About Us

FERN Christian Fellowship, a Pentecostal church in Haworth West Yorkshire. Here you will find meeting details, contact details and how to find us.

Our history

A little introduction to how we got started

Our Beliefs

Click here for a summary of our beleifs


A brief introduction to the leaders at FERN Fellowship

Stories from Church life

Some selected stories from church life. Testimonies, events and missions.

Saturday, 10 September 2011


Here you can download sample sermons and anything else we have -

it will take you to another website where you will have to find the link, click on it and download

test music file

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Richard Sheppard's Testimony

Richard Sheppard’s Miraculous Healing.

At 3.00 a.m. I awoke with an excruciating pain in my right hip; a pain which extended into my groin and down the right thigh. No matter which way I turned, there was no way I could eliminate or ease the pain, and it was gradually getting worse. Furthermore, my groin was becoming numb. By 5.00 p.m. that evening my groin had become so numb that I could stick pins into it without feeling a thing, and the pain had become so acute that, though normally wild horses would not drag me to a doctor, let alone a hospital, I eventually called a taxi and was taken to the Casualty Department of Bradford Royal Infirmary.
               After examination and X-rays, the doctor proclaimed that a muscle in my hip had torn away from the pelvis. I was given the choice of being admitted or returning the following day for further examination; having an aversion to hospitals, I chose the latter.      
              The following morning I was given what appeared to be endless tests, examinations and X-rays until another doctor informed me that, in his opinion, the previous diagnosis was incorrect. I had torn a muscle in my hip, but this was an old injury. He suspected a thrombosis and advised that I return the following day to see a specialist.
  The next day I was examined by the specialist, who twisted and turned my legs and seemed most surprised when I cried out in pain. His professional opinion was that I was not suffering from a torn muscle in my hip, nor a thrombosis, but a ruptured psoas (a muscle in my groin that was badly torn), the only cure being complete rest for four to six weeks. Pain-killers were prescribed, but seemed to have little effect (apart from causing constipation!)
  Six weeks later, after frequent visits to the hospital, little had changed, though I had confined myself to the lounge sofa day and night and completely rested the hip as advised. Further sick notes were issued and further visits to the hospital arranged, until, at the end of August, still no better, I insisted that I be allowed to return to work. There were times, however, when I feared I had acted too hastily, particularly at the end of each day, when the pain seemed to reach renewed ferocity.     
 Shortly after returning to work, a work colleague - Bob Tucker – informed me that he had become a born-again Christian, and suggested that we have lunch with Andrew Carter. I have known Andrew for many years, and had no objection, but was amazed when we met for lunch to discover that Andrew too was a born-again Christian and convinced that, through prayer, I could be cured.
  As an agnostic, convinced that some power somewhere must control the order of things, but unconvinced that God as described by the Bible and Christian theology filled that roll, the idea Andrew suggested, of praying for my healing, was somewhat bizarre. I could not initially believe that he was serious, but, the more we talked, the more convincing Andrew became. Faced with two good friends, convinced that through prayer they could cure me, was very unnerving, but, knowing they would pester me until I agreed, and considering that nothing else, had worked, what had I to lose?
  On Tuesday, 10 September, 1985, slightly more than three months since my complaint manifested itself; I accompanied Bob to a meeting of the Fern Fellowship, at the home of Keith and Avril Craven at Haworth. Though normally opposed to church services, and particularly hymn singing, I found myself easily drawn into things and actually enjoyed singing hymns. There were prayers and a testimony from a gentleman from Skipton recounting the apparently miraculous healing of his son afflicted with a brain tumour. Then people were called or invited for healing and several people went forward. But seeing people falling to the floor and then standing up, apparently healed, smacked of amateur dramatics to me, and I sat still and refused to become involved. I was convinced that this sort of thing would not work for me and had no wish to embarrass my two friends if I remained-unhealed.  The meeting finished and members of the group began to leave, as did I when I suddenly realised that what I had construed as a period of only about an hour, had been in fact four hours; it was almost ! However, as I stood and bid goodnight, Bob and Andrew descended on me and insisted that they be allowed to pray for my healing. Unconvinced and somewhat embarrassed I tried to excuse myself, but their response was simply, "What have you got to lose?"
