Sadly, after battling with a cancer for a number of months William passed away and went to be with the Lord in the early hours of Thursday, March 6th 2014.
The last few days of his life were rather difficult but towards the end there was a real sense of peace and joy. Thankfully, he passed on free from pain, with his family around him.
William had been in full time ministry for around 25 years and touched thousands of lives, winning a great many souls for Christ.
We are so grateful, as a church, for his tireless efforts and vision for our future growth and prosperity. He will always be remembered as the founder of Life Church and as the man who developed it into a thriving, God-centred, community-focussed church.
On Friday 21st March there was a thanksgiving service celebrating the life of William at Alive Church in Lincoln. We would like to thank all who attended to honour Williams ministry into the City and further afield.
It was a wonderful testimony to his Christ centred life to see so many who had even travelled the length of the country to be at the service. There were hundreds of people, all with stories of how William had spoken into their lives resulting in them feeling the call to serve God to a deeper level.
Pastor Steve Wendels led the service with Chris Bowater leading a time of worship.
There were a number of touching tributes especially from Williams’s children and wife Alison. William oldest son James concluded the celebration by preached a challenging message based on our need to know Christ!
Throughout the service there was a real sense of thanksgiving towards Almighty God for the gift of the life of William that has affected us all so much. And an assurance that this man who had served God so faithfully was now with the one He loved to serve.
Thank-you again to all who attended and made the day so memorable.
Below are some of the tributes received from friends and colleagues around the world, commemorating the life of William.
Dear Sister Alison Prentice,
Dear Brothers and Sisters from the Life Church in Lincoln,
We want to send our sincere sympathies in the recent passing from this life to eternity, to be with the Lord, of our dear brother Pastor William Prentice, a special friend of our church family here in Radomsko.
Pastor William was one of the co-founders of our church community in Radomsko. He supported our work not only spiritually but also materially. We are very thankful for his incredible investment in our work here which is now bearing much fruit for God’s Kingdom. The effects of Pastor William’s prayer and prophetic words are visible today in the life of our congregation. His words to us during his ministry here in Radomsko will always stay in our hearts. Even now it is difficult for us to understand God’s will in taking such an incredible servant and man of God into Eternity at such a young age. But we know, however, that God never makes a mistake. During our most recent meeting in June of 2013, we dreamed together of new cooperative ventures in seeing new churches planted in Poland and also in Ukraine. Even though Pastor William has gone on to Eternity, we will continue to carry out his plans and the vision which he shared with us at this last meeting.
In our prayers we commit to God’s good care Pastor William’s wife, Alison, all of his family and the whole church family at Life Church in Lincoln.
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)
With God’s Blessings,
Pastor Wiesław Gościej and the members of the church in Radomsko
“Here’s the thing”… words in that soft brogue that often prefaced a story or a spiritual insight from William as he would lean forwards towards you, finger outstretched to reinforce the point. Then there was the passionate “Come on!”, as he exhorted us to share his passion and understanding of God’s purposes for us. His “football gene” that loved to introduce a bit of healthy competition between the two halves of the congregation, as he looked to help us capture the vision and share his heart. Then there was William the cyclist…who hadn’t the faintest idea how to maintain his chariot but loved to go on a boys’ adventure with James. William who, despite not feeling well, drove to meet us in Bakewell to share a moment of fellowship in the old Bakewell Tart tea rooms. He valued our friendship and we valued his. William the emergent cook, who loved to try out new recipes on us. As we prayed for healing we looked forward to a day when we could once again share a meal and friendship…and now? Well, we look forward to that eternal day when the meal we next share will be at the Lord’s banqueting table. William, and Alison, who welcomed us with warmth and understanding when we arrived at Life Church feeling bruised and looking for a new spiritual home. William was never jealous of his platform and we relished the space he afforded us to find our place again in the purposes of God. The last three years have been precious…three years’ of friendship and fellowship, three years’ of growth and renewal of purpose and vision. We have found our home and, William, here’s the thing, we are committed to making sure that all those people God placed on your heart will also find their home here too. We’re grasping the baton tightly and our face is set on the finishing line…we’ll see you there!
James & Rosemary
Difficult days are never wanted.
But the Bible says that there is more wisdom in the house of mourning than in the house of mirth.
May this moment of sadness be covered with grace, peace and the wisdom of God.
William was a man who taught us to live in this dimension, and therefore, I must praise God for his life.
My love and affection to all the family, friends and church.
Pr. Tito Silva
Senior pastor of Reviver Church – Portugal
My dear brothers and sisters,
It was a privilege to have met Pastor William Prentice and his family. Since then, I have always appreciated his friendship, his advice, and the great desire he had of partnership between our two churches.
Today it is a very sad day for me and for all his friends in Portugal, but it is also a day of joy because now he is in a place of delights with the Lord.
