Alan, originally a Mechanical Engineer with EMI Wells, felt called to serve God full time when early one winter Sunday morning whilst on his way to church he was first to arrive at the scene of a fatal car accident. The first aid decisions he made that day were literally a matter of life and death. He sensed God whisper ‘you can save lives for all eternity, every day if you like’
Nicola was only 11 years old when she too sensed that God had placed a special call on her life. They met and fell in love in Somerset, married and trained as Salvation Army Officers where they happily served God with great joy and enthusiasm for 9 years. Salvationist friends invited them to a conference led by John Wimber and his team. Nicola remembers ‘We saw Acts chapter 2 happening before our very eyes, we heard people speaking truth they had never learned, we saw people getting healed and saved and delivered. We loved the worship. We loved Wimber’s Kingdom theology, we loved the fact there was no hype. We were at one and the same time, terrified, excited, energised and desperate to see more.’ (the Vineyard term is – ruined!)
In 1990 God spoke to them individually offering them a choice – they could stay in their ‘Salvation Army boat’ which was both safe and fit for purpose or they could get out and ‘walk on water’ After much prayer and counsel they took the latter option and joined a small team who under the leadership of Pete and Carol Crouch were planting what was to become Potton Vineyard Church. It was a time of risk and adventure and growth and learning to trust God like never before. The Holy Spirit was poured out and many Vineyard conferences and parties, prayer meetings and Alpha courses later the church had grown way beyond the expectations of a small rural town in Bedfordshire.
Alan and Nicola served as bi-vocational Associate Pastors, (Alan managing a County Council Day Centre and Nicola teaching and training) until 2005 when they moved to Sandy to try their hand at church planting there.
In October 2010 Alan and Nicola were invited back to lead Potton Vineyard and the people grown through the Sandy church plant were invited to accompany them. The church is now over twenty years old and has worshipped God and served our rural community for two generations, encountering a lot of change along the way. Although our name is Potton Vineyard we believe our mission is to reach out to anyone within a 15min drive (we refer to it as our 15 minute community) thus including surrounding towns and villages, Sandy, Biggleswade, Gamlingay, Wrestlingworth, Everton etc. Our challenge now is to continue to trust God to take us into a new season of growth which will no doubt include risk and adventure.
Our desire is that Potton Vineyard Church, coached by the Holy Spirit, would encounter the very presence of God and as a result touch lives with the love of Jesus.
Alan and Nicola are responsible for the leadership of the church. Decision-making happens in relationship with a team of leaders and co-ordinators.
Pastoral care is wherever possible delegated to Connect Group leaders.
Ministry team leaders are responsible for the areas they lead.
We also have team of co-ordinators faithfully serving to ensure that the church runs smoothly each Sunday.
Leaders within Potton Vineyard church are accountable to Alan and Nicola and meet regularly with them.