Hello! My name is Robert Ward - and I'm the Vicar of St.Luke's, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I'm also the founder of the St.Luke's Classic Car Club which is sponsoring this appeal.
In June 1970 Peter Horrobin bought the bent and twisted wreck of a 1933 Alvis Speed 20 for £50! The car had been stolen, crashed, vandalised, set on fire and dumped in the River Mersey! When he started to restore the car, Peter discovered the bent chassis. As he stared at the car, he suddenly became aware of God speaking to him: "You could restore this broken car, but I can restore broken lives. Which is more important?"
Those few words inspired a vision in Peter's heart which led to the foundation of Ellel Ministries.
You can watch a 7-minute video telling how God used the car to birth the ministry by clicking on the following link:
Today there are over fifty Ellel teaching and ministry centres in over thirty-five different countries! Thousands of lives have been touched by God through the ministry - including mine! I’ve benefited enormously from the work over the last 30 years.
And now, God has put a vision into my heart to see Peter's car fully restored.
In his latest book ‘Strands of Destiny’, there is a photograph of his precious 1933 Alvis Speed 20, but it's still unrestored! As I looked at the pictures, I heard the Lord say, “Robert, I want to use you to coordinate an offering of thanksgiving and gratitude for Peter’s life and work so that this car can be fully restored.” Here's a picture of an identical car to Peter's as it left the factory in 1933 and then, having just completed the Monte Carlo Rally in 1935!
Peter managed to get the chassis straightened, restore the engine and get all the mechanics into good working order. But, classic car coachwork is a very skilled and expensive operation and Peter had virtually given up hope of ever being able to complete the restoration of his precious car and put it back on the road.
This is a wonderful opportunity for us to bless Peter in the year of his 75th birthday. The restored car would be a reflection of God’s faithfulness as He restores us by the work of His Spirit, and it would also bring enormous pleasure and delight to Peter as he’s able, at last, to drive his beloved car completely restored!
Having restored a classic car myself, I know first-hand the cost of restoring coachwork - it isn't cheap! For the specialist Alvis engineers to complete the work, I am told that Peter needs about £45,000. What a miracle it would be if, in June 2020, we were all able to celebrate, with great thanksgiving, the 50th anniversary of Peter acquiring the car by it being fully restored to run again. Once restored, the car will be a dynamic parable, testifying to the power of the living God to transform broken lives and will be used as such in the ministry.
I hope many of you will want to join with me in making a contribution - be it large or small - towards completing this wonderful project.
Robert Ward - Founder of the St. Luke's Classic Car Club "Using classic cars to further the Kingdom of God"
How Peter's car might look when fully restored. Picture courtesy Nick Simpson