Clive, along with his late wife Catherine, pastored an East London church leading them into revival, seeing God's goodness cascade through the members of the church and into the ethnically diverse community. Their passion is for people to meet personally with Jesus, to experience the Father’s love and encounter the healing power of the Holy Spirit and so live transformed lives bringing change to their community. Clive continues to write and teach and minister wherever and whenever and especially outside the four walls of the church building.
Clive & Catherine
Essentially, my walk1 with God has been a series of ambushes!
Growing up I knew there had to be something other than what my senses detected, but there was no one with whom I could confide. Aged 17, an elderly clergyman became my English teacher. An unlikely friendship begun and we talked not only of literature but also of faith — God’s ambush.
Many years later, after searching in all the wrong places for acceptance and significance I accepted Jesus into my life. The following Easter, Catherine and I, along with many other from our church, went to Spring Harvest. The album cover features us front and centre. Eight years later, God ambushed me again.
I never wanted to be a pastor. I couldn’t think of a job I wanted less. Before this I was pursuing secondary school deputy head roles, and getting interviews. So it would only be a matter of time before I was successful. Obviously I hadn’t made my plans sufficiently clear to God! On graduating from Theology College, guess what, a further ambush.
Spring Harvest 1989
For 15 years I was involved in leading a multicultural church in Barking (London's East End) 12 years as senior leader. If there was one place I didn’t want to be, it was London. Clearly God has a sense of humour. That said, I'm so grateful He ambushed me. It's been such an adventure seeing God work and taking me to where I would never otherwise have gone, and the adventure continues.
Our plan was to spend just 3 years in Barking. However, God had other plans. He spoke to me most clearly one night when I came to a meeting at St E’s saying to me This is where you will minister.
During our time at St E's there was a definite shift away from focussing on building church towards focussing on the values of the Kingdom of God, which resulted in an increased desire for us all to be Jesus wherever we found ourselves.
In reality that meant not giving neat answers to life's problems, not necessarily offering an invitation to come to church but simply giving those we meet an encounter with God who knows and loves all and who wants all to be made whole.
Now being church is a whole lot more fun as everyone gets to play, as John Wimber2 is credited with saying.
As a result the congregation rapidly grew in confidence as they ministered to people outside the four walls of the church building and became the church itself. As a result more and more people came alive in the Spirit of God. There was also an increased desire for holiness amongst church members especially as they sought to know God and His ways more fully.
Whilst it was the people who kept us there, as we saw the amazing things God did among us all — it was God who finally moved us on from the Anglican Church and into a wider ministry. We were given a prophecy that said we would not retire! I guess I'd have to say that was another ambush!
We sensed God called us to serve the town where we lived, Brightlingsea3. We felt truly committed to our local community, our friends and neighbours and so we looked forward to seeing how this would become manifest. But hey wait a minute — it's another of God's ambushes.
We'd helped our little church to grow, to step out in faith, to change its name and even move to larger premises. We'd set up their website and bought new audio equipment for them and then suddenly we're on the move to the south coast, leaving behind those precious people. But once again God called us. This time it was about being close to family. So, hello Eastbourne!
In my leisure time I enjoy taking photos — which is simple with a digital camera. I particularly enjoy taking pictures of water, waterfalls sunrises and sunsets — they never do justice to the real thing. I also photograph flowers, especially up close (Gallery) and hopefully capture bees and butterflies at the same time.
We enjoy walking near to water, whether it’s along a river bank or on the seashore. One of our favourite walks in Brightlingsea was along the River Colne at sunset — in fact anywhere along the waters edge there are glorious views. There is such glory and majesty in the colours God paints in the skies, and great peace as the waters lap against the rocks and the birds fly across the water making their familiar call.
At this time of day there is normally such calm and stillness in the air and rarely any human activity on the water. You can really sense God's presence. Each evening is a different array of colours.
Now I get to walk along Eastbourne's seafront, but instead of sunsets I find I'm mainly walking in the early morning and enjoying the sunrise.
We particularly love waterfalls and have enjoyed some wonderful holidays exploring remote falls particularly in Yorkshire as well as in California and Oregon.
Burney Falls is in Northern California. It's a place we like to visit when we travel to Redding, California for conferences at Bethel Church along with visiting some great friends we have made there. It’s a place that our dear friend Kelley, who lives in Oregon, had never visited.
She was in prayer one day with a group of ladies and she drew a picture just like it! Her picture was of two waterfalls that came from just one tree. Her picture spoke to one of the ladies present and so she gave her the drawing. When we visited our friends, Bob and Kelley, my laptop was open displaying this picture. The very picture she had drawn that was so significant. She prayed over us and our ministry releasing the words Living Hope. We receive those words from Papa God. Thank you.
We love taking our dog Molly for walks. She's a cross Labrador Jack Russell (Jackador!) who’s full of energy and with maturity is getting more obedient.
Of course we love getting together with our family. We have two sons who are both married with children of their own, making us grandparents four times over to Jacob, Aliesha, Bethea and Joha. Both our sons and their wives are involved in helping to lead their respective churches. Praise God!
I enjoy listening to Jazz — Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Stan Getz and Bill Evans are among my favourites. And when I’m really alone I listen to Mike Westbrook’s Metropolis — you need to be alone for that one — so Catherine tells me!
At one time I had most of these and lots more besides on Vinyl! If you don’t know about vinyl you’re far too young! Gradually, over the years, as I’ve seen the albums re-appear I’ve replaced my collection with CDs/downloads from iTunes. The albums are quite varied from mellow to avant-garde, from solos to big band. Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis, was the first album I ever bought from a record shop in Bank Street, Ashford. That’s when I used to have hair and indeed a beard!
I first got interested in Jazz whilst up late studying night after night as a student. I got fed up with trying to tune in to Radio Luxembourg, which kept fading in and out. So one night as I checked out the frequencies on FM I came across a sound that made me want to listen. Whilst all my friends were into the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, I was listening to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Oscar Peterson and Stan Getz.
I don’t have the original album nor my hair or beard come to that4, but I still love the sound Davis and his group generated. It still sends shivers down my spine after all these years. I’m amazed it was recorded in just one session of a few hours by Davis and his group of musicians. I’ve also researched our Family Tree and traced Isaac Pooley, from Colchester, being aboard HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar!
Who'd a thunk!