I know that one day we will meet and, until then, may we continue to be faithful to our God, as our friend William was.
A big hug to all his family and all my love for you.
Armando Tavares –presbyter at Reviver church – Portugal
I first met Bill at Morley Street Junior School in Carlisle and we soon became best friends. Bill came on our family holiday to Blackpool and weekend trips and had ‘sleepovers’ before the term had even been invented. As our school years passed by we developed a mutual love of music and films, with weekly trips to the cinema and occasional trips to Newcastle to see our favourite bands. We both worked at Burtons tailors on Saturdays and most of our pay was spent at record shops and cinemas. Rather than go into the sixth form we both left school to take our A levels at Carlisle Technical College. During those formative years we were pretty much inseparable but we went our separate ways at 18, Bill to teacher training in Newcastle and I to Sheffield. We kept our friendship going by letter and after every term we picked up from where we had left off. Back in those days all the big bands played at colleges so we both had plenty to talk about. Distance, work, marriage and family life meant we didn’t see a lot of each other but we always kept in touch and when we did occasionally meet up, normally at various concert halls, it was as if we had just seen each other yesterday. He was always jolly, always had lots to tell and always a good listener. A true friendship doesn’t diminish with years or distance but gets stronger; I have lost my oldest and dearest friend. I’ll miss that smile and infectious laugh, but all I’ll need to do is listen to one of those old records and he’ll be there with me again.
Raymond Threadgould, William’s oldest and best friend:
William was my friend, his sincerity, honest , compassion and eagerness to learn always struck a note on my heart ! He’s genuine love and concern for his people was always evident in our conversations. He simply believed God. In church ranks William would come up as a master builder, one that laid the foundation in Jesus Christ so that others may follow to build. I really appreciated and loved him as a friend and fellow warrior!
Gebhardt Berndt, Executive Pastor at Hatfield Christian Church, South Africa
All the members and friends of Harrogate True Blues Rangers Supporters’ Club were deeply saddened to hear that William had passed away. William was a loyal Rangers fan and has thankfully passed that on to son James. William’s enthusiasm and passion for Rangers was always evident and as the club endured a very difficult period of late, William’s concern was profound despite the fact he was suffering serious illness. He had the ‘bug’ and it’s hard to explain to a wider audience – ask James, he’ll try and tell you what being a Rangers fan means. William will be sadly missed by us all. We will miss his engaging discussion about all things Rangers but rest assured he will always be remembered.
Andy Kerr – Secretary of the Harrogate True Blues Rangers Supporters’ Club and President of the Rangers Supporters’ Assembly:
There was a man sent by God. His name was William Prentice.
Over 25 years ago we were eating lunch at Damons and Bill told me he used to play the violin. He stopped playing at 7 years of age, his father took him to violin lessons and he had died. I knew the pain of losing my father at 30, I could not imagine the loss for Bill.
We became close friends.
Together, we were prayed for when taking leadership roles in Lincoln. On staff and team together. We would share a room at conferences and team meetings. He did not seem to mind when I fell asleep and he was still talking.
He was a man of faith. Great faith. One hour before arriving at the next church overseas, Bill would start to pray. He loved to preach, he loved to pray. I have travelled overseas with him in ministry more than everybody else put together. I would travel with him anywhere, he was a great companion, fun to be with, though I would never want him to make the travel arrangements.
He was well received in ministry with us in Wales, and loved my favourite fish and chip restaurant by the sea.
He always said he would call me back. He hardly ever did. But I did not mind, I will call you back meant leave it a few days and you phone me.
I look back with great fondness, when I got the heated bedroom in a Polish winter and Bill froze in his. When I got the free upgrade in business class to India and Bill didn’t. But the times when he would tell me the dress code was casual at the Pastors Conference in Bangalore, and I did. But Bill came dressed like the other speakers in a smart black suit. And the time………
Great friend, good to be with, precious memories.
To all who knew him, ones of his flock, those of his family, privileged to call him dad, and most of all Alison, the loss is great.
Life in some ways will not be the same. Life will have a missing part, called Bill.
Paul and Pearl Dando.
A tribute to William..
Thank you William for the teaching and wisdom you brought through Alpha. I will never forget being captivated by your inspirational words. I salute you faithful warrior. See you in heaven!
Simon Cartwright, Cardiff
Tribute To William
16 years ago I attended an ALPHA course at New Life Christian Fellowship in Lincoln. At the Holy Spirit day, William made an appeal and I responded. He prayed for me and the next day Jesus called me in a very special way. I have been a Christian ever since. I am sure that there are many other stories like mine. He will be sadly missed.
Tribute To William
To add to the many others, I wanted to share my own tribute to William,
Pastor & Friend.
