Category: Hill City Church

Written in Kings at Costa

soul sessions jun 2015

I love good coffee.

I love great music.

And I’m passionate about the work of Compassion!

So I’m BUZZIN about the event that we are hosting this coming Friday evening. We have booked out Cwmbran Costa for an evening of live music, gospel challenge and Compassion promotion. We have invited an amazing band, Written in Kings, to come and bless us with their musical goodness and will present a host of ways that people can engage with the ministry of Compassion. If that’s not enough, £100 of drinks will be our treat, so the earliest punters will be blessed with a beverage too!

So please do join us if you can, and please help us spread the word as we really want to pack the place out!

Hopefully see you Friday.


A wonderful weekend of grace in photos

Did last weekend really happen?

It all seems like a bit of a blur now…but WHAT a wonderful weekend of grace we have just enjoyed – mission, salvation, encouragement, brotherhood, prayer, equipping…

There’s really no way that I can do justice to all that took place, but suffice to say that it was great to have Gavin Peacock and Mez McConnell ministering in the trenches alongside us. Here’s a brief overview of all that went down in the form of a couple of photos:


FRIDAY: Soul Sessions at Cwmbran Costa

Cwmbran Costa packed out and buzzin!
Cwmbran Costa packed out and buzzin!
Costa 2
Live music at Soul Sessions courtesy of the legendary Abi Williams
Gavin Peacock sharing his faith in the form of being interviewed by myself
Gavin Peacock sharing his faith in the form of being interviewed by myself


SATURDAY: Courageous Conference for Men

It was incredible to squash into the Congress Theatre with a couple of hundred other men to lift high the name of Jesus
It was incredible to squash into Cwmbran Congress Theatre with a couple of hundred other men to lift high the name of Jesus
Fair play - the Courageous band smashed it!
Fair play – the Courageous band smashed it!
Mez at Courageous
One of the highlights of the day was without question Mez McConnell’s message on Courageous Vision.
James Seminar
My good friend and co-ninja James Richards led a phenomenal seminar on Courageous Lifestyle.
Gavin at Courageous
Gavin Peacock closed out the day with a strong message on Courageous Mission


SATURDAY: Jump School (Training for Church Planters)

Jump School
After a busy day teaching hundreds of men, Gavin and Mez spent the evening with us at Jump School ministering to a motley crew of gospel ministers, church planters and potential church planters


SUNDAY: Hill City Church

Mez at Hill City
Credit where it’s due – Mez preached a belter for us at Hill City! (The credit goes to Jesus btw!)
Thornhill GC
Mez didn’t just preach for us, he also prayed for the new team who are launching our new Thornhill Gospel Community. This, for me, was one of the biggest highlights of the weekend!

All-in-all a fabulous weekend of grace!

I’ll post the teaching videos from the Courageous conference soon…

‘Depth’ a Poem of Testimony by Lois Franks

Today was Hill City’s fifth birthday and it was phenomenal! We made space in our morning gathering for members of the church to share the various ways in which God has blessed them over the last 5 years. It took a LONG time and was literally just story after story of God’s saving grace, God’s transforming grace and God’s sustaining grace. At several points tears were streaming down many cheeks. The whole series of MP3’s will be posted online during the week. However, I thought I’d post one of the testimonies online. It was given by one of our closest friends and one of our longest standing church members, Lois Franks. It was delivered in the form of a simple poem and I believe it gives God a lot of glory!

Hope you agree…


Returning from a Gap Year in 2008,

I decided to join this church on a Valleys estate.

With a burden from God to see the Valleys transformed,

A vision for churches to be planted and lives given to the Lord,

We’d hooked up with Dai who had a similar heart,

And so Ben had been here right from the start.

Now, I’d been going to church for all of my life,

And it was at a young age that I accepted Christ.

I loved my Saviour and wanted to make His name known,

But honestly my love for the Gospel and the Bible was a little shallow and not always shown.

For me faith was often dependent on experiential things;

A sort of fluffy feeling I’d get sometimes when I’d sing.