  I was led to the front of the room and sat in a high-backed dining chair. Keith lifted my feet in the palm of his right hand and supported my right leg with his left hand, and announced that my right leg was three quarters of an inch shorter than the left and that they would pray for the Lord to make it grow to its right length. I was unaware that my right leg was shorter than the other, but, with my backside pushed firmly into the back of the chair, it was obvious that my right leg was in fact shorter. They began to pray, whilst I looked on unable to enter into the spirit of things, but suddenly becoming aware of a peculiar, uncontrollable tension in my right leg. As I sat there my leg actually grew to the same length as the other.
  I was then invited to stand up, but when I tried to do so, the pain in my hip was far worse than had ever been before, and I have to admit that my initial reaction was somewhat hostile towards these people. What had they done to me? Yet, as I looked around at the faces of those present, no-one seemed the slightest bit concerned.
  Keith then told me not to worry, but to lie down on the floor. This was easier said than done, because I could not bend my hip. However, I was helped to the floor and, whilst I lay there, they began to pray again.
  Had I seen someone with a hypodermic syringe; I would have had an explanation what happened next. I didn't and I don't, but the whole of my right hip and thigh suddenly became icily cold and completely numb, far more numb than my groin had been previously, and just as if I had received a local anaesthetic and a huge ice pack against my backside. The pain had gone - completely. I was invited to stand up, and did so, quite easily and with no pain or discomfort what so ever. For the first time in three months I was completely without pain, and, furthermore, could walk quite freely. I cannot put into words that feeling of relief and elation, nor my complete bewilderment at what had just occurred.
  I am sure I was neither mesmerised nor hypnotised, nor was I possessed or overcome by any strange feelings or sensations, other than that peculiar iciness in my hip. I wasn’t possessed or thrown-down. I was lucid and totally alert throughout (I had not even bowed my head when others were praying for my healing): There was no way I could have overlooked any trickery or manipulation. I had not asked for healing; my two friends and the people of the Fellowship had done that.
  Needless to say, such an experience cannot help but provoke a great deal of thought and I have thoroughly analysed what happened that Tuesday evening. I have no logical explanation for what happened, nor, for that matter, for the equally strange discovery on my way home.
  A few days prior to the meeting at Haworth, I had severely strained the guider of my left-hand middle finger. On the Tuesday evening it was badly swollen and, even though I had taped it to my third finger for support, was extremely painful, especially when attempting to lift the gear change of my car into reverse and when applying the handbrake. Driving to the meeting had been far from a pleasurable experience.
 Why I chose to drive home via
Brow Road
, I do not know, but at the top of this steep hill, at its junction with
Hebden Road
, I was forced to haul hard on the handbrake to prevent the car rolling backwards whilst I checked traffic. It was one of those moments when one does something and, almost immediately wishes they hadn’t, for I fully expected to feel pain in the injured finger. I did not feel a thing. Once across the junction and at the top of the hill, I pulled up and peeled the tape from my fingers. The injured finger, by the illumination of the interior light of the car, appeared quite normal; the swelling and bruising had gone and, to my complete amazement, I could form a fist without the slightest discomfort.
  By far the most difficult aspect of this experience has been explaining it to others. As an employee of Bradford Metropolitan Council, my job brings me into contact, regularly, with a great many people. Many of them witnessed my difficulty in walking, supported by a stick, prior to that Tuesday evening, but were amazed to see me walking quite normally the following day. To admit that I am a non-believer, but have been, apparently, healed by the power of prayer seems almost ridiculous, but I can only speak of my experience and let them make of it what they will. Bob and Andrew insist it was the power of prayer and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I have no evidence to prove them wrong.
One month later, I am still completely free from the pain in my hip. However I have shortly to return to the hospital, as appointed. It will be interesting to hear what the doctor makes of all this!
Richard G Sheppard.
FERN Christian Fellowship.
Pastor, Keith Craven.
Haworth. 01535 643941