I was very blessed to have been a part of the Life Church family from a
young age (from that very first morning in Lesley Manser School!) & it
always felt like my home church even when I wasn’t in Lincoln. In my heart
it probably always will. On many occasions I moved away & ended up back
there, they could never get rid of me! William played such a big part in
encouraging me to walk with Jesus, pray & take big steps in my life as a
teenager & young adult. He spoke many words over my life, including
supporting my love for music & helping me grow as a worship leader. I will
always be thankful to him for that. It was a privilege to visit Radomsko in
Poland with him, along with my Dad (Cliff) & the team, in 2012 where we
celebrated the anniversary of the Church that they had built up such a
strong relationship with – William spoke then with such passion of his love
for Jesus, as he always did.
I have so many happy & lasting memories of growing up with the Prentice
family over the years (not forgetting Daniel’s amazing impressions of
course!) & we always had such great banter about William’s Carlisle accent!
I along with many others will miss him.
With much love to all the Prentice family & all at Life Church.
Claire Robinson, London
TRIBUTE TO WILLIAM
We were so very sad to hear of the loss of William, whom we have had the privilege of knowing and working with, over many years. So many words have been expressed all of which we completely echo. We would like to add a few words of personal reflection. Much has been said about William’s unwavering commitment and enthusiasm to the work of the Kingdom and bringing the good news of Jesus to all who would listen. This commitment to the Church work and outreach did cost him. Doing things that we do not want to, perhaps because it does not suit us, can be hard. Yet that is what Jesus calls us to do. We know from long personal experience, that William echoed this call. He did things when they were difficult and painful, and through this, modelled for us all, a legacy of just how we should approach commitment, the highs and lows, the good times and the not so good. Also never giving up on people, even though it was sometimes hard, but pressing on and trusting in God.
It is often said it is what we are, rather than what we do, that really matters. William was more than the Minister of Life Church; he was also a friend, devoted husband, family man and a father and grandfather, not just to his own family, but to many in the Church who perhaps did not have any father figure. We have so many happy memories of long deep conversations about the Christian walk, life in general, sport (yes football and a certain club), politics and music and many more which looking back now have become very very special times.
We would often talk about a vision for a particular outreach work etc. and say it was not just about starting but about how well we finish and wow, didn’t William finish well.
We will miss him dearly and that wonderful chuckle in many a conversation, but also know that he has run the race well, stayed steadfast, finished well and now has his deserved reward. We will see you again one day William.
All our love Jan and Cliff, Hayling Island, Hampshire
To dear Alison and all the family, and everyone at Life church.
Although I am at the other side of the world, you are all in my thoughts & prayers at this time of loss of our dear Pastor William.
It has been a real privilege for me to have worked alongside such an anointed man of God and to have had him as our pastor, he will be greatly missed, but I rejoice with others that he is now with the saviour he loved.
I thank God for his faithfulness.
Phil 1 V 3 “I thank my God every time I remember you all”
Much love & blessings
Jackie – Australia
A tribute to my friend and Pastor William.
When you work with someone day by day for a number of years and travelled a few thousand miles with them you would expect to find what makes them tick.
For William it was a total commitment to see people’s lives transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a pleasure it has been to walk with him. Everyone he spent some time with couldn’t fail to catch something of his vision for the kingdom. Many came away knowing that Almighty God had spoken through him. I believe God honoured him for his commitment by placing an extraordinary anointing on him to envision people and lead people, into the baptism of The Holy Spirit.
Over the years William worked with a determination to see Life Church Lincoln grow and increase in influence in the local area, nationally and internationally.
William initiated the launch of Life Church in 1997 (The Church was originally named New Life Birchwood and Hartsholme!) with a small number of local people.
Life Church Lincoln is now a 130 strong thriving church with links across the world.
Through the relationship he developed with Radomsko in Poland, Lincoln is now twinned with Radomsko.
He has for 17 years worked tirelessly to bring about change and transformation in the Birchwood area of Lincoln. He was instrumental in a large number of community projects becoming a reality, all which have had a noticeable positive affect on our local community.
I thank God for the gift that God gave us all in William. A Big man with a Big heart.. Now he is no longer with us, there is a William shaped hole. Although we will miss him we have an assurance we will meet him again.. See you later William!
We share our love and prayers with you from the members of Alive church (formerly New Life) and the Ground Level Network of churches.
We honour William for
His faithful pastoring of Life Church
His ministry contribution into the life of our city
His years of service both in New Life and within the Ground Level team
Our prayers and support are with Alison and the family. May you carry the torch of faith into the future by God’s grace.
