We welcome Ray Lockhart as the new CMJ UK President, read his story below.

It is indeed a privilege to have been asked to be President of CMJ UK. In the past it has been a bishop who has held this position. I do not aspire to anything purple but al least I can offer a few years of experience with CMJ.

Jill and I have been married since 1964. I was then a solicitor but God called me to the Anglican ministry and I was ordained in 1974. By this time we had three young daughters and our home was in Nottingham. We were in St Albans diocese for a few years and then returned to Nottingham where I was vicar for 8 years.

Towards the end of the ’80s we felt God nudging us towards serving abroad. After a time of searching it became clear that we would be working with CMJ. Our first High Leigh was in 1988 when we were given a warm welcome into the Family that remains part of our life more than 30 years on!

We arrived at Beit Immanuel in January ‘89 to begin ‘ulpan’, the Hebrew learning course. It was a bit of a struggle but cut short as we were needed at Stella Carmel. Here in a largely Druze village we met Arabs, Jews, Christian workers from throughout Israel and visitors to the land. We were there for three summers. Thank you Lord for calling us to such a place of preparation for Jerusalem!

It was a huge privilege and opportunity to be at Christ Church for 8 years. It was not without its heartaches and challenges but in so many ways we saw God at work as we ministered to regular worshippers and thousands of visitors as well as being responsible for overseeing the life of the community on the compound. So often at the end of a Sunday Jill and I would reflect and praise the Lord for all that had been happening that day. In summary it was God’s faithfulness and his presence in the highs and the lows that stands out as we look back.

After nearly 3 years as Director for the Israel work we came back to the UK when I was 65 to connect more with our expanding family. For several years I was a Trustee of CMJ and now this….. I hope I can contribute a slice of wisdom and some ‘corporate memory’ as well as being around to provide encouragement for those who are actively serving with CMJ today and all who are part of this amazing Family!

Posted by Phil Bowell on .

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