News from the Networks
East Kent network
Whitstable Baptist Church
Middle Wall, WHITSTABLE, CT5 1BJ
Minister: Revd Paul Wilson
News & Prayers:
- Welcome to Whitstable Baptist Church situated as we are on the North Kent Coast where we’ve been around for almost 150 years. We have a small but faithful congregation. We have strong links with the local ministries of “Churches Together in Whitstable”
- We have recently launched a new youth club “Gravi†8” and our “WallaBies” children’s club continues to flourish. Last Christmas we held our first Christmas dinner for those alone. We often hold events praying that the locals and passer-by’s will join us.
- We have just had a very informative Core Leaders’ Training Course led by Paul Kerley SEBA Regional Minister. In it we explored various relevant topics from the Spirituality of Leadership to Mission and Pastoral Care.
- Our prayer requests would be: 1) that our diaconate would work well together with renewed vision; 2) that the “Gravi†8” youth initiative would grow; and 3) that more families would join us.
- Our Mission Statement is “As followers of Jesus we seek to be a centre of Christian Worship, Fellowship and Service by nurturing our own Church family and reaching out with fellow Christians to the whole community.” That’s our ‘Mission Statement’ − sounds simple! However, we fully recognize that the only way to achieve it is through Gods good grace.
East Sussex network
Heathfield Union Church
High Street, HEATHFIELD, TN21 8LB
Ministers: Revd Tom Duncanson
- It is now 6 months since our new Minister Rev Tom Duncanson arrived following 6 ½ years as Chaplain at St Wilfrid’s Hospice Eastbourne. The service was very well attended by over 200 people including members from his previous churches, former colleagues and contacts from the hospice, and many friends of Union Church, so many that the service was held across the road in Kings Church, Heathfield with whom we have good relations.
- Following the strong and faithful leadership of the Deacons during the interregnum, Tom has now taken the reins and is leading us forward.
- We have experienced two informal Church meetings, (Tom calls them gatherings) on Saturday Mornings complete with Breakfast pastries and coffee, where the church as a family have been openly and positively contributing and prayerfully discussing church life. We look forward to more opportunities to discern together God’s leading and plans for our future.
- We have become a relatively small fellowship in recent years with few in younger years, however we are a faithful and prayerful fellowship and gifted with good facilities in the heart of the town.
- The Fortnightly Lunch Club, proves very popular with between 40 – 60 local folks attending.
- Our prayer is that whilst we don’t duplicate what others are doing, we develop our present opportunities and discern new ways of communicating and connecting with the community.
- At the end of March, changes will be taking place amongst the diaconate. Availability and people resources are limited, so we pray that the outcome will be good and God will equip appropriately.
- As we look to the future we have the familiar verse from Joshua 3:5 on our hearts. “Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do great things among you” Our hope and prayer is that we will be ready spiritually and resourcefully for what the Lord will lead us into.
Life Community Baptist Church
Church meets on a Sunday between 10.00 – 13.00:
at Business Enterprise Centre, The Forest School, Comptons Lane, Horsham, West Sussex. RH13 5NW
C/o 1 Meadow Close, Horsham, West Sussex. RH12 4JS
Minister: Revd Julie Shimizu
- As Life Community Baptist Church Horsham, we have a vision of Encountering God, Growing in Faith and Making a Difference.
- We have kicked off the new year with a new sermon series entitled “Freedom”, looking at Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, and then continuing a more in depth look in our Life Groups midweek. It has been good to be reminded of God’s grace and what Jesus did for us: ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery’ (Galatians 5:1). It is our prayer that there may be fresh revelation for us to live more fully in that freedom that Christ died to give us and to reach out into our community.
- We have been encouraged that the younger members of our congregation are taking the initiative and are more involved in the life of our church. At the start of this year they are leading a once a month fellowship meal after our Sunday Service. Anyone coming to our service is invited to attend as an opportunity to catch up or get to know people better.
- We have also been heartened at the start of this year to see several men in our church very involved in ‘Men’s Shed’, a community initiative with the local council, which seeks to engage and encourage men by involving them in practical projects.
- As a church, we are looking forward to May this year when we will be going to Ashburnham for a church weekend away where we can retreat to encounter God, soak up His presence and fall more deeply in love with Him.
- We are still longing for new younger leaders to join us and help take the church forward into the future. We would appreciate your prayers for this as we consider the way forward.
