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Christian News from Wales Evangelical School of Theology
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Latest News at WEST

Speakers for the 2013 WEST Revival Conference

Published on 12th December 2012

It is planned to send out brochures for the 22 - 29 June 2013 Revival Conference in January 2013.  The speakers are as follows: Mike Milton, Erroll Hulse, Ian Parry, Gwyn Davies, Sheila Stephen and a Christian leader from Algeria.

Mike Milton Sings

Published on 12th December 2012

Dr Mike Milton is clearly multi-talented.  He is Chancellor -elect of Reformed Theological Seminary, USA and a former pastor and church planter.  He is also an army chaplain and former businessman.  Mike is also a singer - song writer, and you can hear a Christmas song of his: "Jesus came" at

So what is the WEST connection?  Mike obtained his PhD through WEST and is the main speaker in the 2013 Revival Conference. 



New Ministerial Appointments for Former WEST Students

Published on 12th December 2012

Mark Fisher, since he graduated from WEST several years ago, has held trainee posts at Heath Evangelical Church, Cardiff. On Sunday 30 September Mark was ordained into the Christian ministry. His new title is Assistant Pastor (Evangelism) and he continues to preach in the open air with OAM, speaks in primary schools, helps with the Internatyional Student work, chairs the church’s Evangelism Group, advises on the evangelistic content of the church's website and literature and trains up others in Gospel proclamation. Pray for Mark and Miriam Fisher.

Darrin Gilchrist, has been serving as Assistant Pastor in Caersalem Baptist Church, St Mellons, Cardiff since he left WEST 18 months ago.  He has been called to the pastorate of Caergwrle Evangelical Church near Wrexham from Spring 2013.  We wish Darrin, his wife, Rachel, and their little baby God's blessing on this future ministry.

Jim Hillier studied at WEST from 1999 to 2002.  He was pastor in Baldock, Hertfordshire from 2002 to 2005.  Since 2006 he has been gaining life experience in the police force.  On 1 November Jim returns to the pastorate at Grace Community Church, Looe, Cornwall.

Andy McKenna, who has been working as Assistant Pastor at Minster Christian Centre, Cardiff, moved with his family to engage in church planting in Market Harborough in the East Midlands.  He is Pastor of Christchurch, Market Harborough.

Jonny Raine was inducted to the pastorate of Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church, Cwmbran on Saturday, 8 September 2012.

May God bless them and their families in these new spheres of service.


Jamaican New Testament

Published on 24th October 2012

This month a new translation of the New Testament has been published in Jamaica.  The translators worked from the Greek text but the product was not English as we know it but the patois that is used conversationally on the streets of Kingston and elsewhere.  Our own Bertram Gayle, who graduated from WEST several years ago, was a key member of the translation team.  His hard work and skill honed by Iwan Rhys Jones and John Kendall are being well used today.  Pray that the Scriptures in this easily understood form will be used by the Spirit of God to mightily bless the people of Jamaica.  Pray for Bertram and his colleagues as they work on the translation of the Old Testament.


Calls to the Christian Ministry

Published on 10th October 2012

Hugh Davis completied his degree studies in Theology this summer.  He has accepted an invitation to be Pastor of Wetherden Baptist Church, Suffolk.  Pray for Hugh and family.

Dan Dwelly also graduated this summer and has been appointed to the post of Assistant Pastor at Carey Baptist Church, Reading from 1 September 2012.  Pray for him and his wife, Emma. Dan is regularly ministering in the Carey Westwood Farm church plant and with Carey's youth ministries.

Julie Gower has completed 2 years of the 3 year degree course.  She has accepted an administrative  post with UCCF in Oxford and continues her WEST studies part-time by distance learning.  Pray for her in this new chapter in her life.

Matt Ingle completed his WEST studies in Theology this year.  On 1 July he took up his duties as Youth and Children's Minister in the parish of Winklebury and Worting in Basingstoke.  May the Lord richly bless Matt, Lizi and the baby.

Emyr James (Binary Course) is continuing his studies at WEST while working as Assistant Pastor at the Welsh Evangelical Church in Cardiff.  Pray for him and his wife, Catrin.

Steffan Jones (Binary Course) has been called to be Pastor of Mount Elim Evangelical Church, Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley.  Steffan's Ordination and Induction service were on Saturday, 29 September.  Pray for him, his wife and young family.

