News from the Networks
East Kent network
Margate Baptist Church
4 Cecil Square, MARGATE, CT9 1BD
Minister: Revd Stephen Biddall
Photo: of Number 5 Cecil Square, next to our church, which we plan to develop into a Community Hub for various outreach and community projects
- We have agreed to move forward with a project to develop the currently empty listed building next door to our church into a “Community Hub”, with a cafe space and other facilities to benefit our very needy town – one of the most deprived in the south-east. This is going to cost around £40,000 for the first phase, and we are currently looking at ways of raising the necessary capital, in the hope that work on the building can begin in the near future.
- God is at work in our fellowship in a number of exciting ways. We have welcomed several new families recently, and we have three baptisms planned in the near future. Our youth and children's work continues to thrive, with up to 70 attending Boys' and Girls' Brigade on a Friday evening, and a busy and very active parent and toddler group. We have also welcomed three new trustees onto our church leadership team, which is an answer to prayer.
- Please pray for our Community Hub Project at Number 5 Cecil Square, and for God's provision in the financial and human resources we will need to realise our vision.
- Please pray for our youth and children's leaders, who do a remarkable job. Some of the children in our care can be quite challenging, so your prayers for energy, patience, wisdom and love would be much appreciated.
- Please pray for our minister, Stephen, and our church leadership team, as they work to guide and inspire the church at a time of challenge, change and opportunity.
East Sussex network
Ringmer Baptist Church
Church meets at: Ringmer Village Hall, Lewes Road, RINGMER, BN8 5QH
Elder: Neil Thornicroft
Ringmer Baptist Church is situated right in the heart of the village of Ringmer in East Sussex. We hold regular morning and evening Sunday Services in the main hall of Ringmer Village Hall. Our evening services include a mission and praise style service - which includes a talk from a charity representative – and a discipleship DVD teaching series. Each month we run two worship services in two of the Residential Homes in Ringmer. These are usually well-attended. We hold a Messy Church event every quarter. Since 2014 our Food Bank operation has been open every week bringing physical support to some needy families. We strive to be a warm and welcoming fellowship open to all who either love the Lord Jesus as their Saviour or who are seeking to find answers in a world that offers few. The aim of the church is simple: ‘To glorify God by upholding the authority of Scripture, caring for one another and by serving and witnessing Christ within our community.
It is within this context that we received a vision from God in March this year to engage with the support group trying to set up a part-time community run Library. Attempts to persuade East Sussex County Council to reverse their decision to close the Ringmer Library (effective in May) had failed so efforts then turned to starting a new volunteer led enterprise. The library is located in a purpose built extension to Ringmer Village Hall and the leadership and members felt the call to grasp the opportunity to raise our profile in the community. Our offer to fund the rent and utilities was welcomed and appreciated by the library support group, enabling them to re-open in June. The reality is that we now have a new resource to be used by the church during those times that the library doesn’t open. We aim to start, amongst other things, a drop-in coffee morning; operate a church office; and run the food bank from there. We are excited where God may lead us in its use.
Please pray for:
- That God might enable us to operate our Food Bank differently relying more heavily on food donations and emergency support.
- That we would know God’s Will and guiding as we look to furnish and equip the library resource and discern how best we are to use it.
- That God will convict and raise people up to serve.
Trafalgar Road Baptist Church
Trafalgar Road, HORSHAM, RH12 2QL
Minister: Revd Brian White
- In December 2017 we held our first Messy Church. With having no idea how many would arrive, if any, we were thrilled when over 50 adults and children came to the event. Our second, in May 2018, was looking at Jesus being the Good Shepherd, with a similar number of adult and children coming. But we had even more sheep around the room than people! We look forward to 2 more events booked in for the year, and a wonderful opportunity to connect with our community and tell them the Good News about Jesus.
- We continue to hire out our buildings to more and more groups over the year. This is a great way for the community to know that we are here, and advertise many of the events that we hold over the year. We continued to look for more ways we can connect with those who use our building. One of our successful events we had was our annual Plant and Cake sale, which raised over £500 for the Leprosy Mission, in memory of one of our church members, who passed away last year.