- We are also eager to see more families in the community, especially with children in the 10 years and teens age bracket to come along and join our church, we have a real need to boost our existing children’s groups in that age group.
- Please pray for us to recognise opportunities to share the Gospel Good News and be effective and fruitful witnesses
Mid Sussex Network
One Church Brighton
Sunday Service at: Florence Road Baptist Church, Florence Road, BRIGHTON, BN1 6DL
Other mid-week meetings at Florence Road & Gloucester Place Baptist Church
Gloucester Place, BRIGHTON, BN1 4AA
www.onechurchbrighton.org Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister: Pastor Dave Steell
- Our CHOMP project served over 200 meals during half term to children on free school meals and their families across our city. This project is expanding to a range of different venues working in partnership with various organisations and is having a really positive impact on the increasing issue of holiday hunger.
- Brighton is the coffee capital of the UK, yet there is a shortage of specialist workers in this sector. We run the pioneering project Pro Baristas which provides courses in barista skills to vulnerable young people who wouldn’t normally get this kind of opportunity. Our graduates go on to work in the best coffee houses in Sussex. We are well supported by a range of partners and are excited that we have a new financial backer who is enabling us to expand and develop our project.
- A number of people have recently joined our staff team including project workers focussing on our holiday lunch club and our work with older people and an Operations Manager to help develop the work and mission of the church. Please pray that they hear God’s guidance in their roles and are enabled to reach the most vulnerable in their work.
- Please pray for our project working to reduce isolation for older people in Brighton. Pray for our co-ordinator Tasha as she shapes the project, that volunteers come forward to expand the work in sheltered housing and that we will be able to reach the people with the most need.
- One Church works in partnership with other churches in Brighton to offer Night Shelter which provides a warm, safe space to sleep for 15 of the most vulnerable homeless people in Brighton alongside a hot meal and breakfast. Please pray for this project and the positive collaboration across the city it brings about. Please pray for the increasing issue of homelessness and that we will be empowered to further address this.
North Downs network
New Life Church (Woking)
High Street, WOKING, GU22 9BX
Minister: Revd Alan Nelson
- Our monthly Sunday evening youth-led service (run entirely by our 11-18 year olds, but open to all ages) includes Spirit-filled worship and Word. The last one was a ‘worship encounter’ and we were joined by another church group from Eastleigh. We gave the Holy Spirit space to move and He did! These services have become a highlight for both young and old alike and reflect the growing passion of our gifted young people to know more of the living presence of Jesus.
- Since January this year our Foodbank has delivered over 40 food parcels. We are currently averaging 6 deliveries a week and have had 10 new clients referred to us in this time period. Our Foodbank model means we are able to access the homes of clients and be sensitive to wider needs. We are grateful to God for the growing opportunities to provide practical help, but also to pray for the clients in their own homes. The developing relationships are both a joy and a challenge, but people are seeing the love of Jesus fleshed out for them.
- Our heart’s desire is for the renewal of passion and fire amongst the whole church community as we position ourselves for all that God has for us and the community we serve. We are looking for an increase of “heaven on earth”!
- Tom Garner, our youth pastor, is in the initial stages of planning a ‘Supernatural Youth Conference’ next year with dynamic speakers and vibrant worship. Please pray that this event is successful and that many youth encounter Jesus, resulting in a deeper and bolder expression of their walk with Him. For more details as they emerge, see http://supernaturalyouthconference.weebly.com/
- God has so faithfully met our financial needs as a church as we have stepped out in faith. But the journey continues! Please pray for increased provision as we seek to enlarge our church staff team with a Community Pastor, and for a Child & Families Worker.
North Kent network
Parkwood Christian Fellowship
Parkwood Green, RAINHAM, ME8 9PN
Minister: pastoral vacancy
News & Prayers:
- Parkwood Christian Fellowship is a Baptist Church in the middle of one of the largest housing estates in the UK. In 2018 we will celebrate our 50th anniversary and we will give praise and thanks to God for his blessings over so many years. We are currently in an interregnum and waiting for a new pastor. We said goodbye to Richard and Dianne Hayton about a year ago when God called them to Small Heath in Birmingham.
- Gods word to PCF at that time was that He was going to do a new thing and that is just what he has done. We have been blessed with a new freedom and we have seen our congregation grow as individuals have taken on new tasks and responsibilities.
- We are looking forward to welcoming a new pastor who God has ordained for us. This is turning out to be a lengthy process but as we wait God moves us on.
