News from the Networks
East Kent network
Queens Road Baptist Church
Queens Road, BROADSTAIRS, CT10 1NU
Ministers: Revd Stephen Cave & Revd Samuel Hearle
Partnering together in the Gospel – Queens Road Baptist Church and St Peter’s Baptist Church, Broadstairs
Sunday 8th January 2017 was a day of celebration as Queens Road Baptist Church and St Peter’s Baptist Church sealed their partnership together in the mission of kingdom. Over the recent past the two churches had talked, prayed and planned for a partnering together and under God’s grace what has emerged is so exciting for both the churches. Rhodri Walters, one of the Ministers at QRBC, together with his family and a team of six have been released from QRBC to work alongside the existing and faithful congregation based at SPBC. Rhodri has taken on the role of Minister at the church and was inducted by Paul Kerley at a service attended by members of the churches in St Peter’s together with people from QRBC. Earlier in the day at Breakfast church and a morning service at QRBC the team had been prayed over and released into this new and exciting adventure. For the church at QRBC this may well prove not just to be an exciting diversion but a future direction as other areas are considered for future plants or partnerships.
East Sussex network
Eastgate Baptist Church
Eastgate Street, LEWES, BN7 2LR
Minister: pastoral vacancy
- We had a very happy baby dedication service on 18 December for Paul Emmanuel the son of Daisy and Robert who worship with us. The church was full of friends and relatives, many of whom had travelled all the way from Australia to be there with the family. Paul was very well behaved throughout the service, and even enjoyed being taken around the church to meet all the members of the congregation. They will certainly remember him, but I am not sure he will remember all of them! After the service everyone enjoyed delicious cakes in the church hall, with more time to meet the family.
- We continue to have a monthly messy church, held on Sunday afternoons and followed by tea. Everyone enjoys doing the crafts which often involves quite complicated woodwork assembly! We are very grateful to all those who help at these events and see it as outreach to our local community. A good proportion of the families attending do not go to any other church so we are trying to build up good relationships with them. In total we have 40/50 people attending each time.
- We have not had a minister here since last summer and so would value prayers to help us in making the next big decisions for our church. The deacons have also had more work to do because of this and as many of them have full time jobs this can be quite onerous.
- Our young people’s work has struggled over the last years. We lost many of our young people when they left to go to university and unfortunately we have not had new youngsters into the church to replace them. Our junior church on Sunday morning is down to one class of a few mixed age children and even these are not regular attenders. This can be very frustrating for those dedicated members who organise it every week. We would ask for prayers for more families to start worshipping with us and help us to grow this area of work.
- Our Saturday morning coffee shop is well attended by our stalwart group of regulars who enjoy coming into the hall to share a coffee and lengthy chat with their friends. We see this as a real service to our local community, reaching mainly retired folk. We rely on church members providing home-made cakes and taking turns to serve on a Saturday morning. Although we have not had many people make the decision to come on a Sunday as well, we do value the time we can spend just being a friendly face and someone to chat to. We would ask for prayers that this work can continue as we are finding it harder to get volunteers for it due to the increasing age of our congregation.
Trafalgar Road Baptist Church
Trafalgar Road, HORSHAM, RH12 2QL
Minister: Revd Brian White
- We have held a variety of different events over the year from magicians and comedians to our Art + Craft Fair weekend in October and to the Tea at the Ritz, celebrating the Queens 90th birthday. These events have been great opportunities to invite those around us and get to know them in different ways and to open our doors to our neighbours. Before the tea at the Ritz event we visited 500+ homes with invitations and copies of the book “Our Servant Queen: and the King she serves.” Only 3 homes refused a copy.
- We continue to be involved with the work with the other churches in Horsham including the Horsham Churches Night Shelter. TRBC hosts the Night Shelter on Wednesdays from November to March, offering the homeless of the area, somewhere warm to sleep, a hot shower and hot food.
- We also joined in with the HCT (Horsham Churches Together) Christmas event in our town centre, giving opportunities for united outreach, proclaiming Jesus together.