- Please pray for our leadership team. We now have 6 leaders on the team and are currently looking at the Big Picture and Vision for the church. Please pray that they can hear clearly what God’s vision is for the church and how, when appropriate, to communicate this to the church members.
- Pray for our children and young people. We don’t have as many families in the church as we have done before. Please pray for those who work with the children that we do have, that they will be able to do something fun whilst learning about God with such few in number.
- Pray for our youth group, as most of them become too old to join and we work out something for them to do come September so we don’t lose them.
Mid Sussex Network
Haywards Heath Baptist Church
Sussex Road, HAYWARDS HEATH, RH16 4DZ
Minister: Revd Chris Norden
Minister in Training: Steff Wright
- We are just over half-way through our rebuilding project - we totally demolished our old building (a former Methodist chapel) last Autumn, and hope to be able to welcome people into our new one by Christmas 2018 (see picture above and more details here https://www.hhbchurch.org.uk/rebuild)
- Steff Wright has recently joined us as a minister in training, in partnership with Spurgeon’s College, and is helping us especially in our outreach work in the local community
- For God’s continued provision for us in every way, including unity and energy, as we plan how best to use our new building for his glory
- For protection and healing in the church family, particularly as we have several members with serious cancer diagnoses
- That we will be outward-focused during this time of busy-ness and change within the church
North Downs network
Guildford Baptist Church
Millmead, GUILDFORD, GU2 4BE
Ministers: Revd Ian Stackhouse
Revd Timothy Judson (Assistant)
- On Sunday 17th June, we dedicated the morning to what we were calling #LoveGuildford – an opportunity to celebrate local mission in Guildford. The morning service included short films, testimonies and worship, followed by a mini-festival on the front drive with music, refreshments and stalls (see the photo above).
- We have just recently started Phase 4A of our building redevelopment project, which sees work done to the lantern and external cladding. The final phases of the building project will see the entire ground floor redeveloped, including an extension down the front drive. You can also see on the photo above how the building will look when it is completed. We’re very excited that we’re entering the final stages of the building project and the fresh energy that brings with it.
- Please pray for the ongoing building redevelopment project; please pray for our Project Team as they discuss the final stages of the project and all the logistics that come with that.
- For three days in the summer (31st July, 1st and 2nd August), we are hosting an outreach event for the over 60s called Holiday at Home, with a 1950s seaside holiday theme. Two of the days will be at Millmead, with activities, a thought for the day and a hot lunch and refreshments served in the beach café; on the third day, there will be an outing to Portsmouth Harbour. Please pray for the team as they prepare and organise the event; please pray for everyone who will be coming to the event, particularly those don’t normally come to church.
- Please pray for our children and young people and the many exciting camps and activities over the summer break (Untamed, Soul Survivor and Dynamic); please pray that they would encounter God in a deeper and inspiring way.
North Kent network
Frindsbury Baptist Church
Cooling Road, STROOD, ME2 4RG
Minister: Revd Barry Dobell
The ‘circle of friends’, which is apparently what the Saxon word Frindsbury means, continue to meet on the hill.
Our Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade companies are both doing well, although I suspect that the officers are looking forward to the summer break. The Boys recently had a camp away which was very successful learning how to walk on kayaks, sounds a bit odd to me, and making fires, all good bloke stuff. And the weather was very kind to them.
Our Pre-School has just had an OFSTED inspection and was given the grading of ‘Good’, which is the maximum we can be awarded for a split purpose premises with limited hours. We are usually in the position of being too full with a waiting list and are now seeing the third generation of children from the same families in some cases – so we must be doing something right.
We are planning to run a ‘Holiday at Home’ club again this August where we welcome in all ages for some quizzes, indoor games, a light lunch and cream teas. It may not be as active as some other clubs, but even the younger folk seem to enjoy quoits, indoor putting and puzzles as a change from the endless round of social media and computer games.
