Minister comes back home to Yorkshire
On Saturday 18 October, United Reformed Church minister, the Revd Ashley Evans, was inducted into the dual role of minister of Bolton Villas United Reformed church (URC) in Bradford and evangelist to the Yorkshire Synod. For Ashley and his family this move constituted a return home, as Ashley, originally from Bradford, returned to Yorkshire after a seven-year stint in London.
In his previous role Ashley ministered at Christ Church Newham, in London’s east end – the only United Reformed Church to be in the immediate vicinity of the Olympic Park. Ashley used the 2012 London Games to further the life and mission of the Church – with a number of events designed to engage local people with the Gospel of Christ. Although there is no huge sporting event on the horizon in Bradford, Ashley hopes to similarly engage the Bradford community – and in his role as synod evangelist, the people of Yorkshire – with the Gospel. He adds: “I am delighted to be back in Yorkshire and living in Bradford, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the people in the local community as well as forging county wide links in my synod role. It’s an exciting dual role and I can’t wait to get stuck in!”
Speaking of the day, Ashley said: "We had a wonderful day – more than 170 folk filled the church including friends from Newham, members of Bolton Villas and some local dignitaries including Cllr Vanda Greenwood and Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe. Worship was led by the worship teams from both Bolton Villas and Christ Church – and there was even some dancing in the aisles!”
The service was taken by the Revd Kevin Watson, moderator of the URC’s Yorkshire synod, and Ashley’s father, retired URC minster, the Revd Alan Evans, preached, basing his sermon on Isaiah 61: "We are called to live holy lives and ask others to join us, let us share Jesus with all whom we meet, all who's path we come across and show Gods love as we live our lives to glorify Him."
The Revd Kevin Watson, synod moderator, added: “We are thrilled that Ashley is joining the team here in Yorkshire. He brings with him specific skills that make him perfect for both parts of his new job; not least a big heart and a love for people – and for Jesus – that informs all that he does. I am looking forward to working with him over the months and years ahead!”