The founder of New Wine, former vicar of St Andrews church in Chorleywood Bishop David Pytches, has died.
He was a highly influential leader of charismatic renewal within the Anglican church. He founded the New Wine movement which later birthed Soul Survivor led by Mike Pilavchi.
In a message on their website, the current vicar of St Andrews, Rev Tim Horlock, paid tribute to Pytches' rich legacy, and said he had been 'promoted to glory' shortly before midnight on Tuesday, with his wife Mary and members of his family by his side.
"On one hand we share in the profound sadness of the loss of his presence with us, his large and jovial personality bringing much hilarity to conversations seasoned by his unique wit and charm. On the other, our hearts are 'strangely warmed' knowing that he is with Jesus in glory. We thank God for the privilege of knowing and ministering alongside this inspiring man of God and leader in Christ's Church. Without doubt David has shaped the church today through his influence and encouragement."
Pytches took his wife and family to South America, where he spent time as the Anglican Bishop for Chile, Bolivia and Peru, and it was here that he was first baptised in the Holy Spirit, and "everything changed", says the St Andrew's obituary.
On returning to the UK, he and his wife Mary set out to train, equip and encourage church leaders in Holy Spirit ministry which they could take back to their own churches. He had a robust Biblical theology and believed in the power of the Word (the Bible) as well as the Spirit (charismatic gifts). He was deeply influenced and inspired by John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement in the United States.
David wrote the book "Come Holy Spirit" which became a best seller. His daughter Debbie Wright went on to become a prominent speaker and leader in the UK Vineyard church, while his son-in-law, Christopher Cocksworth, has been Bishop of Coventry for 15 years, and was previously the Principal of Ridley College.
In 2021 David was awarded 'The Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness' by Archbishop Justin Welby, for his exceptional contribution to the renewal of the church's capacity for evangelism and witness.