So, things to pray for:
- Please pray for the ongoing work of the church, especially through the Brigades as we reach out to young members of the local community who are generally ‘non-church’
- Please pray for the work of the ‘Aunties’ who do such a great job with the families and children in the Pre-School at the church.
- Please pray for the congregation, especially those who are getting involved in the ‘Holiday at Home’ club this summer as we are none of us getting any younger.
Have a great and safe summer one and all, be blessed and don’t get (sun)burned. B
South Kent network
Romney Marsh Community Church
The Centre, North Street, NEW ROMNEY, TN28 8DW
Minister: Pastor Nick Barratt
We give thanks to God for:
- Regular attendees at both the adult and youth Alpha courses that have been run this year.
- A wonderful church weekend at Ashburnham Place where we received inspirational teaching on being a missional church from the principle and his wife of the King’s School of Theology.
- For the many contacts and Kingdom conversations people are having in the community.
- For some growth in our Sunday congregation.
We ask for prayer for:
- That contacts and friendships move forward in seeking to know more about being a follower of Jesus.
- That we will see more younger families coming to faith and being part of the church.
- For a new venture with the local academy who are going to set up a special unit for educating young people who struggle with being in a mainstream school. This will be located in our building.
West Kent network
Pembury Baptist Church
Romford Road, PEMBURY, TN2 4HT
Minister: Revd Dan Foster - from this month
At PBC, we firmly believe that the church consists of the people, not the buildings and that our mission field is as much in the workplace or at the school gates as it is in our church-based activities; at the heart of our vision is the community that surrounds Pembury Baptist Church.
We run a range of well-established community ministries, including our popular Tuesday Club for older folks where we serve 35-40 lunches every week and Little Rascals, providing sessions twice a week for young children and their carers. We hold a monthly Saturday ‘Kingdom Café’ where people can come to chat and socialise over free coffee and piece of cake or enjoy some soup and a roll. Another ministry, Apples of Gold, takes themed craft activities and God's word into local residential flats and homes, particularly focussed on providing accessible worship for the elderly, those with learning difficulties, dementia or disabled residents. Pembury Messy Church takes place on one Saturday every month, run jointly with St Peters Pembury Church of England, providing an opportunity for all the family to engage in themed activities, lunch and enjoy a short interactive teaching session.
Although we already have a diverse range of well-established community ministries, we believe there is potential to expand this work further under the leadership of the new Pastor, Revd Dan Foster who begins his pastorate on Sunday 1st July. We look forward to his induction service on Saturday 14th July at 2pm.
- Pray for the people of PBC as we continue the reach out to the neighbourhood.
- Pray for the communities which we are seeking to reach with the love of Jesus.
- Pray for Revd Dan Foster and his family as they begin their new life here in Pembury.
West Sussex network
Findon Valley Free Church (Baptist)
1/11 Lime Tree Avenue, Findon Valley, WORTHING, BN14 0DJ
Minister: Revd Andy Gilbert
News & Prayer:
Findon Valley Free Church has been most grateful for the prayers of SEBA friends for both the church and our minister Revd Andy Gilbert individually, following Andy’s Cancer diagnosis and treatment in the autumn and winter of 2017. God has healed him miraculously and we give Him all the praise and glory.
We have appointed a Part time youth Worker and are presently working towards restarting youth work here in the Valley for 11-18 year olds in September. This builds on our ministry to younger age groups through our weekly toddler group and monthly Messy Church. We would value your prayers for this new initiative as we continue to prayerfully plan the programme for the autumn.
We continue to seek to build relationships with those who only attend our weekday activities which include a lunch club and coffee shop. That through our friendships we will be able to both offer support and introduce people to Jesus so they can make up their own minds about Him.
We have introduced monthly all age services which are held in a café style environment and seek to present the gospel in a new way to our current generation. We are delighted that families from our weekly activities have begun to attend this and we pray this will grow.
We give thanks for those who God is bringing into our community as a sign that God is building his church in Findon Valley. We pray that 2018 might be a fruitful year as we explore how God is leading us as His body to use the resources and gifts He has given us to partner with Him in extending His kingdom.