- Our 3.16 Coffee Shop which is housed in a shop within the local shopping centre acts as an amazing outreach and we have seen God blessing us and also the people who come into the Coffee Shop either on a regular basis or just a one off.
- God has been telling us to be bold and courageous so we are praying big prayers. We continue to pray for a new pastor and also for those who frequent the Coffee Shop. Please join with us in prayer for these items and also for God to continue to pour out his almighty blessing on PCF.
South Kent network
Romney Marsh Community Church
North Street, NEW ROMNEY, TN28 8DW
Minister: Pastor Nick Barratt
- In January this year we embarked upon a preaching programme of working our way through the book of Revelation and already this is proving to be a challenging series of sermons. Each week our discipleship groups spend time looking at the passage and seeking to discover how to apply what they have been learning.
- From September we are starting monthly Sunday evening gatherings for people who want to look at the Bible in more depth. We have several people in the church who have been doing a three year, part time theology course with Salt and Light UK and this is a way of cascading some of what they have learnt to the rest of the church.
- In partnership with the Apollos Trust and the other churches on Romney Marsh the advert has gone out and we are awaiting applications for the newly created post of Schools Christian Worker at the local secondary Academy. This is an exciting new venture that will place a Christian in the school to assist with pastoral needs, assemblies and some of the R.E. teaching.
- Our Friday evening our young people’s group have started a ‘just looking’ type course and ten youngsters came along to the first one. These take place every month.
- As the weather gets warmer we plan to resume our prayer walks on Wednesday mornings across the Romney Marsh Area.
- For more young adults and families to come to faith in Jesus Christ and become part of the church.
- For the right person to be appointed as the Schools Christian Worker.
- For our young people on the ‘just looking’ course to come to faith.
- For people to engage more deeply with God through their reading and studying the Bible.
- For the church to be mission minded in the communities in which we live.
West Kent network
Bessels Green Baptist Church
Bessels Green Road, BESSELS GREEN, TN13 2PS
Minister: Revd Charlie Ingram
News & Prayer:
- For nearly a year and a half we had been seeking a second minister to join Charlie Ingram, and in January we were delighted to appoint Andy Potter to the role. He and his family will be starting with us in May, so prayers for them and us would be appreciated at this time of transition.
- Something new for us is our undertaking a Lent Course for four weeks starting in March, with Stuart Murray Williams coming to lead us in thinking about Post-Christendom - a subject he's written extensively on and which he shared with us when he preached here last year. We're wanting to see what implications it has for us as we seek to build the Kingdom of God in the 21st century - please pray for us as we do so.
- Finally, it was great in February to have a service celebrating 10 years of Dunton Green Faithworks, which in the absence of an active church in the village has been the main source of community building and outreach there. Please pray for the next 10 years, as new people and new potential opportunities are always emerging!
West Sussex network
Opengate (Bognor Regis Baptist Church)
73 Victoria Drive, BOGNOR REGIS, PO21 2TD
Minister: Pastor Jamie Fredricks
- Graham Banks, our senior minister, left Opengate in October last year to accept a call to Queen’s Road Coventry Baptist Church. Jamie Fredricks, our Minister in Training, will become our full time pastor when he finishes at Spurgeon’s College in June this year.
- Last August the foundations were dug for an extension to the church which will provide:
• 2 new large meeting rooms each able to seat 50 people
• A lobby area providing a welcome space and access to the main rooms in the building
• 2 additional children’s toilets
• 1 new disabled toilet (At present our toilet facilities can only be accessed by walking through one of the meeting rooms which compromises the use of space.)
- Like many church buildings, our church has been added to over the years resulting in a building that often works against us rather than for us. The improvements to the building will both allow for meetings that don’t consistently share space with other meetings and provide additional facilities that will enable us to expand our activities and develop a unique profile within the community. The additional facilities will accommodate our current activities more conveniently and expand our range of courses to support parents and children. The plans significantly improve the way we care for children. Separating visitors and pedestrian traffic away from small group activities is better. Using glass panels and clear sight-lines will help and reassure group leaders.
- For Jamie as he finishes his degree and prepares to be ordained and inducted as our pastor.
- Thank God for his financial provision for the building and for our flexible builder. When we started building we did not have funds to complete the project. As the design has evolved the cost has increased, however, we have seen a provision of funds over the last 6 months with just a small shortfall for the final payment which will be due in April. Pray for continued provision so that we can meet this.
- For our wisdom as we seek to expand the church staffing team.