Our Story

This church was planted forty years ago when young evangelists and missionaries Syd and Liz Doyle answered the call of God and came to the small market town of Ashford. Starting with a handful of believers in somebody’s front room, they steadily built a thriving church, growing to 300 members meeting in their own building in the heart of the town, and sending missionaries all around the world. After 18 years they returned to Liz’s native America where they established Nations Light Ministries which now mobilizes the church around the world to fulfil the great commission. 

Taking the baton from Liz and Syd came Pastors David and Joyce Lamb who both have a passion to see revival in our nation. Together they have travailed to see all members of their church family encounter God for themselves and be released into a supernatural life empowered by the Holy Spirit. 7 years ago Pastor David believed God to step out in faith and move into our present amazing Centrepiece building right in the heart of the town. This has opened the way for a new season of growth and influence for us as a church.

In 2015 Pastors Ian and Rachel Fowkes were invited to join the leadership of Ashford Christian Fellowship with a view to succession as the senior leaders. Rachel was born again as a young girl under the ministry of Syd and Liz and grew up in the ACF church family, her own father becoming associate pastor. Ian and Rachel met in London in 1990 as student nurses and together heard the call from God to serve the gospel. In 2000 Ian became youth pastor of ACF under the leadership of Pastors David and Joyce and together they led the youth ministry for 7 years. At the beginning of 2019 they were handed the baton to lead this special church into its new season. 


Ian and Rachel had privately shared with each other that they felt strongly in their spirit that it was time for a new name for the church. This was wonderfully confirmed to them as being from God when on their special succession service, the day they were handed the church, the visiting minister prophet Simon Braker took them aside and said that he believed God was saying it’s time for a new name!

God gave us the name Bright City Church – a light to the nations. This name continues the foundational word given to Syd and Liz in the very early days of the church from Isaiah 49:6 “I will make you a light to the nations”. 

It speaks of the continuing missional heart of the church as it echoes Jesus’s words in Matthew chapter 5 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden….  Let your light shine”

It is also a prophetic statement to our town Ashford that you are blessed by God and we declare that you will indeed be a bright city!  (Proverbs 11:11).

We are so excited about this new season for us as a church. We know that we are here “for such a time as this” and we are so honoured to be moving forward with such an amazing church family into everything that God has for us.

God bless you abundantly as we journey together!

Pastors Ian and Rachel