Enabling mission and Christian living
Since our last update 18 months ago, we have had the privilege of baptising seven people and welcoming them into membership. They make a significant contribution to the church with their varied gifts and talents and we are very blessed. We have also said farewell to some key members recently which we have felt keenly as a small church.
This coming September, we will be holding our third Messy Church. Not only have they been well attended by people who do not normally attend church, many new people have joined the Messy Church leadership team which is an exciting development.
We are blessed to have Sue Lutman who is Minister-In-Training at MRBC as well as training as a Prison Chaplain at HMP Swaleside. Among her many roles, she has led several successful Sycamore Tree Programmes which focus on restorative justice.
We continue to seek ways to serve the community. We regularly contribute to the local FoodBank and have hosted two excellent CAP courses. Despite the attendance being low, we are aware of the need within the local community and are seeking ways to publicise them. We also host weekly AA meetings and are committed to praying for this group and are seeing God at work. Sadly, the leader of our vibrant Parent and Toddler Group passed away after thirty years of service and the group is keenly feeling her loss.
On the 11th of January 1948, Sidley Baptist Church was born, as 16 members of from Beulah Baptist Church covenanted together at a public service declaring:
"We do solemnly dedicate ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ , our Divine Redeemer, and to one another, as brethren and sisters in Him. We declare ourselves to be a church of Christ, an habituation of God, through the Spirit, the Head of the Church, and humbly submitting ourselves to His government, we enter into covenant with Him, and with one another, to walk in His Ways, to preach the word of God, to keep the ordinance of Believers Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and to labour for the salvation of men"
Some 71 years later we are still seeking to do just that, and we thank God for our new Pastor, Revd Guy Partridge, who joined us in June having been our moderator for the 2 years prior to that.
The church building is located in the heart of Sidley, a very needy community situated on the north side of Bexhill. The building is much expanded since that inaugural service in 1948 and we are in the process of carrying out some needed renovation work to make it more useful and attractive to the community we are seeking to serve.
When it comes to prayer we praise God for his faithful provision and for the continued strong links with Beulah Baptist Church in Bexhill. In terms of our desire to reach out to the people around us we believe in line with Isaiah 43:19, that God is doing a new thing. We pray that we would have the eyes to perceive it and the courage then to join in.
Autumn at GBC sees a welcome shift in focus. The last few months have involved fundraising and replacing our roof. We can now shift to investing in people and ministry.
We begin a partnership with RenewWellbeing with the intention of opening a Wellbeing Cafe for our community. This breathes new life into our under-utilised cafe and it serves the community by offering welcome and inclusion to those struggling with isolation and mental health.
This term we also renew our search for a new staff member. We hope to employ someone as a community and family worker to develop the potential of our existing ministries and pioneer new ones.
We’re also exited to be beginning our journey into whole-life discipleship. Our leadership team will be meeting with six other teams from the Gatwick cluster over the next two years as a part of the LICC learning hub.
nothing this month
Messy Church has been up and running officially since the Spring, and we hope to invite and attract more families to our gatherings, for a time of craft activities, celebration, food and fellowship, on the third Sunday afternoon of each month. It is a great opportunity for outreach to people from our community that we don't usually or often see in church. It has also enabled members to use their gifts and skills in new ways. Our theme for September was 'God loves a cheerful giver!'. Paul & Sue are our Messy Church Leaders. This new initiative has enabled several people to be trained in food hygiene and safeguarding.
Joy has joined Andrew, Ian and Ray in the Leadership Team, which was previously all male.
We are collecting Harvest goods for London City Mission (Webber Street) and having a collection for a toilet-twinning project.
Our pastor, Andrew, is running the River Thames Half Marathon in October, and hoping to raise some money for Nazareth Evangelical College and for the work of BMS in Albania.
We are working our way through The Bible Course produced by the Bible Society. As we watch one DVD per month up to the end of 2019, at our midweek fellowship meetings, we are reminding ourselves of God's big story of salvation in Old & New Testaments.
We have just entered a new phase of our building project with the knock through between the church and the new extension. It is exciting to have reached this milestone although there is much to do before it is fully useable.
The church has enjoyed a summer programme based on the ‘I Am’ sayings of Jesus that was well received by young and old alike. We are grateful for our small group of teenagers who are growing in faith and increasing participation in church
In September we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. This also marked 6o years from the building of the original Twydall Baptist Church.
Pentecost Parade to Pencester
In the centre of the town of Dover there is a park with a bandstand/pavilion in the middle of it. On a Saturday, the day before Pentecost Sunday, the churches of the town joined together in a number of parades which began at various churches and a local school. The intention was that these, coming from different directions, would all converge as they got closer to the park, where they were due to arrive just before 3pm.
Once there we had choirs from local Church schools and a worship band, craft tables and space (and the weather) for picnics! We had over 300 people there at one time, and a number of very positive conversations were had with passers-by.
It was a Churches Together event that we organised, and it had three goals:
1. To unite the churches
2. To be visible and audible to the general public
3. To present opportunities for conversations with the public to occur
These, we decided, were clearly met. God blessed us, I believe, with lovely afternoon sunshine (although we had three gazebos wrecked by the wind early on), a wonderful opportunity for the Churches to be visible, and yes, to share something of the joy of Pentecost with the local population.
Holiday Club – Gold Diggers
From 28th August – 30th August we ran a holiday club for children across the town. This was an event supported by Christians Together in Dover. It was called Gold Diggers, as we were panning for gold (in the Wild West) and the treasure given to us by God
We had contact with 45 children over the three days, many of whom have attended previous years but some new faces.
The teaching was around the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Day 1 looked at how we are special, Day 2 was about trusting and obeying God and Day 3 was about forgiveness. There was a variety of craft and some games to engage the children in the message.
The week ended with a party for the children to bring their families along to, where they joined in with some of the games and had a ‘bangers and beans’ meal.
We, as a church, would value prayers on two events.
We are located in the middle of the growing village of Pembury, just outside Tunbridge Wells. We have a heart to see God at work. Earlier in the year there was a Prophecy Course (running alongside a sermon series on spiritual gifts) at which a good number explored this spiritual gift. Just recently we have begun to meet more frequently and earnestly to pray.
We also have a heart to bless our village and a new venture has been running a parenting course that local families appreciated. Our day centre for seniors, two toddler groups, monthly community café, regular outreach into residential homes and Messy Church all continue to run successfully.
I’ve been Pastor here for over a year now and I am grateful for the Church’s welcome and the sense of God’s call in being here.
Church meets at: Pulborough Village Hall, Swan View, PULBOROUGH, RH20 2BF
Minister: Revd Dr David G Howling
Pulborough Brooks Baptist Church is now in its eight year and continues to experience God’s blessing. 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. We try to maintain a high visible presence in the life of the village by selling bread at the monthly village market, running a vibrant parent and toddler group (called Jelly Beans), and engaging in community outreach projects.
During the summer holidays we teamed up with our Community Wardens, Police Youth Liaison Officers and local Housing Association for a Day of Action. We spent the day clearing weeds, removing rubbish and painting over graffiti. It is amazing just what a small group of folk can achieve over the course of a few hours and we had some wonderful conversations with local residents. We have also successfully run a parenting course with a group of mums from Jelly Beans and are looking forward to running another course during the autumn.
The church fellowship is excited about the future prospects of PBBC. Over the coming weeks we will be seeking Gods guidance for our church as we seek to refresh our vision for 2020.
for more information on the networks; including dates for Network Celebrations, please go to the Networks page