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New Life Bible-Presbyterian Church London


About New Life

 

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
Revelation 22:12


 

 

Before New Life Bible-Presbyterian Church (London) began, the congregation was known as the United Reformed Church of Harlesden, part of the United Reformed Church (URC) organisation in the UK. A number of the congregation were former Chinese Singaporeans or Malaysians who had immigrated to this country many years ago. The liberal path on which the URC organisation was heading caused unease within the congregation who had Presbyterian upbringings.

So by God’s grace, in March 1991, through the leading hand of God, Rev Eric Kwan (then the Associate Pastor of New Life Singapore, now Pastor of Zion BPC, Singapore) arrived in London on sabbatical leave to study at the London Theological Seminary. He came into contact and was eventually invited by the congregation of the United Reformed Church of Harlesden to minister to them. He was surprised to discover that the fellowship of the believers was part of a liberal Christian organisation in UK known as the United Reformed Church (URC). As Rev Kwan wrote in a report back to New Life Singapore, “The word ‘Reformed’ is misleading, at first I mistook it as being a reference to the reformed teachings that our Bible-Presbyterian Church subscribes to, i.e., the Westminster Confession of Faith. However, realised that the term ‘Reformed’ meant nothing more than a re-organisation of Churches of the various denominations, but mainly involving the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches in the UK.”

Rev Kwan then proposed that the congregation should separate themselves from the liberal denomination. As a result, a call to establish a Bible-Presbyterian Church in London was directed to New Life BPC Singapore as a matter of urgency. Rev Kwan was released by the Session of New Life Singapore and the URC congregation agreed to follow Rev Kwan to form a new Church and appointed him as their Pastor. Rev Kwan began to minister and teach the congregation from the Word of God and the Shorter Catechism and on August 29th 1993, the congregation seceded from the URC and formed themselves as the New Life B-P Church, London with the support of New Life, Life and Calvary Bible-Presbyterian Churches in Singapore. As a result of this separation, the congregation was left homeless as the URC organisation took back their property.

The small band of pilgrims met at different rented premises, ranging from side rooms of the American Church in London to residential homes and eventually ending up at Willesden Green Library Centre. They were of kindred spirit, and undertook the local expenses while Singapore paid for the Pastor’s stipend. The leadership back then rested with a committee consisting of Rev Eric Kwan, Eld Cheng Wei Ping, Daniel Poh and Betty Flynn. As a Church, they seriously looked for a permanent place of worship. Many properties were considered but Gods approval was not made known to them for these properties.

The Lord then graciously sent Rev Timothy Poh to recommend an URC property in Queen’s Park that was up for sale and was on the verge of being sold to the Hindus to be converted into a temple. A Singapore Task Force was quickly formed with Dr Tow Siang Hwa, Senior Pastor of Calvary B-P Church, in leadership. Other members were Dr Patrick Tan, Eld (Dr) Cheng Wei Nien and Eld (Dr) Lim Teck Chye. The Queen’s Park project was a partnership between the New Life and Calvary B-P Churches. On August 1st 1996, with an 11th hour bid, the 100-year-old Church at 44 Salusbury Road, West Kilburn, London NW6 6NN was purchased for a sum of £465,000. A new chapter for New Life B-P, London had begun. Mr Ted Scruton, a Christian builder and the chief steward of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, was tasked with the renovations and the construction of a manse and hospitality accommodations at the rear of the Church in the large fellowship hall.

When Rev Kwan and family returned to Singapore, Rev Vincent Hee pastored the Church for three and a half years. He was most zealous in hospitality and had looked after many travellers and students. He completed his service on June 30th 1998. The pastoral work was then entrusted to Dn Lim Jyh Jiang (now Pastor of Pilgrim Covenant Church, Singapore) and Eld Khoo Peng Kiat, both borrowed from Life B-P Church. With no full-time minister, Dr Tow Siang Hwa and Dr Patrick Tan took it in turns to visit the London congregation to guide and encourage the brethren. The running of the Church was taken up by the London Task Force comprising of Eld Khoo as moderator, Dn Lim as assistant Pastor, Dr Teo Chong Gee as treasurer and stated clerk, Frank Flynn as Church administrator and Betty Flynn as domestic supervisor.

With the completion of the renovation in 1998 and a regular core of worshippers, the Church continued under the supervision of the London Task Force. By the grace of God and His providence, the congregation for the Lord’s Day worship service at 11am had an attendance of between 40-60, and the evening Gospel service at 6.30pm had an attendance of between 10-20.

By early 2000, it was decided to disband the London Task Force so that a Church Session could be elected to run the Church. The election held in June 2000, supervised by Dr Patrick Tan, resulted in two Elders and two Deacons being voted into the Session. Eld Cheng Wei Ping was given the role of moderator, Eld (Dr) Teo Chong Gee the role of the pulpit ministry (which involved preaching and also inviting guest preachers), Dn Peter Chong as stated clerk and Dn Wan Kwang Kok as treasurer. God’s continual blessing and care for this flock in London resulted in the Church declaring itself self-sufficient in early 2001 and as a result, funding from New Life and Calvary B-P Churches was no longer needed. Towards the end of 2001 till mid 2002, Eld Sim Siang Kok (Calvary Pandan B-P, Singapore) was invited to join the Church session during his short time of study in UK to lend support and guidance. Towards the end of 2002, Daniel Poh was called into Deaconship to replace Dn Wan Kwang Kok as treasurer as Dn Wan and his family prepared to move to Australia.

The Lord has truly blessed this Church and protected it during it’s fledgling years and has never failed to show His love for the Church in providing many vistors and Speakers in the form of: Rev (Dr) Timothy Tow, Rev (Dr) Tow Siang Hwa, Rev (Dr) Patrick Tan, Pastor (Dr) Bob Vandermay, Pastor Jeff O’Neil, Rev Walford Catling, Rev Neil Pheasant, Dr Stephen Scott-Pearson, Rev Ray Porter, Rev (Dr) David Allen, Rev Brian Green, Rev Gordon Ferguson, Mr Chris Richards, Dr Alan Clifford, Pastor John Sherwood, Rev Philip Eveson, Rev Alan Macgregor, Rev Basil Howlett, Rev Maurice Roberts, Rev Samuel MacKay, Rev David Fields, Mr Owen Griffiths, Pastor Roger Fay, Pr Gervase Charmley, Pr Marc Vrambout, Eld Stephen Toms, Mr Andre Bay, Rev John Marshall, Rev Jonathan Tan, Rev Ahn Tae Yoon, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Tan Wai Choon, Rev Peter Tan, Rev Colin Wong, Rev Daniel Khoo, Rev Lim Chee Boon, Rev Philip Heng, Rev Yeo Seow Phong, Rev Jack Sin, Dr George Chew, Pr Mok Chee Cheong, Pr Mark Chen, Eld Khoo Peng Kiat, Eld (Dr) Teo Chong Gee and many many more speakers.