- We have had our first baptism for two years this last autumn and are praying for more this year.
- Please pray for our leadership team. Last year saw the number of leaders reduce from 8 to 5 and while we know that this is part of God’s plan for TRBC at this time there is a sense of increased workload for the 5 remaining. We have also made changes to how we work in an attempt to separate governance from spiritual oversight.
- Pray for our children and young people. Two of our core team have recently stepped down and the rest of the team are having to adapt to a new way of working. Please pray as we work this out.
- We are also planning a Messy Church pilot on Good Friday. Pray that we will have all the necessary volunteers to run it and that people will come on the day.
Mid Sussex Network
Gateway Baptist Church
Station Road, BURGESS HILL, RH15 9EQ
Minister: Revd Paul Jackson
News & Prayer:
- The busyness of Christmas is now behind us, but we are giving thanks to God for the many opportunities He gave to us to reach out with the message of Christmas. Our various home groups, plus other ministries in the church meant that we managed to reach nearly 600 people who do not normally come through the doors of Gateway Baptist Church. But the work is only just beginning and we would appreciate prayers for wisdom as we now consider how best to follow up these many contacts.
- Going forward, our next big event will be our families Easter Egg hunt. This is usually over- subscribed, and we fully expect to be dealing with close to 150 children this year and well over one hundred adults. As ever, we wish to reach all; these families constructively, and fruitfully with Gospel of Jesus Christ. We would value your prayers as we begin planning this event very shortly.
- As some of you will know, rebuilding a church property is not an easy thing to do! Here at GBC we have been seeking the best way to go about this for a few years now. But circumstances outside of our control have delayed the project on number of occasions. God’s timing is perfect and we would ask for your prayers as we continue to consider ways on how to move this project forward in the months ahead.
North Downs network
Chiddingfold Baptist Church
Woodside Road, CHIDDINGFOLD, GU8 4RW
Minister: pastoral vacancy
- We are a small village church in the process of looking for a new minister but we have a vision for the future. The building is also small and not really suitable to enable us to fulfil our vision. In 2016 we made an offer to purchase the ex-Servicemen’s club where we had been holding our Sunday morning services. This building, which is only 3 years old, became available when the club ceased trading. Unfortunately the property has been sold to a property developer but we have faith that God’s Will will prevail.
- We work closely with the other churches in the village with a view to spreading God’s Word. One way in which this is done is by means of Messy Church which has been well supported and attended. In addition we will be holding a joint service in our church for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on 22nd January when we have been fortunate to secure Ishmael as our speaker.
- The Sunday Lunch held monthly for the elderly, those alone and those new to the village continue to be well supported. The numbers able to attend is limited due to our lack of space and facilities
- We pray that our search for a new minister will come to a successful conclusion and that he/she will be God’s instrument in spreading His Word in the village and in helping us to fulfil our vision.
- We pray that we will be able to reach out to those living here and to see an increase in those attending. This can only be achieved by the Power of the Holy Spirit and we ask that God will fill us anew so that we may achieve His Plan.
- Messy Church has been a key feature of our mission. We pray that, with the other churches, this will continue to be successful and that many children will come to know God’s message.
North Kent network
Strood Evangelical Church
17 Darnley Road, STROOD, ME2 2EU
Minister: pastoral vacancy
News & Prayers:
- At Strood Evangelical Church we have had many positive developments over the past few months. Although some of our members have moved on to fresh pastures we have seen an influx of new people, new families and a new leadership team. The new team have accessed and benefitted from the training and support of SEBA -a link which had not previously been effectively established.
- Fresh ideas have brought a new energy to the church and in the summer a "vision board" was put in the church and young and old alike wrote and drew their visions and ideas. These were then collated and prayed over by the leadership team and the overall vision was that of the church being a tool for the Lord to use to serve the needy local community, which includes refugees and young unaccompanied asylum seeking children. The vision is to meet their spiritual and practical needs. This has led to architects discussing plans to progress this vision.
