We sold our house in South Wales, U.K. in mid January 2019 and left for France the same day. Arriving the next day, we drove to Chef-Boutonne to view the Old Presbytery in the old quarter of town. The day after we drove to Bessines-sur-Gartempe to stay with friends from the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Limoges.
After our offer on the Old Presbytery had been accepted we returned to the U.K. to stay with family near London, returning to France to finalise the purchase and occupy the property in mid May.
The property is spread over two main buildings, one being the Presbytery house, and a number of smaller buildings. Our vision at the time was to use the property for a Christian Community of some kind, although not knowing what kind or how it may come about.
“Persevering prayer always wins; God yields to importunity and fidelity. He has no heart to say No to such praying as Moses did. Actually God’s purpose to destroy Israel is changed by the praying of this man of God. It is but an illustration of how much just one praying [man] is worth in this world, and how much depends upon him.”
We made ourselves comfortable in part of the property that's yet to be properly converted, whilst updating and decorating the Presbytery house, which we moved into in November of the same year. There is yet work to do in the main house before it is finished (the floor in the main room needs repairing and also requires the lighting changed. And the downstairs toilet, for the use of visitors, needs replacing). Getting someone to do the work is proving difficult. Nevertheless, the Lord has been working with us, and of course the adversary has been busy working against us - but "the Lord is over all".
“…when your soul hath drawn those spiritual advantages which God intended, and for which purpose I am willing to sacrifice all things. I am fully persuaded of His designs toward you, as well for the sanctification of others, as for your own sanctification. Let me assure you, this is not attained, save through pain, weariness and labour; and it will be reached by a path that will wonderfully disappoint your expectations. Nevertheless, if you are fully convinced that it is on the nothing in man that God establishes his greatest works,-you will be in part guarded against disappointment or surprise. He destroys that he might build; for when He is about to rear His sacred temple in us, He first totally razes that vain and pompous edifice, which human art and power had erected, and from its horrible ruins a new structure is formed, by His power only.
Oh, that you could comprehend the depth of this mystery, and learn the secrets of the conduct of God, revealed to babes, but hid from the wise and great of this world, who think themselves the Lord's counsellor’s, and capable of investigating His procedures, and suppose they have attained that divine wisdom hidden from the eyes of all who live in self, and are enveloped in their own works.”
Madame Jeanne-Marie Guyon
The meetings commenced the Christmas of 2021 out of singing a few Christmas carols with a neighbour. Last year we had twelve people come along to a Carol Service. Currently five (sometimes six) of us meet together on Sunday afternoons for fellowship and ministry. We also meet together with other Christians via Zoom each Sunday evening. The Zoom meetings have proved to be a wonderful time of fellowship and we would recommend this particular meeting to all those looking for Christian fellowship.
For those seriously seeking God, we have an "open" prayer meeting each Wednesday evening.
The fellowship is now supporting work amongst the Inuit people of the artic. If you would like more information about his, please contact us.
More to follow soon...
Blest are the humble souls that see
Their emptiness and poverty;
Treasures of grace to them are given,
And crowns of joy laid up in heaven.