Joel Kendall, completed his undergraduate studies in Theology this summer and was called to be Assistant Minister at Christ Church, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset from September 2012.  Joel's Induction service was  on Sunday, 9 September.  We wish Joel and Katie the Lord's richest blessing.

Peter Killingley was a Binary Course student.  He accepted a call from Trinity Baptist Church, Gloucester to be their Trainee Pastor.  Pray for Peter, Sophie and family.

Contributions to a Volume on John Owen

Published on 8th October 2012

WEST lecturers Bob Letham and Lee Gatiss have contributed chapters to a new volume published in October 2012.  It is the Ashgate Research Companion to John Owen's Theology edited by Kelly M Kapic and Mark Jones.  Published by Ashgate.

Student Exam Results

Published on 3rd October 2012

Students achieved excellent results.

Undergraduates: 12 passes: 2 GDips, 6 BAs and 4 BDs (including 3 with first class honours). 

Postgraduates (taught masters): 13 passes: 2 with distinction, 6 with merit and 1 postgraduate diploma with merit.


Dedication Service

Published on 19th September 2012 

A good crowd met on Saturday 15 September for the WEST Dedication Service held in the SaRang Thomas Centre, and afterwards for tea in Bryntirion House.  Jonathan Stephen led the service and former student, Steve Levy, of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Swansea, preached most helpfully about the nature of true Christian service in the church from Colossians 1: 24- 25. As usual, new students, mostly starting BA/BD and Binary courses, were introduced.

Encouraging developments

Earlier we heard of encouraging developments.  The grand old entrance to Bryntirion House is now the visitor’s first impression of the College via the new one-way vehicular access.  The old chapel is a meeting/board room, alongside a smart reception area.  The lobby opens on to the re-modelled and expanded library.  The study bedrooms in A-block have been refurbished.  The well-equipped kitchen is back in use, and seven days a week, with an excellent full-time chef.  A new boiler powers the heating for all the old buildings. 

New initiatives

The partnership with SaRang Church is bearing fruit, founded on mutual trust.  This remarkable Korean church has a vision for re-equipping the churches of Wales, particularly in the Valleys.  The Porterbrook Network in Wales – focused on church planting – is now based at WEST and 40 of its students had already met that morning.  UCCF (Wales) also use the School’s conference facilities for training

WEST is working with Highfields Church, Cardiff, in order to deliver a placement degree.  Plans to develop training for ministry through the medium of Welsh are progressing well. A Slovakian M-level student will hopefully be the first of a new wave of highly subsidised students from Eastern. (The re-evangelisation of Europe is a strategic priority for SaRang, with WEST as a launch pad!) 

A Church Theologian is to be appointed to support churches and their leaderships.  On Thursdays, well-known church leaders preach at 12 noon and lead a seminar after lunch at 2.10 pm.  These meetings are open to the public.  A new International Foundation Course had just started with an initial intake of over 20 students on 6 month visas, mainly from Korea.  The course covers English Language for Theology, Bible Overview, Discipleship  and visits to Christian heritage sites in the UK. A few of these students could progress to degree programmes.  Former WEST students lead this course and teach English.

Further plans for development and expanding the work are in the pipeline...

Welsh Theology Book

 Published on 12th September 2012

"Diwinydda Ddoe a Heddiw" (Doing Theology Yesterday and Today) was published in late August 2012.  It is edited by Iwan Rhys Jones and comprises essays in Welsh on a variety of historical, biblical and theological topics contributed by WEST Welsh-speaking staff past and present.  The book has been produced to mark the contribution of Dr Eryl Davies to the life of the School.

Roger Abbott

Published on 21st June 2012

We congratulate Roger Abbott who teaches the Pastoral Response to Trauma module on our MA programme on his appointment as Research Associate in Natural Disasters at the Faraday Institute in Cambridge. Roger will continue with his teaching duties at WEST whilst taking up this post.

Bob Letham's New Book on Baptism: "The Water That Unites" (Christian Focus)

Published on 10th May 2012

"Rightly does Letham seek to understand the issue of baptism within the canonical framework of Scripture.  He is hopeful that this is the way forward beyond the impasse that has stymied the church for centuries regarding this precious ordinance ....if you are searching for a well-argued, and irenic, approach to this subject from the vantage point of infant baptism, this is the book for you."

Michael Haykin, Professor of Church History and Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

"Here is a robust, articulate and biblical presentation of covenant baptism that avoids populism and individualism.  Dr Letham has placed baptism in its covenantal and canonical context - a work of God rather than an act of obedience - no bare sign but an active means of grace - for believers and their children."