I mean I definitely did love the Bible and the cross,

But if Jesus wasn’t preached clearly at church, I’m not sure I gave a toss.

The Gospel wasn’t central to all that I did,

Behind less important ‘churchy’ things it often hid.

I’m not saying experiencing God is bad or untrue,

The issue is when that’s more important than deep-rooted Gospel conviction through and through.

That’s a little bit of background, just to set the scene…

I’m now going to try and explain how my time here has been.

The best place to start is to give God the glory.

It’s Him who’s orchestrated each part of the story.

From a crazy amount squashed in the Hankey’s front room,

To Trevolution banter involving a spoon…

We’re in the Cold Barn now and have been a while

And thinking of our journey always brings me a smile.

Anyway, since being at Hill City, my eyes have been lifted,

it’s like the Gospel’s sunk deeper and my priorities have shifted.

Before, I loved Jesus and was definitely saved,

But through the faithful Gospel preaching and joyful passion here displayed,

A transformation has occurred and a new way has been paved.

I now love Jesus more than ever before,

My Bible is a life bringing sword of that I’m sure.

In the past if a Bible wasn’t opened I’m not sure I’d notice,

But now I just think that it’s a blatant diss!

If the Gospel isn’t preached I feel cross inside…

I really don’t think that the world should be denied!

So I’m grateful to our leaders and to all of you,

For helping the Gospel to sink all the way through.

You’ve pointed to Jesus in all that we’ve done,

It’s never been about Hill City but always about God’s Son.

The preaching each week has been centred around the cross,

Anything else has been counted as loss.

You’ve faithfully brought truth every single Sunday,

And sought to guide us along the narrow way.

As leaders you’ve been totally uncompromising,

Giving Jesus the glory with whatever you’d bring.

So I’m grateful for how you’ve helped the Gospel sink deep

And for how you have shepherded this little sheep.

I love you all for how you’ve realigned my vision,

To focus on Jesus, through whose death, new life was given.

I know that Ben and I won’t be here forever,

But we’re mega excited for our future Gospel adventures.

The thing that I’m sure of wherever we head,

What we’ve learned at Hill City will set us in good stead.

So my rhyme might have been simple, I’m sorry for that,

I just wanted to say thank you through this little spat.

It’s still all about Jesus I have to declare,

so thank you for giving me this time to share.

 Stay tuned for the MP3 collection of all the testimonies…

Hill City GT Progrmamme

This is a post specifically for anyone who has an itch for gospel ministry and is wondering what to do next with their lives. If that describes you, then the Hill City GT (Gospel Trainee) programme might just scratch where you’re itching.

The GT programme is specifically geared towards those with a passion for pioneering gospel ministry in the valleys, whether as a church planter, member of a planting team, or just generally in evangelistic outreach. Here’s what we have to offer:

  • Opportunity to be actively involved in a range of front-line gospel / church planting ministries.
  • Involvement with Acts 29 Western Europe network, conferences and training events.
  • Acts 29 assessment for those who are exploring a call to church planting.
  • Training including Porterbrook Learning and leadership development.
  • Exposure to raw gospel community life in a pioneering context.
  • Personal mentoring / coaching.
  • A good time.

This is not an option for the faint-hearted. It would require a commitment of at least a year and we are unable to offer any financial assistance to those who are up for it. However, we guarantee that it will change your life as you are challenged, stretched, provoked, equipped and inspired to live all-out on mission for Christ. We’re looking for people to join us from September, so get in touch if you’re interested.



28+1 Days in the Book of Acts

So today marks the end of Hill City’s epic journey through the book of Proverbs in a month. To say that the last 31 days have been encouraging is an understatement! The number of Hill City saints who joined in the adventure has literally blown me away. I think the majority of people in the church were involved and whether in general chatter or the wonderful world of Twitter – the way that God has spoken to people through the Scriptures this month has hugely encouraged me!

So, we’re going to do it again!!

Not Proverbs this time but the book of Acts – a book of mission to get us ready for an exciting year of mission! So 28 chapters throughout February – again this works great because there are 28 days in February…normally! OK so this year’s a chuffin’ leap year, so here’s the plan – we’re going to call this one 28+1! 28 days to read the book then a day of focussed mission on the 29th!!


