So around 75 people gathered yesterday in Leeds, making up a good proportion of the staff teams from St Michael le Belfrey in York, St Thomas’ Crookes in Sheffield and St George’s Leeds. Three great churches that want to impact their cities and see revival in the North. Three great churches that love Jesus Christ and are founded on the Bible. Three great churches that value worship and the high praise of God. Three great churches that are committed to prayer and trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit. Three great churches with a desire to train outstanding leaders and plant churches.

It was a day of worship, prayer, prophecy and getting to know new people who, despite being in different Yorkshire cities, share similar values and vision. It was a day of laughter as well as serious conversation. Amongst other messages shared I spoke out of Psalm 133 that God was giving us a fresh and large anointing in response to our unity, in order to bring his blessing and life to others. It was the first day of March and the start of a new month and the sun shone and the sky was a lovely blue over Leeds and it felt like spring was in the air. In fact the whole day felt spring-like to me – like there was a spiritual shifting of seasons. I felt like our being together, our uniting and desiring to learn and press on was important in seeing the transformation of the North that we so long for and pray for.

There’s a phrase in Matt Redman’s inspiring anthem, It’s Rising Up (seehttp://www.worshiparchive.com/song/its-rising-up) which is really a passionate prayer to our heavenly Father, where we sing: ‘Is this the time, is this the call, that ushers in your kingdom’s rule?’ That was my question that I asked of God yesterday: ‘Is this the time, Lord? Are we going to see your kingdom come afresh in the North?’ Because that’s my prayer as we give our best and seek to build strong churches so we’ll see God’s transformation of the North in our day and in our generation.

Although we plan to do this again next year, I wonder whether we’ll look back in years to come at yesterday’s gathering in Leeds and say ‘that day –that gathering was significant in the purposes of God for the North’. We’ll see.

Most importantly, let’s keep doing the basics well, faithfully following the Master. If we do that, we can be sure we’ll see great things.

Matthew Porter, York