Campervan duo celebrate ministry's 30th in Norwich
Christian men’s ministry CVM is celebrating its 30th birthday with a national tour in a VW campervan, including a recent visit to Norwich. Kevin Gotts reports.
Thirty years ago, the iconic Berlin Wall fell providing freedom and reconciliation to millions. And in the same year CVM (now known as Christian Vision for Men) was formed in Chesterfield, to connect with men and help breakdown the reasons why many men did not connect with church.
Three decades on, this national evangelistic men’s movement has been celebrating this Big 30 with a host of initiatives to thank and involve the 500 member groups including Norwich.
Carl Beech (president) and Nathan Blackaby (CEO) took to the road in a classic VW camper van to travel from Edinburgh to Essex from September 16-22. Their route took in 16 key locations - in Norwich a group of members and guests enjoyed breakfast, conversation and shared experiences at the Mitre community café.
Nathan was very enthusiastic with the reaction to this Grand Tour, “It has been very positive, we have had good meetings with people and seen men come to faith. Often men’s work can be a lonely process, so we are here to encourage,” he said. “Norwich is an area where we wanted to come to with a strong partnership who enjoy the resources and attend our national men’s festival The Gathering.”
There is a serious side to CVM’s work. CVM says that “Suicide is the most common cause of death for men under age 50, and that the least likely to attend church are young single working-class men.” They have a vision of introducing one million men to Jesus.
Carl said: “Thousands of men turn up every week throughout the UK and in over a dozen other nations doing evangelistic activities, getting alongside their mates and having fun. And The Gathering will turn 10 years old in 2020. This is a fusion between Top Gear and Songs of Praise. Members come along with their unchurched mates to enjoy live comedy, cool cars, a beer festival, live music, relevant Bible teaching and loads more.”
The CVM team are doing a tour of the UK in 2020 to promote their revamped Code Life material, a 12-point honour code that has proven to be a powerful tool among men to connect with God’s word.
Duncan MacInnes from Norwich said: “It was great to sit down with Carl and Nathan and enjoy breakfast. These guys are amazing in what they do with men’s ministry in the UK.”
For more details: please contact Stephen Gladwell, CVM Norwich Area Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above are President Carl Beech, left and CEO Nathan Blackaby outside The Mitre in Norwich with their VW campervan.