Rev Chris Kelly’s Testimony

In June 1989 Ross and Joy Campbell (friends who were members of Holmgate Evangelical Church) gave us a holiday – staying at the Brewer’s cottage in Littlemoor.  One afternoon both our families went swimming at Queens Park and Ross argued (nicely) with me in the changing room. He wanted me to come and preach at Walton, but I didn’t want to in case I became unsettled in the church in Broadstairs.

However, Ross had paid for my week’s holiday, so I couldn’t be rude. Consequently I caved in and agreed to preach one Sunday.  So, on the first Sunday in September we found ourselves having lunch with John and Mary Rosser after the morning service, and John was asking if I might be willing to become Minister at Walton.

I was so sure that this was right, that I handed in my resignation at the church in Broadstairs at the end of September.  This was a week or so before Walton (or rather Holmgate) had even had a Church Members’ Meeting to give us a formal invitation. This meant that I could serve my 3 months notice at Broadstairs and start at Walton on January 1st 1990.

Strangely enough, one of the young Christians at the church in Broadstairs came to see me. She told me that upon reading the magazine ‘Evangelicals Now’, there had been an article about the opening of Walton Evangelical Church, and felt that I should be pastor there. I didn’t get the feeling that she wanted to be rid of me – just a confirmation that I wasn’t simply following my feelings in this matter.

The move to Walton was smooth and being Minister at Walton was the start of just about the happiest 11 or 12 years of our lives.