Second Filling Station is launched in Norfolk
Norfolk now has its second Filling Station, a monthly informal mid-week evening ‘celebration’ meeting held in a non-church venue at Hickling in the Norfolk Broads. Kevin Gotts reports.
The Norfolk Broads Filling Station had its launch meeting on October 12 in the wonderfully appointed Hickling Barn, Hickling, attracting nearly 80 people led by local man David Osborne. Guest speaker was James Nickolds, the regional director for London and the South East who described the evening as “a fantastic success”.
David Osborne, a lay pastor and former head teacher had only recently heard about The Filling Station and explained: “I Googled the term to find out more and that's how it all started. I have been a member of a small rural church all my life and by small I mean around 50 members in my younger days but now struggling to make 20.
“There are no young members and as a consequence the church is in rapid decline. Sadly, there is a stubborn refusal to change so traditional worship as was 50 years ago continues very much to be the vogue. Something has to change otherwise the Church will soon be entering a terminal stage. This is why I see The Filling Station as potentially such an exciting opportunity.”
“Although spreading across the UK and growing rapidly, the Filling Station movement had only one outlet in Norfolk,” said David. The North Coast Filling Station, meeting in the little village of Swanton Novers and now about to embark on their fourth year. I made contact with them and went along to a meeting. The welcome was warm and friendly but from the outset the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable and one felt in a special and holy place.
“After much prayer and discussion with Christian friends, I contacted Richard Fothergill, the founder and National Director of the Filling Station. Richard graciously offered to meet with me. He was hugely encouraging and offered some sound advice leading me to feel God was urging me establish something in the Broadland area.
“We called a meeting of people from across the denominations to explore the possibility of setting up a Filling Station. We had Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Roman Catholics and people from the New Life Church in North Walsham. I could see the green light flashing and felt God saying, ‘Come on, let's do it - don't be afraid’,” said David.
“I went back to Swanton Novers with my friend Shaun Cushion, a Methodist Lay Pastor, a wonderful Christian man and an excellent preacher who was raised in the church. He just looked at me and said, "Wow". He said he had preached many times on the subject of The Holy Spirit but had never witnessed it's power so clearly before.”
The next TFS meeting will be held on Monday November 9 at Hickling Barn, Tate Loke (off Mallard Way), Hickling, NR12 0YU. Guest speaker: Richard Fothergill, the founder and National Director of the Filling Station. Coffee and cake at 7pm for 7.30pm, all welcome.
Pictured above is David Osborne, image by Kevin Gotts.