Liam Goligher, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 Book Review of "Romans: the Divine Marriage"

Published on 7th December 2011

 “Isn’t it somewhat arrogant to think that anything radically new can be found to say about such a well-known text as the book of Romans?” This was the perfectly understandable comment made to this reviewer. Nevertheless, this commentary is truly path-breaking, largely because care is taken to remove layers of Western cultural baggage that have  obscured the meaning of the letter as understood by the original hearers.

 Hearers? Don’t you mean readers? No, Paul’s letter to the Romans would have been read to the gathered church community; individuals would not have had their own copy. The letter would have been understood for what it was – a message to the whole church and not to an individual. Application would be essentially corporate and not the way we today tend to read it – a message to me. Dr Holland argues persuasively for the Jewishness of this literature. All Paul’s quotations are from the Jewish Bible, the Old Testament. A people are addressed, not a person. His thinking was not Greek but Hebraic. We today are classic Greek thinkers, stressing the individual rather than the community. Whereas we correctly understand “the body of Christ” to be corporate, “the body of sin” is not generally understood to be the community of the unredeemed. Similarly, chapter 6’s reference to baptism is generally applied to the individual though the comparison is with the “baptism into Moses” of the children of Israel. Even “new man” is a corporate.
So what difference does this approach make? It shows the unity of the Old and New Testament. Paul’s theology was the theology of Christ, which was the theology of the Old Testament. To understand Paul we need to be saturated in the Old Testament as he was. “Obvious” you may say, but much modern scholarship has given the impression that we need to immerse ourselves instead in Greco-Roman literature or the writings of the intertestimental period. Tom Holland gives us back our Reformation heritage of one inspired, inerrant and infallible text that is self authenticating. The challenge for 21st century evangelicals is to get to know their Bibles better. The author notes that Paul interweaves 16 different quotations from Isaiah in explaining God’s way of salvation. The commentator instructs us on how these quotations should be viewed. They are vital to our understanding of the overall theme. Often a short quotation is used by the inspired writer to remind us of a much longer section of the Old Testament story. We must not be lazy readers but familiarise ourselves with the context of the short snippet quoted. Often this will open up for us the clear meaning in view – which would have been obvious to readers who knew the Torah well but may be not to most of us.
What then is the big story line that the Apostle is tracing from the Old and into the New Testament? It is a “New Exodus” theme. The Old Testament records two great acts of God’s salvation: the first Exodus - from Egypt and the second – from Babylon. The New Testament writers, including Paul in Romans, use the language of these two salvation events to describe the New Exodus of God’s deliverance of a people from the dominion of Satan and sin through the death of the Firstborn of all Creation, the Lord Jesus Christ. What then of the “Divine Marriage” of the book’s title? Covenant is a key concept throughout the Bible. Dr Holland argues that it describes Adam’s relationship with his Creator. The Fall was a divorce. Humankind “in Adam” has become married to another, Satan. As a result of the New Exodus the redeemed community (the Christian church) have become married to Christ.
I hope this has whetted your appetite. I believe this is a highly significant book. It interacts with scholars across the board (eg Wright, Dunn, Piper, etc) but is written in such a way that the ordinary serious-minded Christian can understand. This is definitely worth the price.

 Reviewer: Kerry Orchard


Published on 1st February 2008
We thank God for our loyal supporters without whom the work simply could not continue. Student fees meet only 60% of our costs. The financial crisis has inevitably adversely affected giving (the only other element in the absence of government or denominational funding). We recently made it easier to donate to WEST through an on-line facility from the home page of the web site. We have received several donations via this means, some which took up the option of boosting their giving through Gift Aid. Your gifts could help:

  • Needy students: they include applicants from abroad but increasingly are from UK - most British students at WEST have a first degree, and if they are typical, a hefty debt too from paying off loans.
  • Fund new staff appointments: we plan to develop our complement of full-time academic staff by one a year over the next 3 years. All will be godly conservative evangelicals with a wide range of pastoral or missions experience.
  • Develop the campus: we need more classrooms, a library twice the size of the existing and a large meeting room to cater for 200 or so. A scheme already has planning permission. We need the funds to proceed.
  • On-going running costs: this includes staff salaries, maintenance of the site, heat and light, etc. This may sound mundane but it is nonetheless vital.








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