Who is: Nick Crawley?

Nick Crawley 2017 Button Image

Revd. Nick Crawley MA is an Anglican Minister with over 25 years experience of ministry licensed in the Diocese of Bristol. Together with his wife Lucy, they lead Crossnet Church, the Anglican Community for Discipleship and Mission, in Redlands, Bristol. He is also a qualified banker and investment analyst and is the Regional Director (South West) of the Filling Station Trust.

To Know Christ:

Born in Devon in 1958 Nick had a Christian upbringing as his parents were Christians and his father a local Anglican Vicar. He attended Sunday School regularly and says:

"I was brought up to believe in Jesus and can never remember a time when I did not believe. During my childhood and teenage years I made a number of commitments to Christ as I grew through the various stages of life."

After his schooling Nick studied Maths as an undergraduate at Southampton University where he became actively involved with the Navigators where he learned more about discipleship and engaged deeply with Scripture. The Navigators is an international, interdenominational Christian ministry whose motto is: “To Know Christ and to Make Him Known". Navigators college ministries work in campuses all over the world and offer encouragement, support, and discipleship with about forty thousand students each year. The Navigator's invest heavily in small group discipleship with particular emphases on: personal prayer, the committing of Scripture to memory, actively seeking guidance under the Lordship of Christ - demonstrated by obedience to what was disclosed, through serving, loving, humility and sharing their faith. Together these foundational elements became a bedrock for Nick in his future ministry of small, networking, discipleship style 'church'.

Southampton | London | Oxford:

Holy Trinity Brompton Button ImageAfter graduation in 1979 Nick moved to the City began working for Barclay's Bank. Whilst living in London he attended Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), a church that was beginning to thrive. There under the ministry of Sandy Miller the church rolled out a new 'Introduction to the church' course which in time became the now famous ALPHA course. However these were the pre-alpha days and Nick soaked up all that was HTB. It was during these initial years at HTB that Nick first met Richard Fothergill who he would work together with so closely in the future. As his relationship with God deepened Nick felt the call into full time ministry and after a period of investigation and prayer seeking God's will, he went off to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to study Theology as an ordinand for three years.

After Graduation Nick was offered a curacy in St Stephens' Church Twickenham where he served as a curate for five years.He enjoyed the day to day ministry the curacy offered and met lots of new people within the community. It was during this ministry that he met and fell in love with Lucy Peppiatt, who he married in 1990.

Zimbabwe:

St Mary Magdalene Avondale Button Image [120x120]During the 1993 Nick and Lucy were given the opportunity to move to Zimbabwe and lead a significantly large and successful church in the city of Harare. St Mary Magdalene church was in the suburb of Avondale, located about 2 miles north of Harare city centre. During their six year ministry in St Mary's they introduced the new ALPHA course to the church - a first in Zimbabwe - and saw God work many miracles through it. In fact those six years were a powerful time of ministry and God chose to bless their work and ministry there. They saw many people come to faith and experienced many healings.

Sheffield:

In 1999 they were called to a very different ministry setting and moved to a large housing estate in Netherthorpe, an inner city parish in northern Sheffield. Nick was ordained as vicar of St Stephen's Church, a large old church built in 1857. The church had undergone several changes over the years as both the suburb had grown and the church community had fluctuated.Encounters-on-the-Edge-Booklet-cover-[150x200] In 2003 the church underwent a major work to allow it to better fulfil its aims within the community and to be ‘a home and a blessing with Jesus at the Centre’.

Nick says of this time: "This was a very different type of ministry but we saw God work in powerful ways specifically through several significant answers to prayer."

At the same time Nick was beginning to minister to a wider audience too.

"[Nick and Lucy] were well thought of in the wider circles of New Wine ... Both of them had teaching ministries in which a passion for bringing the Bible to life was matched by charismatic conviction that the Spirit was given to transform people into the likeness of Christ and to surprise and propel the church in mission." [1]

New Expressions of Church:

Crossnet Church ValuesIt was during this time that Nick and Lucy felt that they wanted to do something completely different, something "out of the box" as he calls it. They approached the Anglican church leadership and shared their vision for a new fresh expression of church within the fabric of the Anglican ministry.

In 1999, the Diocese of Bristol granted him, his old friend Richard Fothergill - who with his wife Jo was just returning from ministry South Africa, and another man Charlie Groves, licences to set-up and minister this new expression of church within their parish. Together they set up Crossnet Church, an Anglican Community for Discipleship and Mission, in the Redlands suburb of Bristol.

Crossnet Church:

Crossnet Church Student PhotoBy this time Nick and Lucy had 4 teenage boys, Seth, Harry, Roscoe and Jem, who naturally brought their friends around to their new house for fellowship. Overtime Crossnet became a active student church. Much time was spent much time on personal one-to-one pastoring in the house and this 'Navigators' style of discipleship created more of an apprenticeship church ministry. As time progressed it became clear that rather than become a thriving church Crossnet needed to remain small and compact.

In 2007 Nick was asked to lead the main stage Bible Teaching at the New Wine Annual Conference where he taught from Act 13 on the story of Barnabas and Saul.

The Filling Station:

Nick and Lucy remain the leaders at Crossnet. Still in the same house that the diocese leased them although the 7 year stipend that the Crawley's had has ended. Nick is now a self-supporting minister for Crossnet and half-time stipendiary in a rejuvenated dockland parish, three miles away.The Filling Station Logo The Fothergill's went on to set up The Filling Station Trust with its network of small unity meetings and as the Filling Station network enlarged Richard asked Nick to come on board as Regional Director for the South West of England, a role that Nick was happy to fulfil as still does today.

Bible For Life ~ Online & Free:

Nowadays, Nick’s ministry focuses on Bible teaching and discipleship and equipping people for ministry. He is deeply committed to the joint ministries of the ‘Word and Spirit’ and because of this deep love for scripture he has set up the Bible For Life (BfL) website. This online resource exists to help men and women, and especially young adults, understand the message of scripture and live as apprentices of Jesus in His Kingdom in 21st Century. Indeed it is designed in a way that uses high quality teaching material to guide people through chosen books of the Bible through the medium of audio and podcasts, visuals and text or with HD videos recorded with Nick guiding you through the desired level of engagement with scripture. As Nick writes:

"The Bible for Life material is designed to help disciples (apprentices) of Jesus make more 'apprentices of Jesus' just as Jesus commissioned us in Matthew 28:19-20. It is designed not only to help you understand the essential message of the Bible books, but to put them into practice, live them out, and participate in the dynamic life of the Kingdom of God."

Nick has designed the website in such a way that people can choose a book of the bible to study and then it is presented to them like a menu within a meal - each BfL book has a taster course, a starter and then the main course which gets into the meat of scripture verse by verse. There is also a comprehensive final overview and summary of the meaning of the studied material which helps the student or 'apprentice' think through the application of the message of that particular scripture and how one might implement it into their lives creating holy habits.

Dr. Lucy Peppiatt

Nick and Lucy are both very active in teaching others the deep meanings of scripture. These are the things that are close to their hearts and the truths by which they live their lives and emulate Christ.

Lucy has an influential ministry herself as an author and theologian who ministers under her maiden name. She is the present Principal and Dean of Studies at Westminster Theological Centre (UK) and lectures in systematic theology.

Ed.


Footnotes:

[1] Encounters on the Edge, The church Army Booklet, page 3.