The Power of Prayer in South Elmsall

Back in 2022, we shared details of a church planting project we had been supporting in South Elmsall, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Elm Chapel, which was built in the 1930s, came into Church Growth Trust’s (CGT) ownership in 2010, having been held by Stewardship prior to that.  The previous tenants had decided to stop meeting there during the Covid lockdowns and CGT spent many months praying and looking for new tenants to take over the property and continue the Gospel work from the building. 

Matthew Henry of Potters House Wakefield contacted CGT in the autumn of 2021, as he had heard about Elm Chapel from another local Potters House pastor. Although Matthew grew up in London, he and his wife Elizabeth knew God had called him to Wakefield and had been searching the city for a suitable building. 

Following a successful initial planting project, the first service was held in January 2022. ‘Since our first service, we have been in awe of all that God has done’ says Matthew. ‘Due to the momentum that we gained in January, we decided to put on some Christian movie nights for the local community. We saw several visitors come along with others who were considering giving their life to Christ’. 

In the following months, they put a strategy in place and began to evangelise in different ways including prayer and pizza nights and Gospel concerts. The concerts, in particular, connected the church with the younger community and saw several come out and get saved. ‘We have had the privilege of accompanying some people following their conversion’ adds Matthew.   

After a time, more friends became open to listening to their message and others have accepted the Lord as their Saviour. Most of the new folks have been saved through one-to-one personal evangelism, many of whom are now being trained and evangelising on the streets and to friends. Daily prayer meetings have also grown seeing 8-12 people praying every morning before going off to school, university or work. As a result of having a baptism pool, they have been blessed to have over 15 baptisms within the space of one year, with more planned for the coming weeks. 

 “I praise God for what has happened in South Elmsall and thank Him for what He has planned for the future’ says Giles Arnold CGT’s Chief Executive. “We are excited by the new opportunities that Matthew and Elizabeth have been a part of, and we are confident that God will continue to build His church in South Elmsall”.