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'The best is yet to come': Nicky and Pippa Gumbel retire from HTB

by Alex Collett

Rev Nicky Gumbel has delivered his last sermon at London's Holy Trinity Brompton Church (HTB) as he steps down as leader.

Gumbel thanked a packed-out congregation on Sunday, with wife Pippa stating it has been an 'honour and privilege' to be part of the church. 

Rev Gumbel has led the 4,000 strong congregation since 2005 and has overseen considerable growth in that time.  

His final message was titled "The Best is Yet to Come" - a sentiment be believes is true both in our lives, and in the lives of HTB. 

Throughout his sermon he refered to the apostle Paul and read the Bible passage Acts 20:28 in which Paul gives his farewell speech to his church congregation in Ephesus.

Acts 20:28 reads: "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood."

Reflecting on this passage Rev Gumbel said: "God loves you unconditionally and this is God's church."

"We have been here 46 years and have been involved in the leadership and we love this church, we are so grateful to all of you and this is our farewell address!" 

Using Paul as an example he expressed as Christians we are to finish the race that God has set before us.

Rev Canon Archie Coates, who currently serves at St Peter's church in Brighton, has been chosen as HTB's vicar designate.

Rev Gumbel said: "I am so thrilled that Archie and Sam are coming here to this church."

Many people expressed their praise and gratitude towards Rev Gumbel, including HTB churchwarden  Angus Winther who said: "Nicky and Pipps how can we possibly thank you for the past 46 years of outstanding leadership of our church?

"The Lord has done extraordinary things through them and we think of the thousands and thousands of lives that they have personally touched."

Nicky Gumbel is perhaps most known for his development of the  Alpha course which was founded in 1977.

The series of evangelistic talks and discussions explores the basics of Christianity and has been adopted by over 30,000 churches of all denominations.

Having published international best-sellers, Rev Gumbel also pioneered HTB's ministry of 'church planting' in dioceses across England and Wales. Many churches have been planted during his time in cities such as Birmingham, Cardiff and Coventry.

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