A message from Paul Riseley, our Pastor
Welcome to the Whyteleafe Free Church website, I hope that you find what you are looking for and maybe even a bit more.
To introduce myself, I have been the pastor here at Whyteleafe for about twenty years now. I joined the church in November 1996, moving here with my wife Jenny and daughter Sarah from Norwich, where I was then Assistant Pastor at the Elim Church in the City. I was ordained as an Elim minister six months after coming here, in May 1997. Whyteleafe Free is not an “Elim” church, “Elim” being a Pentecostal denomination, but I have retained my ministry credential as an Elim pastor.
We are actively working in wider church life through our involvement in “Caterham and District Churches Together”, we have interest and contacts in local schools’ work, and we are still learning much about the area where we serve. Jenny works with me as Pastoral Assistant, and helps in running an after-school club, Mums and Toddler meeting and various other roles of a pastoral nature. She is also a part of a Community initiative called “Helping Hands”, which seeks to offer support to those in our community who are on their own and need practical assistance in a variety of ways.
We are a church which puts a strong emphasis on the scriptures as the Word of God, that they may continually challenge us in the way that we live, the values we hold and the decisions we make. We also place much importance on friendship and fellowship, in order that those who are part of our number might feel appreciated amd supported. Our present membership is approaching fifty people, so we are not so large as to be impersonal.
The church here in Whyteleafe is now well over a hundred years old, starting as it did in the mid-eighteen eighties. Our records have it that the village postmistress, a lady called Mrs. Hodgson, who was obviously a woman to be reckoned with, noticed that the local kids were loafing around on Sunday afternoons, and decided to invite them to an afternoon Sunday School in the backroom of the Post Office. Most of them came! Soon, parents became curious as to the quietness in the village on these occasions and decided to check it out for themselves. They stayed, and a church was born!
This congregation therefore grew from the initiative of a local lady who we could describe as a home missionary. Perhaps because of these origins, Whyteleafe has been a mission-conscious church from its earliest days. Nowadays, we actively support Christian mission workers in Cambodia, in China, in Kenya, in Nigeria and in North India, and are enriched by these links”.
Many who visit us say that they have experienced a warmth in our corporate gatherings, so I do encourage you to find out for yourself. We are quite a mixed bag of folk in respect of age, of nationality, and of background, and we are always looking to add to the mix! Don’t come if you want to slip away without being noticed! Our common denominator is a love for the One in whose name we meet – the Lord Jesus Christ. We find Him to be our sufficiency in all things, and our prayer is that all who visit us make the same discovery.
If you have any questions, you call me on the church’s number: 020 8668 3150
or you can e-mail me at: pastor @ whyteleafefreechurch.org.uk
or you can phone me at home: 01883 330 805
Why not come and join us at 10:30am on Sunday morning at our church premises? We would love to see you.
Pastor Paul Riseley.
(There is map and directions to the church on the location and information page.)
Paul & Jenny Riseley