Why ‘radical hospitality’?

Radical hospitality begins with the gospel: the truth and grace of God to us in Christ Jesus.  A baby born to a mother who found no space in the guest room.  A wandering teacher who had nowhere to lay his head.  A preacher of a kingdom of welcome that must be entered through childlike faith.  A king whose only time in palaces was before kangaroo courts and whose only throne was a cross.  Jesus came to His own, but his own did not receive him, yet to those who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave a rich welcome into the family of God and an eternal home with Him.  Those who follow Jesus as Lord can learn from Him to honour others in their otherness, to dine with sinners without sinning with diners, and to be at home as strangers in the world.  We can learn, like Jesus, to testify to truth while God’s grace overflows from our lives to others.

Evening Celebrations and Bible Teaching
Throughout this week, our speakers will lead us through the implications of the gospel for our lives as individuals and churches as we seek to be radically hospitable:

On Saturday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, Rosaria Butterfield will share from her experiences and biblical wisdom about the potential of the home as an embassy for Christ and how welcoming neighbours, adopting children and visiting prisoners can be part of their journeys to faith.

Gilbert Lennox will take us to first century Philippi to see how the gospel transformed lives and households there, beginning with the birth of the Philippian church in Acts 16 on Sunday evening, then delving into Paul’s letter to them in the morning Bible Teaching.

From Wednesday to Friday in the evenings, Tim Chester will lead us into Luke’s Gospel to see how Jesus, at meals He attended, modelled perfect hosting, foretold a great feast at the end of the ages, and called us to eat with others in celebration and extension of God’s grace.

So what?
As we journey together through the week of New Horizon, let’s be prayerfully considering what difference it will make when we return to where we live.  We will celebrate God’s rich welcome to us in Christ and we can work together to transform an airy tent in a field into a place of homely welcome for all, but the real test will come after we leave.  Will we take away a vision of how, in God’s power, our homes and churches can be places of radical hospitality where authentic Christian faith is shown to a sceptical world?


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Evening Celebrations


Rosaria Butterfield

Rosaria Butterfield is a former tenured professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University.She converted to Christ in 1999, in what she describes as a “train wreck”. Her first book, a personal memoir entitled The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, chronicles her journey from a life identifying as a lesbian and engaging with her lesbian partner in lobbying for LGBT aims and the cataclysmic fallout of her conversion to Christianity in which she says she lost “everything but the dog,” yet gained eternal life in Christ. Her second book, Openness Unhindered, addresses questions of sin, identity, and repentance.  Her heart’s desire is for people to put the hands of the hurting into the hands of the Saviour, who equips us to walk and grow in humility.Rosaria’s third book, The Gospel Comes with a House Key, blends memoir and theology to warmly invite readers into her home, sharing from her life and experience how “radically ordinary hospitality” can allow strangers to become neighbours, and by God’s power, those neighbours can be part of God’s family.Rosaria is married to Kent, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor in North Carolina, and is a homeschool mother.  She is zealous for hospitality, loves her family, cherishes dogs, and enjoys coffee.


Tim Chester

Tim Chester is the pastor of Grace Church Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, a faculty member of Crosslands Training and chair of Keswick Ministries. He is the author of over 40 books including A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community And Mission Around The Table. His latest book is Enjoying God: Experience the Power and Love of God in Everyday Life. He was previously Research and Policy Director for Tearfund and has been an adjunct lecturer in missiology and reformed spirituality. He is married to Helen and has two daughters.





Morning Bible Teaching


Gilbert Lennox

Gilbert Lennox grew up in Armagh under the influence of godly parents and committed his life to Christ in his final year of primary school. He has an honours degree in Modern Languages from Queen’s University and trained as a schoolteacher.  It was during his time as a student that he developed his involvement in Bible teaching and church planting.  In 1995 Gilbert left teaching to devote himself to Bible teaching and leadership within Glenabbey Church which he helped to found in 1988.  He has taught widely at conferences and churches in Ireland and overseas.  He is married to Heather and they have 4 children, 7 grandchildren.  Now retired from Glenabbey he is focussing on teaching, writing and having more time with family.  He enjoys movies, music, gardening and lots of coffee drinking.  A keen landscape photographer he is often to be seen wandering the Causeway Coast and remote headlands in Donegal.


Worship Leaders


New Irish Arts

New Irish Arts is a Christian Charity which organises around 30 public events per year. Whether performing on the stage of the Belfast Waterfront, on BBC Songs of Praise or in a church concert, their aim is to use the Arts to encourage people to worship God. A key area of growth in recent years has been New Irish Youth, which runs residentials preparing young singers and instrumentalist for worship and Christian service. New Irish Arts is delighted to serve at New Horizon once again under the leadership of Creative Director, Jonathan Rea. With special guest Stuart Townend on Saturday and Sunday. Featuring Sylvia Burnside on Wednesday evening.

Rebecca Wright and Ian Vennard

Rebecca Wright and Ian Vennard have been serving as part of the Livewire band for several years. Hailing from Portadown, they are delighted to be bringing their band to the New Horizon MainStage on Monday & Tuesday evenings.




Stuart Townend

Stuart Townend is one of today’s leading worship songwriters. Hymns such as “In Christ alone”, “How deep the Father’s love” and “The Power of the Cross” are sung in churches around the world, while the skill and depth of his lyric writing has drawn some to compare his contribution to hymnody to that of Watts and Wesley.

Aside from writing, Stuart travels around the UK and abroad, leading worship at events and performing concerts. An accomplished musician, arranger and producer, he also has years of experience in teaching and training musicians who serve in local church worship.

Stuart has featured on numerous live albums, and has recorded ten solo albums. He appears regularly on the BBC’s Songs of Praise Programme. In June 2017 Stuart was delighted to receive from the Archbishop of Canterbury The Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship “for his outstanding contribution to contemporary worship music.”

Stuart’s most recent album, “Courage” (2018), includes powerful personal songs, including “Keep you here”, an honest, moving response to his brother’s recent journey with cancer; and “I am here for you” (co-written with his daughter), exploring issues of mental health.

Stuart is married with three grown up children, and lives in Brighton, UK.


Sylvia Burnside