Stuart and Irene
A Tribute to a very special man in my life, William Prentice
On Thursday 6th March 2014 William Prentice passed away to go and live with the person who he lived to serve. William was more than my pastor he was like a Dad to me and he taught me so much. He took me to India on two occasions, in which the first year I came home with a Vision from God and William was the man who believed in me and because of him my vision became a reality. The Indians thought I was his ‘favourite’ daughter and the Joke stuck. And from then onwards William you called me your favourite daughter and I called you ‘Pata William’ He was a very dear and much loved friend of mine. I have some dear memories of you William and some very funny ones too. The funniest memory I have of you was in India when you fell of the stage and myself and your Rebekah could stop laughing, when everyone else in the room remained silent. I had the pleasure of serving you Fish and Chips at The Elite Fish and Chip Restaurant on many occasion. You use to order ‘The Favourite’ Large Haddock, chips and mushy peas with a slice of bread and butter and a diet coke followed by a coffee. You and a unique voice which I will never forget. I always knew you were in the Elite before I even saw you and it was a great joy to serve you. I hope your having so much fun up there. I will miss you so much. Lots of love Little Jen xxxxxxx=
Tribute to William,
Over the years William has been a friend and coleague and will be greatly missed. His visits to King’s Church in Cleethorpes were always a source of inspiration and his teaching and ministry on the Alpha Holy Spirit days released many into experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Our love and prayers are with Allison and family as well as the church family at this time of sad loss.
We know that William is now in the presence of our Lord whom we love and waiting for the time when we are all reunited for ever.
Dennis and Linda Brown and the church family in King’s Baptist Church, Cleethorpes,
We were so shocked and saddened to hear of William’s passing. We have known William for over 20 years and know he will be missed by so many people he touched personally and through his ministry. William spoke into my life in many ways especially as a new Christian. His passion for doing what he loved to do; talking about Jesus, will always be remembered. Please pass on our love, thoughts and prayers to Alison and the family.
Karla and Richard Roscoe, Hong Kong
Tribute to a friend.
Bill and I shared some of our early days of ministry on the same team. We were both young, energetic, devoted, passionate followers of Jesus, but Bill carried a very special Evangelistic breakthrough ministry. We have remained close friends, navigating the contours of life and ministry, high’s and lows, yet never losing the passion of ‘the call’ on our lives. We debated pretty well everything. We laughed a lot. Often we were quite reflective. Though sometimes living through hurts and challenges we never lost the sense of privilege loving and serving Jesus, His Church, His people.
Bill, a great man, husband, father, grandfather, church leader, blessing to the nations, and friend.
Chris and Lesley Bowater
Our hearts are very deeply broken, and touched hearing of the demise of Pr. William Prentice,
Last July, I had the privilege of ministering at Pr. William’s church, and also he drove me to different places while staying at his house.
Please send condolence message from our Philadelphia churches in india, in which Pr. William had ministered .
Yours in His Service
Indian Evangelical & Relief Society
To Alison, all your family and Life Church as a whole,
It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of William yesterday. He was a good man. His passion for the Kingdom and His love of Jesus was profound.
May God bring you comfort and the blessing of the hope to which we have all been called that we have been chosen from before all creation to be sons and daughters of God in Christ Jesus.
William is in glory, lost in wonder and praise at his and our most wonderful saviour.
LCF has been in prayer and will continue in prayer for you all.
(Pastor – LCF)
Message: Please convey our love, thoughts & prayers to Allison and all the family at this terribly sad time. Also we send our love to the wider church community. “I KNOW that my Redeemer lives and He will stand on the earth at last, and after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God. I will see Him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought.” Job 19 v -25-27. How true this is!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eddie & Sue Cruickshank
With such sadness we write to you at this difficult time, yet in our thoughts are the memories of our times together in the West End of Lincoln all those years ago. William was a man of vision, focussed on reaching people so they could know the God he loved. Not easily swayed by opinion he kept his vision clear and built that into his leadership of Life Church. We hold on to our memories with all they contain and pray that through this difficult time Alison and all the family will be comforted by the heritage he has left behind in you all. Prayers and much love from Penzance.
Nigel & Glyn Clark
The word over him was most definitely fulfilled, death has not taken him, Jesus has, the satanic suggestion has been crushed in prayer and through Gods timing he has earned his rest and leaders have most certainly been trained up. Thank you God for his life and bless him, amen.
William has moved on but will live in our hearts for a long time to come. The mantel has been passed on for a new leader to arise.
Moses my servant is dead now arise and take the land.
William over the years had a considerable impact on my own life especially in the early days of Nomad when he sometimes led the house group and more recent when a casual comment he made to me was the word from God for me at that time.
William has fought the fight, run the race and now has his prize. Till we meet again.
Dear friends in Christ.As Great friends for William Prentice and good partners in the Kingdom, we send our condolences and love for all church and family.
Tito Silva Senior Pastor of Reviver Church
Lisbon – Portugal