The Filling Station Trust
The Filling Station Trust was set up by Revd. Richard Fothergill in March 2006. It was at that time that a group of faithful believers in Box village, West Wiltshire, launched their monthly unity gathering under the name of ‘The Filling Station!’ Little did anyone there present know that 10 years later over 4,000 people would be attending a Filling Station meeting somewhere each month.
Richard became a Christian at 20 via school and went on to study Geography at Newcastle University.
After graduation he worked for various London consultancies in PR and Advertising specialising in the defence & aerospace industries. He writes "I ended as an account Director for the 4th largest PR/Ad agency in the world at the time called ‘DMBB’."
From London to Cape Town
During 1985 he began to attend Holy Trinity Brompton and met his wife-to-be Josephine on an Alpha course; they were married in 1991. During that year he was also accepted for ordination within the Church of England and they moved as a family to Bristol to study theology. After graduation he was ordained as a curate at St. Stephens church in East Twickenham, London. During his 4 years there he had many experiences and was offered the opportunity to move to Cape Town, the capital city of South Africa, to lead a new southwest coast church plant called ‘Church of the Holy Spirit’ which had purchased a warehouse and was experiencing rapid growth! During his leadership of the church it continued to expand and when he returned to the UK in June 2004 the church had grown to over 500 congregants!
Now an experienced leader he became joint leader of the 'Crossnet Anglican Network Church’ in Bristol. This was a vibrant community which became a student church. Today Crossnet is still going strong and is led by Revd. Nick Crawley (shown left) who is also the Regional Director (South West) of the Filling Station Trust.
Unity Prayer and Praise
In September 2003 Richard had a vision of Prayer & Praise meetings affecting towns, villages & suburbs throughout the UK and bringing unity and renewal to communities and restoration in peoples lives. Shortly after this he started meeting with a number of like-minded people on a regular basis for fellowship, unity, praise and worship and this was the beginning of what would become the first Filling Station. That meeting was re-launched in March 2006 as The Filling Station in Box village, West Wiltshire and as people attended they asked him to help them set up "Filling Station" in their towns.
By 2009 there were 6 Filling Stations in operation, some 600+ people attending one each month. It became obvious that an organisation was needed to assist with the requests and natural expansion that was happening as more requests for new station came in and in June 2009 The Filling Station Trust was established to help pass on what they were learning and had experienced.
The Filling Station Trust does not adverting for new stations - it all happens by divine fiat! There are now 85 meetings in 5 countries serving over 4,600 people each month. There have been 270 converts recorded and until present there continues to be steady growth cross the UK & abroad.
Richard tells me:
"I’ve learnt a lot along the way! Primarily, don’t be controlling, allow the Holy Spirit to genuinely run the show. Keep small in your own eyes and God might be able to use you! He certainly doesn't need to!"
"The Filling Station is there for renewal & evangelism in the local context and we are delighted to support and encourage any group that wants to try and set up one of these informal meetings!"
Wessex Filling Station
Wessex Filling Station is the 91st Filling Station to be set up in the UK. May it be a wonderful place of unity, praise and worship. We hope too that it will be a place of personal Christian commitment and growth, church growth through networking and unity opportunities; and a place where the keynote speakers whom God is using at this time in our nation can come and encourage the communities of Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole through the spoken Word of God!