I believe that God is really going to speak to us this month and that His Spirit will truly inspire and empower us for the mission we’ve been called to. Feel free to join in – whether you’re Hill City or not. The hashtag for Twitter is #hccACTS.

XY Tour

On Wednesday 8th February 2012, I’m buzzin that my good friend, Dai Woolridge is making his way to Trevethin as part of his XY Tour.

Dai is a phenomenally gifted and creative communicator whose one-man shows are a rare blend of comedy genius and powerful presentation of truth. The XY Tour promises to be no exception.

Here’s what it’s all about:

“There are stack loads of men in the Bible, most of them with great intentions but bar one, none of them perfect. How can we learn from these more hairy, gassy and less able to multi task members of the Bible? How can their choices teach us (both chromosome types), to be better men and women of God today?”

The XY tour is being hosted by Hill City but is open to all. The event will be taking place at Cold Barn Farm, Trevethin and will start at 7pm. Entry is free and a collection will be taken. Refreshments will be provided, including (as you’d expect) quality coffee!!

Copies of Dai’s new book Poetry in Motion will also be available on the night.

Here’s a clip of what to expect:

[vimeo 24824662]

Hopefully see you there.

Your Highlights of 2011

As we come to the end of the year it’s only appropriate for us to look over the 12 months that have passed and reflect upon them. While it’s often easy to recall all the challenges and the tragedies we’ve faced, it’s important that we don’t allow dwelling on the ‘bad stuff’ to distract us from rejoicing in the ‘good stuff’! For Hill City, 2011 has been a massive year for us. It’s held massive challenges and yet we’ve also experienced huge blessings. Personally, I want to be a person who doesn’t end the year in regret and despair, but rather in worship and with hope. If you feel the same, please feel free to post a comment(s) below and share. I believe it will give much glory to Jesus and be a great encouragement to others if you did so. (If you’re not used to commenting on blogs it’s really simple and you don’t get any junk mail coming back at you once you’ve done it.)

C’mon people – let’s share what God has done!


31 Days in the Book of Proverbs

This post is primarily for members of the Hill City Church family, though the rest of you are free to listen in too! Essentially what this is all about is pulling together 2 issues that we as a leadership have been asked about loads of times over the last few years at Hill City, namely:

  1. How do I study the Bible better?
  2. How do I live for God better?

Hill City is a very young church and these are timely and important questions that demand a response. Therefore, what myself and my co-pastor, James, are proposing is that we as a church – all of us – dedicate the first month of 2012 to reading through the epic book of Proverbs together. Proverbs is a book that is loaded with nuggets of wisdom. It consists of 31 chapters, which is convenient as there are 31 days in January. What we propose is that we read a chapter each day until we’ve finished the whole book.

It’s our firm belief that studying the Bible together will help us ALL to better understand its truth and live more godly lives as a consequence. Here’s how I suggest we go about it:

TUNE IN: Try to open your Bible at a time when there are minimal distractions (turn off your TV, phone and music!) Before you start reading take some time to pray to God and ask Him to speak to you.

LISTEN UP: Don’t just read the words but listen to what God’s actually saying to you. It might well be that of all the nuggets in the chapter there is one in particular that stands out to you.

GET IT DOWN: Take on board what God is saying. Get it down by writing it in a note book or on a post-it note that you can put somewhere prominent like on the fridge or the back of the toilet door.

LIVE IT OUT: Whatever God says to you – do something about it and watch Him change your life and your world!

SPREAD THE WORD: We want to hear how God is speaking to us as a church through the Proverbs – so here’s what we suggest: Text each other, plaster Proverbs all over your Facebook and Twitter accounts (after all – the Proverbs is essentially King Solomon’s Twitter account!) On top of that, we are going to make space during each Sunday morning service in January for people to share ways that God has been encouraging/challenging/blessing them through the Proverbs.

So there we have it.

See you on January 1st in chapter one…