- We would very much appreciate prayer for wisdom and finance to see this vision to fruition. The church building has no hot running water, no central heating and although structurally sound needs much renovation and an extension.
- Despite the practical difficulties the church has seen growth in many areas. New talents are being discovered and used. There is a strong word-based faith to bring the church into relevance for the current generation. This has resulted in the purchase of a projector, computer and PA system. Small improvements to the building have been made too.
- In December the church held a well-attended community carol service with a nativity play. This was a special highlight as it was the first time for over fifteen years that there were several regularly attending young people which enabled this to take place.
At this service the three ladies who had determinedly kept the church open for several years when they were the only attendees were recognised for their faith with a gift of flowers.
- We are looking forward to seeing the Lord progress His work through the church and appreciate all prayer to see this achieved.
South Kent network
News from Across the Network
from Folkestone Baptist Church; Hawkinge Baptist Church; South Ashford Baptist Church; Zion Baptist Church, Tenderden
- Folkestone BC: they have just started a discipleship course, for new Christians; and are preparing to baptise 3 people. They are working on a plan to develop business ideas with young adults (helping them to start their own business and do outreach at the same time – hopefully with funding from the EU – this is part of their 7 year vision.
- Hawkinge BC: their minister, Ali Boddington, has recently had a large cancerous tumour removed from her thigh; recovery and tests are still ongoing whilst they monitor how successful the operation has been and if any further treatment is required.
- South Ashford BC: has started a Parent & Toddler group on a Friday, which has been a success so far. Church attendance is increasing, including more children; they’ve recently celebrated a baptism and a renewal of wedding vows.
- Zion BC: they are running 3 Alpha groups (daytime – predominantly parents; evening – adults of all ages; youth – with up to 1 young people attending weekly). The church has started a new toddler group ‘Rainbow Tots’, after an absence of anything like it for over 3 years; they have also launched a ‘Sanctuary Café’ on a Tuesday and Thursday lunchtime in the Church providing a resource for Rainbow Tots parents, Daytime Alpha attenders and the Fareshare Programme Families as well as the public.
- Folkestone BC: please pray for them as they restructure their leadership team (currently there are 18 people on to the team, which they feel it too many); also pray for the church Lunch Club, currently with 40 people regularly attending, that they can sustain the numbers.
- Hawkinge BC: please pray for Ali, facing the impact of the cancer and the future; and for the church as they support her through this testing time.
- South Ashford BC: please pray for spiritual and numerical growth for the church; for future ministry of the church, beyond June 2018 (when their Minister in Training completes his contract).
- Zion BC: their church weekend away is at the end of March, it’s the first time the church has been away for over 15 years; please pray for a time of blessing for all. They have baptismal services on 5th February and Easter Sunday, please pray for those being baptised.
West Kent network
Paddock Wood Baptist Church
Church meets at: Paddock Wood Primary School, Old Kent Road, PADDOCK WOOD, TN12 6JE
Ministry team, led by Richard Spicer, Steve Collingwood & Duncan Pierce
- Paddock Wood Baptist Church is a small congregation, living the Christian life in our family setting. We meet in the local primary school and run our meetings in a very informal way. At our Christmas Family Service we asked people to take a small part of the Christmas story and interpret it using readings, songs, activities, crafts. This was an amazing morning. People were very creative and it was great to worship God in this way.
- We find that those who visit us are often blessed and refreshed. Although we have not been growing in numbers, there is a maturity and flexibility in the church. Last year we blessed another Baptist Church who were in interregnum. We took the whole church there and one of the leaders preached and another led worship
- We’re needing to hear God’s voice on the way forward for the congregation in 2017. Do pray for the leaders especially regarding this.
- Please pray that we find effective ways to reach our community without getting burnt out.
- Paddock Wood will be having up to 1000 new houses built in the area over the next few years. Please pray for mature Christians and new believers to join us and that many will come to faith.
West Sussex network
Nothing this month!