By Paul Harcourt, National Leader, New Wine England and Vicar of All Saints’ Woodford Wells

Two weeks on from our first visit to Aarhus Valgmenighed and we’re still thinking about what a wonderful weekend it was!  New experiences, new friends, so much that felt familiar and yet fresh and new as well – we felt very much at home, and hope to see everyone again in the future.

Paul og Becky sammen med Hans-Christian, valgmenighedspræst, på scenen den sidste aften. Fotograf: Jonatan Rabjerg

Becky and I lead a church in Northeast London called All Saints’ Woodford Wells, where we’ve been for almost 30 years.  The church is part of the Church of England and services run from traditional through to very informal, with a huge diversity of people calling it their spiritual home.  We are an evangelical church with a strong emphasis on bible teaching, but for many years, we have also been clearly identified with the charismatic movement.  

In practice that means that we are increasingly conscious of and looking for the Holy Spirit’s present-day work amongst his people. We know he is at work in every setting, but we perhaps have a heightened emphasis on encountering him and on trying to follow his leading in our gatherings.  Like any church service in any country, there are people who play certain roles – leading worship, speaking, praying, and so on – but we try to think of God as the ultimate service leader and ask ourselves, “what are you doing today God?”

This was my fourth trip to Denmark since 2019, starting with connections between our own movement in England (New Wine) and DanskOase, the Luther renewal movement.  The conference was called “Touched” and focused on our own personal experiences of God’s Spirit. 

Becky and I spoke about God’s desire to have an intimate relationship with us, where we can know his love and hear his voice personally.  We also spoke about how Jesus made this possible, but also about how much this can be hindered by our own internal barriers of head and heart – demanding proof and understanding, or alternatively being afraid to be open and trusting because of painful past experiences.

There was no doubt that God met with us in a special way.  There were tangible signs of his goodness such as some physical healings, but most important was the renewed sense which we all received that he is closer than we realise. 

Our hope is that this weekend inspires and encourages us all to walk closely with him in turn, and to share with others just how great is his love. 

We hope to return one day and build further on the relationship.

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