Kong] respectively. They shared the same vision and joined their hearts in praying for an Alliance church in Milton Keynes.
God brought us a Shepherd
Three months into the small fellowship group, everyone was left with a profound sense of disappointment over the state of “sheep without shepherd”. The lack of spiritual guidance was all too obvious. One of the sisters in the group happened to know a pastor who was not in full-time ministry then. The pastor, as described by the sister, was dedicated to serving the Lord at Ling Liang Church in Kowloon [a place in Hong Kong] for many years, before accepting his appointment as pastor of a church in Milton Keynes. On the fact, the sister and her immediate family were the only ones in the small group that had any connection with the pastor. It was agreed that the sister would, on behalf of the small group, ask the pastor to lead them through monthly Bible study class on a pro bono basis. In response, Rev. Nathaniel Law graciously acceded to their request without hesitation. What a pleasant surprise!
A Still Small Voice
God let us “hear” His still small voice: a conference of the Chinese Alliance World Fellowship was held in the United Kingdom. During the conference, representatives from various regions collaborated on understanding and exploring the ministry among Chinese people globally. In view of financial support from Christian & Missionary Alliance Church Union Hong Kong, the Chinese Alliance Churches Union (UK) (“CACU-UK”) planned to establish Chinese Alliance churches in the following two years.
Milton Keynes was selected by CACU-UK as one of the places for planting a church. “The cry of Milton Keynes” was finally answered after almost a year! Hallelujah!
Started with Prayers
It was indeed wonderful news to have an Alliance church founded in Milton Keynes. As a result, brothers and sisters’ hearts were just overflowing with praise and gratitude. In order to mark the beginning of “Milton Keynes Alliance Church”, the small fellowship group met with Rev. Law for a time of praise and prayer, with thanksgiving.
Given his previous experience in church ministry in Milton Keynes, coupled with his acquaintance with Rev. Chiu of CACU-UK, Rev. Law readily accepted Rev. Chiu’s invitation to help with the arrangement of Milton Keynes Alliance Church. At the same time, members of the small group appreciated their unquestionable duties to participate in the ministry. They were later joined by brothers and sisters from Ling Liang Church. The group was, as ever, committed to serve the Lord with one heart.
The Spirit of the Lord touched Rev. Law, who in turn submitted an application form to become the first ever pastor of Milton Keynes Alliance Church. After that, he awaited affirmation from the Lord. Even if the Lord’s answer was in the negative, as Rev. Law put it clearly and unequivocally, he would carry on serving the new church voluntarily until the arrival of its pastor.
The search for a suitable venue for worship was never an easy one. The task became even more challenging, when members of the group reached a unanimous decision to pray for attending Church service on Sunday morning. It was a tall order.
“… for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)
Venue inspection had since been conducted: day after day, month after month. Brooklands Pavilion was subsequently chosen as the venue. Actually, this was the only option available for Sunday morning service.
Formation of the Preparatory Committee
All the group members acknowledged that it was incumbent upon them to take the next step. Accordingly, they established a preparatory committee on this very day. It would be responsible for in-depth discussions and work distribution, in addition to conferring with each other about any relevant issues. Members of the preparatory committee would, collectively, experience being labourers together with God, and to walk with Him along a pathway full of grace.
The Logo of Milton Keynes Alliance Church
Milton Keynes Alliance Church designed two logos: one was a square, whilst the other was rectangular in shape. The choice of colour might vary, in accordance with the design.
Pastor of Milton Keynes Alliance Church
On 1 September, Rev. Nathaniel Law officially became the pastor of Milton Keynes Alliance Church!
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;” (1 Peter 5:2)
Milton Keynes Alliance Church Inauguration Service
The Inauguration Service was held on 1 October.
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:3)
The original plan was to lay out dozens of chairs only. At the end of the day, we made use of all the chairs in the hall, with a total of over 200 chairs!
“… we were like those who dreamed.” (Psalm 126:1)
Thanks be to God for His grace is more than all we ask or imagine!
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” (Psalm 126)