Although Nicky Gumbel recently preached his last sermon at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) as the church’s vicar, he shows no sign of slowing down in Christian ministry during his retirement.
In a new interview with Premier Christianity Magazine, the former vicar of the largest Anglican church in the UK and the pioneer of the successful evangelism course Alpha, is gearing up for a ten year strategy in which he hopes to make the gospel accessible to everyone in the world.
“17th April is Easter Day 2033, which as you will know will be 2000 years from the 2000th anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus, and the Great Commission that followed shortly after that. And what we would love to do is to play our part in seeking to make the gospel available to everyone on the planet by 2033,” he said.
He’s in partnership with Bible translators who are working on getting the New Testament into every language in the world by 2033.
“And our part in it is to try and make Alpha available to everyone on the planet by 2033. So that's going to involve the new film series, which [we’ve]… already have been working on for a couple of years, but we're going to have to really focus on the filming of that. And that will take place next, God willing, next summer, [and] would involve ten international trips, just for the filming,” he added.
He will be launching the initiative by preaching a sermon at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem on Easter Day 2023.
On top of making the successful evangelism course accessible worldwide, Gumbel and his wife aim to visits all the 127 church plants HTB started and attend Alpha’s conferences.
“We have so many friends from HTB who planted out over the years and so we'll be revisiting. [There’s] a sense of belonging we have and longing to see all these amazing people who planted churches… so brave, some of them go into very, very difficult situations, and very deprived areas and doing amazing things.”
Gumbel will also be focusing on The Peter Stream which “seeks to see the Church benefit from a range of women and men who have sensed a call to ordained church leadership but have faced exclusion” in terms of education, social status and race.
He said the course was important to help address the stain on the Church of England in the way it rejected the Windrush Generation.
“I believe God sent the Windrush Generation who would have brought so much life to the Church of England. And on the whole, they went to church and the vicar said to them, ‘thank you for coming, please don't come back’. And that was a horrific sin. And since then, there was a sin against them. It was a racist sin, but it was also a sin against the Holy Spirit because they were bringing the Holy Spirit, they had the potential to bring the life of the Spirit into the Church.”
Archie Coates will take over Gumbel’s role at HTB.
Gumbel said while he will no longer be attending HTB, he will always remain a member and will be attend Holy Trinity Clapham when he’s in London.
"Archie Coates... is absolutely brilliant. But Archie and Sam [his wife] need space, they don't need the old vicar around," he joked.
You can read more of the interview here.