PASTOR CLIVE HICKMAN of Coastlands Church in Peacehaven is a man on a mission. Having studied revivals, he is convinced that Britain is on the brink – because it is always darkest before the dawn.
“It’s getting desperate in this country,” he says. “But revival comes when people are desperate.”
Fresh from a visit to Victory Church, Cwmbran, home to the ‘Welsh Outpouring’ which has seen an outbreak of healings and confessions of faith, he told his church of his own longing to see revival along the Sussex coast.
The only fly in the ointment is the lack of unity in the local churches. While in Cwmbran (“There were 700 crammed into the main meeting and hundreds in the overspill room”), he met a woman visiting from Kent who was herself part of a ‘breakout’ movement where many are finding spiritual salvation through Christ.
The woman told Clive: “There needs to be unity among the churches before God can pour out his Spirit.”
On his return, Clive found his fellow local ministers were of the same mind. Meeting Peacehaven’s Graeme Atkinson, leader of the Tree of Life Church, and Ian Cooper, vicar of the Anglican Ascension Church, they humbly admitted they had run into a brick wall – the Church locally was not experiencing much in terms of ‘Kingdom’ growth. “We don’t know what to do,” they agreed. “So let’s worship together and pray!”
Thus Rev Ian is inviting all the Peacehaven churches to meet on the last Friday of the month at 7:30 p.m., starting this August, to seek God together through worship and prayer for healing along the coast.
Clive feels as if a weight is being lifted after a ‘heavy’ past five years since his arrival in Peacehaven after ministry in Warwickshire and America (his wife Debby is American and leads worship in their services). “I’ve never been so encouraged. There was a history of church splits and failures along our stretch of the coast going back several decades, which Pastor Marion Daniel of Sozo Ministries has attributed to a curse, preventing church unity. What the enemy fears most is churches coming to pray and worship together. The end of August will be a watershed moment for us.”
Pastor Clive admits he has been desperate before God, thinking nothing would ever work, but realised God was saying, “You’ve got to do it my way.” Along with many others in Britain today, Clive recognises that only obeying 2 Chronicles 7:14 will work: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Hope lies also in the next verse: “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
The ministers of Peacehaven must now “throw everything behind this move to bring unity”, Clive believes. “Jean Darnall (the popular Christian Bible College leader) prophesied that the first wave of revival was the charismatic renewal in the 1990s. The second would be characterised by strong biblical teaching and many young people coming to know Jesus. But we can’t have revival until healing takes place first in the churches along the coast.”