That’s right, you read the subject correctly! The Prescott family is on the move: we’re leaving Cambridge and moving to Liverpool.
There’s a small YWAM team in the city who have been running the Pearls Project (see link), and are hoping to start a nine-month DTS similar to that which we’ve been doing in Cambridge. In the course of these last few months of sabbatical, Taryn and I have been reflecting together about what God is calling us to next. Or perhaps it would be more true to say that we have been trying to work out how to continue to do what God has already called us to—given that we are no longer just a fresh-faced married couple, but a family of four. It seemed clear that the rhythms of life that we had been working to for the last few years were no longer going to work—something needed to change. But what?
Our friends Hamish and Nic Findlay had moved from Cambridge to Liverpool in the autumn, and seeing that we were at a crossroads, suggested that we do the same. We had laughed and said we’d love to—except that we felt called to Cambridge. Then we saw them again, and again they suggested we move to Liverpool. This time we said to each other as we drove home that, perhaps, we should actually pray about it. I often talk in terms of possibilities: suggesting ideas, casting vision, laying out a verbal blueprint for a hypothetical future. Taryn has learnt to hold back from too easily indicating approval of these various schemes, lest she discover too late that I had interpreted her gently attentive nod as full contractual acceptance of my suggestion. But on one particular Wednesday morning in December, as for the first time we began to talk about what the implications might be of genuinely moving to Liverpool, it seemed like we were both fully on the same page. What would the implications of moving to Liverpool be?
The little we knew about the small YWAM Liverpool team also appealed: it seemed established enough to give us some structure and support, but small enough to allow plenty of freedom to dream big outward-focussed dreams for the city. Everyone knows it’s the city of the Beatles, and the city of Everton and Liverpool football clubs. But honestly, we had no real idea at all–we had only been to the city once before, for less than twenty-four hours, for an administrative appointment related to Taryn’s settlement visa. But that in itself appealed: it would be a blank canvas, a fresh start, a new challenge. It would be disingenuous not to also mention the financial implications–houses in Liverpool are a fraction the price of any in Cambridge. Rather than struggling to afford to rent, we could instead actually buy a house of our own.
Taryn had been saying through the autumn that she had a feeling that things would change somehow around Christmas. And this was the day of the YWAM Cambridge Christmas dinner. As part of the festivities we played a sort of ‘musical chairs prayers’: when the music stops, you pair up with the person nearest to you and pray for them. Danny prayed for me and shared that he felt like God was going to touch me and bring sudden clarity. I laughed to myself because God already had, that very morning. We decided to wait and let the idea settle a bit. There were Christmas celebrations with extended family; and then the New Year meant invitations to speak on DTSes in Wales and Spain, with all the preparation that a week of teaching requires. We agreed that once we were back from Spain we would try and make an inconspicuous visit to Liverpool and see how it felt when we were actually there.
God however seemed intent on speeding us on our way—while we were still in at YWAM Torremolinos in Spain we were introduced to Rita Leage, who we learned pioneered YWAM Liverpool with her husband in the mid-1980s. The ministry has waxed and waned since then, while Rita has become more involved with YWAM North Africa. But she was more than happy to spend her morning telling us the stories of what God had done in the city with YWAM. God then gave us the ideal opportunity to surreptitiously visit Liverpool and connect with the YWAM team. The Small Teams Network, which gathers all the single-figure teams in YWAM England every few months for mutual support, sent out their email asking who would be able to attend the next gathering. We’ve actually only connected once, just before we returned to Cambridge–after we started the Cambridge DTS, the team immediately grew too big to be a Small Team! – but we’ve remained on the email list.
Anyway, this time it so happened that the Gathering was being hosted by the Liverpool team, the week after we got back from Spain. So we were able to visit Liverpool, connect with the YWAM team, stay with Hamish and Nic – and it felt to both of us like moving to Liverpool was definitely the right next step. So over the last three months we have been saying our farewells to individuals in Cambridge, and we have been going through the trials and tribulations of buying a house. And the purchase finally reached completion last Thursday, so we are now the proud owners of 71 Sutton Street, Liverpool, L13 7EQ. We move up today! Please pray for us as we step into this exciting new season. Pray for us as we set up house in these first few weeks, and as we settle into the city over these next few months and beyond.
Grace and peace, Peter & Taryn, with Isaac and Anu