Ladies Day

Picture of event

The ladies frock swap was a fantastic success. We raised £110 for the building of the new childrens home in India

Teresa's Testimony

I would like to testify of the wonderful way in which the Lord has provided for me over the years.
In the early eighties the Lord led me to go to a Christian meeting at Hollybush Farm, Thirsk. As it was the first time I had ever been to Hollybush, I didn't know what to expect. The preacher was Don Laitham from Bath, and he spoke about tithing. Although I had been a Christian for a lot of years, I had never heard anyone preach on this subject. Don quoted from Malachi Chapter 3 v 8-10. Verse 10 says 'bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there be meat in my house and prove me now herewith saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.' The Holy Spirit really spoke to me that night and I came home with a determination to prove God. I was fascinated with everything that had been said and thought it was wonderful. After all these years I can still remember one thing Don said which was this. Don traveled many miles preaching, after he started tithing his car tyres lasted twice as long! After that evening at Hollybush I began to tithe, and however little money I had I always gave the Lord His first.
One year I can remember, the Lord really blessed us at haymaking time. A friend of ours had two or three fields of grass that he wanted mowing and said that we could have all the hay just for the making of it. We had so much hay that year, we couldn't get it into the barn so we sold two loads straight off the field.
Last year one of our farmer friends died suddenly and he must just have stocked up with coal for the winter. His daughter didn't have any use for this coal and so she gave it to us. There was about four tons of it. The Lord doesn't do things by halves!
Quite a few of the cows blessed us with twins instead of having  just one calf and we've been blessed in many other ways in between.
When our mother died in 1997, my brother and I inherited the farm and 11 ½ acres of land. Sometime in the eighties someone made the farm a listed building as it was built in the early 17th century. In 2005 the conservationists came around taking photos of all the listed buildings in the area to check and see whether they were being kept in good order. I had been getting a bit worried about the barn roof before the conservationists came round though, because some of the slates were slipping. As long as I can remember the ridge on the barn roof had a dip in it, this was because one of the main trusses was deteriorating. Also two main beams on the ridge were slowly slipping away from each other, the pegs must have given way. The result being that the gable end of the barn was slowly being pushed over.
This was the biggest challenge I had even had. I had always kept out of debt, but hadn't any money for a big job like this. The council duly sent us a letter stating that if we didn't do the work involved, then they would do it and send us the bill, whether we had any money or not!
There was only one thing we could do and that was to go and see if we could get a mortgage and pray. I've never had a mortgage in my life and certainly didn't want one then, especially at our age! Alison my daughter went with me to the Building Society because she used to work at the Abbey, so she understood all about mortgages. Well we got the mortgage, Alison, who has since become a Christian herself, said it was a miracle we got one.
In 2006, we got a roofer and builders  to start the job. The weather was another blessing, very hot that year, and it only took them from May to July to finish everything. We had the house roof done at the same time. Part of the gable wall on the barn had to be taken down and rebuilt. The builders said that the beam on the rigging was only held into the wall by about two inches, so it was a good thing we got it sorted before it all fell in.
 The boss of the roofers was a lovely man and said that he did lots of roofs for Christians Against Poverty. He wasn't a Christian himself but said that his  brother had been delivered from alcoholism. I used to witness to him a lot during the tea breaks. He was worried about whether I would be able to pay my mortgage, but I always told him that “my God shall supply all my need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”(Philippians Chapter 4 vs. 19).
Last year at the beginning of April I received a letter from some solicitors in Birmingham to say that someone called Bobby had died and that they had found my name and address amongst his things and what relation was I to him? He hadn't left a will, had never married and hadn't any children. So I wrote back to tell them that he was my cousin. A few letters went back and forth, because the solicitors were seeking other cousins or aunts and uncles. We had to send birth, marriage, and death certificates as proof. It took a year to finalize everything. Cousin Bobby's estate amounted to half a million pounds. He'd been an engineer all his life building Land Rovers in Solihull. He had huge amounts of money in two banks. Of course the solicitors fees, inheritance tax, funeral expenses etc. came out of that, then the rest was shared out between all our cousins. Thomas my brother and I received a cheque each which paid the £35,000 mortgage outright and a bit more beside. This verse from the book of Proverbs 14 came to mind, verse 22, “A good man leaves and inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous”.
When I think back before we got a mortgage I used to jokingly say “we could do with a long lost relative leaving us something” never even thinking that would ever happen, but the Bible says that we get what we say doesn't it! (Mark 11;23)
The mortgage people gave us twenty five years to pay it back. I never asked the Lord for money, but asked Him to help us to pay it back quickly, because the borrower is servant to the lender and we should owe no man anything but love.
I just give God all the praise and glory for His wonderful wonderful provision and all His blessings which we receive from Him day by day.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Stories from Church life

