News from the Networks
East Kent network
Strode Crescent Baptist Church
Strode Crescent, SHEERNESS, ME12 2NU
Minister: Revd Clare van den Berg
Hello there, folks of SEBA!
We at Strode want to give thanks for some encouraging small signs we have seen as an opportunity to develop our work.
The young Mums from Nappichinos are a great bunch and a few of them are really open to developing closer links with the church. They are coming along to the Family Fun Nights we have re-started and have also attended a couple of Sunday morning events we have run. On the Sunday following the heavy snow we cancelled our morning service and opened the church for coffee and bacon rolls instead. We messaged the mums of Nappichinos as well, set up the hall with toys and games and several turned up to join us, grateful for an opportunity to get out of the house! The Sunday following was Mother’s Day, and, having been along to the play morning, they were up for coming to the Craft Morning we ran in celebration of the day. Whilst the attending mums had a good time, the regular Sunday morning congregation was surprisingly blessed by the event and went home buzzing and wanting more!!
Resulting from this, we are exploring the possibilities of setting up a twice-monthly Sunday Club, running from 9:30-10:30. We have 2 people who would each be willing to run a Sunday, and are now looking for suitable helpers.
In addition to this it also looks like we will be able to re-start a discipleship group for the people in our community who a want to learn more and walk closer with Jesus.
We are excited by the extensive repair work that is being done at our church house to bring it up to a good standard. We hope that by May we will be able to put it on the market to let at a good going rate. As a church where so many are unemployed, this is a vital part of our church income.
Please praise with us as we give thanks to God for:
- The opening for us with people with weight issues (the local Weight Loss Support Group, which used to be run by NHS has had its funding cut, and, as a service user, I (Clare) was asked if the church could offer any support!! We’re going to test the water and see - God certainly has a sense of humour!!!
- the little buds of hope and encouragement we can see and for the excitement we feel regarding the expansion of our work amongst the young families.
Please pray for:
- The young Mums who are starting to show a curiosity about the faith we hold, and who are talking about how much they feel Strode is their “second home” and their safe space. We want to ensure that whilst we a place of love and care, we are also a people who are not shy of talking about Jesus in a natural and non-cheesy way.
- The new work we hope to start on Sunday mornings: that we hit the right approach and are obedient to what God is calling us to do.
- That we have the finances to pay the builders working on the house
Thanks so much for your prayer support and your partnership with us through home Mission. It’s so good to know we are part of a team far larger than ourselves!!! Revd Clare van den Berg
East Sussex network
Welcome Baptist Church
Alexandra Road, HEATHFIELD, TN21 8EQ
Minister: Revd Andrew Caldwell
- We launched Messy Church 1st October 2017, with approximately 40 families attending, this has been running each month now for 6 months. There has been fantastic responses and a great team which has enabled this outreach to happen in our community.
- We also launched a Youth Service time of worship, sharing and listening to God speak through the young people. This is re-named as” Refresh” and meets once a month.
- We have opened an additional Toddler Group meeting on a Friday each week, this was due to a growing group meeting each Wednesday.
Prayers please for:
- The ongoing work with 40 families that attend Messy Church, we pray that God will really speak to people as they learn, have fun and talk about the themes and subjects each month at Messy Church.
- A mission we are involved with “The Turning” in June with subsequent prayer meetings running up to the event, sharing the gospel in our community of Heathfield, alongside other towns in East Sussex.
Brighton Road Baptist Church
Brighton Road, HORSHAM, RH13 5BD
Minister: Revd Dr Tim Carter
We are currently looking to refresh our vision for the coming months and are considering what sort of church we are called to be, how we can make our current activities more effective and what new roles we will need to help us realise that vision. It is both exciting and daunting as we seek to hear God’s voice and discern what He wants from us.
We have a number of activities, particularly with children and older people that are successful in supporting those from around our town, but would love to have greater contact with our immediate community, to see relationships develop and people moving on in their journey of faith. Recent Alpha Courses have played a part in helping us to do this and we would like to build on the work that has already started.
Please pray that we would:
- be able to nurture a welcoming environment that helps create the sense of family and belonging and that enables meaningful relationships to be developed so that everyone that is part of the church moves on in their faith
- find the right people to join us, to help us to be more effective in reaching out to our local community
- be able to move forward together - that all of us would agree with one another in what we say and that there will be no divisions among us, but that we are perfectly united in mind and thought
Mid Sussex Network
Gateway Baptist Church
Station Road, BURGESS HILL, RH15 9EQ
Minister: Revd Paul Jackson
- We have just hosted out first Christianity Explored Course for 2018, at which six ‘enquirers’ attended. Now, our Easter Egg Hunt will see around 130 children and 100 adults attending. We are hoping to have further enquiries for another Christianity Explored Course from this event.
- Currently we run a pre-school nursery, a mums & toddlers group, host holiday ‘Activate’ craft afternoons for children. All these, plus our special events at Easter and Christmas means that we are in touch with around 200 children and their connected families. Our dilemma is that we are still trying to find effective way to see all this work change into Kingdom fruit.
- It looks like finally that we may have breakthrough in terms of rebuilding our church premises. Architects are now engaged with coming up with final drawings.
- For the past five months we have been blessed with and amazing season of God’s favour as God has poured out miracles of blessing and provision upon us. What all this will lead to – God alone knows!
