The couple from Wolverhampton had led busy lives leading a specialist Christian housing consultancy, where they helped large charities set up multi-million-pound retirement villages. But in 2013 they felt it was time to close the business and enjoy a happy retirement.
Christian housing consultants Terry and Margaret Wilkes were all set for a peaceful retirement until they heard a call from God – who had other ideas in mind!
Terry explained: “We were all set to relax but the burden to plant a church simply grew
and one day in church the Holy Spirit confirmed the call – so retirement went out of the window!”
A friend told the couple about Church Planting Initiative (CPI) and invited them to a local hub meeting, where they met other church planters for encouragement and advice. The hub also provided them with training, including GLO Tilsey College’s church planting Joshua course.
The couple set up Windmill Community Church and began to meet in a school hall with a handful of people. They had originally wanted to meet in the small town of Finchfield but couldn’t find any premises until a ‘chance’ partnership changed everything.
Terry said: “As part of our outreach we joined the local community association, where we found out that they had been trying to buy a small redundant church in the heart of Finchfield but couldn’t raise the funds. They asked if we could take on the project and our eyes opened to the possibility of us having this old church as our building. It was in the exact location where the Lord had first
After much prayer, fundraising and with the help of Christian property experts Church Growth Trust (who advised on technical building issues), the church plant is now all set to take on the property.
Margaret added: “We are still short of funds but we are moving by faith that the Lord will provide the means as we come to the point where solicitors will need to be instructed.
“Our first priority is to see people coming to Christ, not buildings, but this will enable us to have a permanent place of Christian worship and fully engage with the community in the day and evenings.”