A photo taken by the youth when assisting with flood relief in India
Here you will find some links to testimonies of Gods healing, provision and work in our lives. Also the works the church are in involved in, and some of the events we have shared together.


Teresa's Testimony of Provision

Mission work

Lindon and Sam's Blog about mission life in Romania
Sam's Blog about ministry
Post about David Chaudray
Post about Mervyn France


Ladies Day

Grange annual retreat 2010


Keith Craven is the Pastor and his wife Avril takes an active roll alongside Keith as well as playing in the praise and worship band. Alistair, their eldest son leads the band!

 We have a team of elders and trustees who work alongside Keith to help in the guidance and direction of the church.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Our History

Soon after the start of our meetings the Lord through prophecy, and other confirmations, showed me that He wanted me to pastor the church.

 He also told us to baptise new believers “in the river near your dwelling”, which we do!

 We moved out of the house into the Scout Headquarters for a time, briefly at Ponden Mill, and Bronte Middle School, but now we meet at West Lane Methodist Church, Haworth.

 Our vision is to save as many people as possible from the kingdom of darkness and to bring them into the Kingdom of light, and by the power of the Holy Spirit to lead people into all truth, so that they may have an abundant life, and give glory to God.

 Soon after the Lord Jesus gave us the acronym FERN, He also gave us through Avril, the vision that, just as people come to Haworth to see and experience wherethe Bronte family lived, so people would come to Haworth to find and experience Jesus as Saviour and miracle worker in their lives. He has also told us through Avril that this is a strategic work for Him.

 We have been instrumental in planting two Churches in the Seychelles, (a group of islands in the Indian Ocean). These churches are growing rapidly with many signsand wonders.

 We have assisted The Church of the Power of Jesus Christ which is in Kenya, with visits, teaching and finance.

 The Lord also gave us the vision that Christians from other Churches will come to FERN from time to time to receive encouragement from Him, and will then take back that Holy Spirit fire to their own Churches.

 FERN gives financial support to Christian evangelical organisations and independent preachers. Why We Are Called FERN.

 At a prayer meeting brother Barry Dorricott, saw a vision of a fern branch, and the Lord told him that just as the fern leaves branched out again and again, so this church would branch out likewise. The Lord also told him the word FERN stands for Free from Earthly and Religious Notions.

 There are many earthly notions in the world today. Many believe that by simply doing good things, and not being too bad, they will attain heaven. God says not so. Only by repenting from our sins and receiving Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour,do we receive the free gift of eternal life. We cannot earn it through our own goodworks. (Titus 3 vs 5. Eph 2 vs 8)

 There are many religious notions. Some think by performing religious rites, i.e. being christened, baptised, attending church or, bowing to a cross, for instance, will earn them the right to everlasting life. The Bible clearly tells us it is not by our own works, (righteousness), but only by being born again of the Spirit of God, do we receive everlasting life. (John 3 vs 3-8. 1Peter 1 vs 23)

 Another religious notion is that God sends or allows sickness and misery into the lives of His children, perhaps to teach them something! They believe this, even though Jesus Christ healed everyone who came to Him for healing, never once turning anyone away. Jesus says it is Satan, mankind's enemy who robs us of health and happiness, He, Jesus, came to give us health and happiness. (John 10 vs 10). The Holy Spirit gave us the name FERN because He saw we are free from all earthly and religious notions.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More