- Please pray for the Christianity Explored courses that we hope and pray will in due course pepper our timetable this year.
- Please pray for our exciting and burgeoning children’s work; that we may be fruitful harvesters for God’s Kingdom.
- Please pray for our building programme which we hope we will be able to undertake the end of this year /or beginning of 2019.
- Our pastor Paul Jackson has been here for nearly nineteen years, but some time in the next twelve months he is due to retire. God alone knows the timing on this. Please pray for Paul as he and his wife Sara prepare to leave, and for the church family as they in due course begin the process of seeking God for the next pastor at GBC.
North Downs network
Farnham Baptist Church
The Hart, FARNHAM, GU9 7HA
Senior Minister: Revd Graham Culver
- We are grateful to God that we were able to warmly welcome our new Senior Minister, Graham Culver to the church in October. The Induction was conducted by Jerry Newson SEBA (Part-time) Regional Minister.
- We also give thanks that Planning Permission has recently been granted to develop and improve the kitchen meeting rooms and office facilities.
- Our Assistant Minister and leader of our church plant, Grace Church, leaves in March to begin a new ministry in Birmingham.
- Do pray for us as we begin the search for an addition to the ministerial staff and also as we consider the need to recruit for a new administrative role.
- As we go forward with the building plans, please pray that there will be a clear decision both to proceed and to give generously to meet the costs.
- Please pray for preparations for our annual Holiday Bible Club (28th Aug – 2nd Sep); that God’s Word will be presented effectively to the children and that there will be good contact and conversations with parents.
North Kent network
Parkwood Christian Fellowship
Parkwood Green, RAINHAM, ME8 9PN
Elder: Alan Eldridge
- On Sunday 18 March 2018 Parkwood Christian Fellowship celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The Church was formed and officially launched on 19 March 1968 with eighteen founding members one of whom attended the 50th celebrations.
- Members and guests gathered to give thanks to God and celebrate fifty years of continuous praise, worship and outreach. The service incorporated songs from years gone by, a resume of past years, communion and a sermon partly remembering those who had made a special impact on the church. The service was followed by a full carvery lunch and much looking back over the years.
- We now set out upon our next fifty years.
- Please pray for PCF as we continue to search for a new Minister and continue to reach out to our local community both from the church and our "3.16 Coffee Shop."
South Kent network
Hawkhurst Baptist Church
Cranbrook Road, HAWKHURST, TN18 4AU
- Our prayer group have recently held a day of prayer for the nation. This is the second time they have done this in the last year. Though we are a small fellowship we feel prayer is so important and therefore are encouraged by those that join us on these days of prayer.
- During Lent we have joined with the other churches in our community to hold Lent lunches each week as a form of outreach and donations from these are going to the charity that supports the day centre that is hosted in our hall.
This has been an opportunity for churches to work together and serve the community.
- We are in the process of launching a new form of outreach for us. Starting at a Easter we are asking all our fellowship to take some Meet HBC cards, these have a picture on one side and Meet HBC, the other side are details of our services, clubs etc. We hope that these will open up conversations with folk outside the church and allow us to build new relationships in the community.
- We are 2 years into a pastoral vacancy, please pray that the Lord will guide us in our search for a new pastor. That he will encourage our members during this time and give wisdom and discernment to the deacons as they lead this process.
- Please pray that the Holy Spirit will encourage our fellowship as they continue to seek to do God’s work in this place. As a small church pray that they continue to show each other the encouragement and support they need.
- Pray that the Lord will continue to Bless the Outreach cards and that fruit will come from this.
West Kent network
Bessels Green Baptist Church
Bessels Green Road, BESSELS GREEN, TN13 2PS
Ministers: Revd Charlie Ingram & Revd Andy Potter
Highlights from recent months include:
- the first church weekend away in several years
- starting 2018 with a week of prayer
- agreeing a newly reworded Statement of Faith
- some people from the church being involved in putting on the Bountiful Women’s Conference in Sevenoaks
- holding two board games days (see photos), which a number of people from outside the church have attended.
Points for prayer:
- at our AGM in April we’ll be seeking to appoint a new secretary plus four deacons
- we’re looking to develop our evangelism team and reach out more effectively
- we have a deficit budget this year – the gap is closing, but there’s a way to go.
West Sussex network
Pulborough Brooks Baptist Church
meeting at: Pulborough Village Hall, Swan View, Lower Street, PULBOROUGH, RH20 2BF
Minister: Revd Dr David Howling
- Pulborough Brooks Baptist Church continues to praise God for his goodness. The ethos at PBBC is to be an outward looking church that seeks to play its part in building God’s kingdom in Pulborough. We are motivated by our call to show the love of Jesus to our friends and neighbours through our actions as well as words. Central to this objective is our parent and toddler group (called Jelly Beans), which we run not only for the benefit of the young families that have joined the church, but also as a means of being a blessing to our community. We try to maintain a high visible presence in the life of the village by selling bread at the monthly Village Market. This provides us with a great opportunity to meet the people in our village and we always try to provide something special that we can give to our customers for free. The church fellowship is excited about the future prospects of PBBC as we feel that the Spirit of God stirring the heart of our community.
- That we might not only grow spiritually but also numerically and that we might bear much fruit for the gospel.
- That we would know God’s will and guidance as we plan outreach activities throughout the year.
- That we will make a positive impact in our community and see people brought to faith in Jesus.