Enabling mission and Christian living
Three things for encouragement and prayer:
We have been running our Storehouse foodbank for seven years, and in that time have been able to help hundreds of individuals and families. Just recently we have seen folk who have attended the foodbank on a Thursday coming into church, for social events and worship. One of them, Andrea, was baptised after recommitting her life to Jesus a few weeks ago.
Please pray that these foodbank initiated relationships deepen, and those who hear about Christ will respond in faith.
The LOFT is our youth space, running for just over a year now. We have gained a core of secondary school pupils who drop in on Tuesday after school, and for a longer time on Friday evenings.
Please pray for Hannah Rogers our Families and Youth Worker, and her team as they welcome the youngsters, and for openings in conversation.
We are taking part in a village wide Christmas event on the 8th December. We are hosting a 'living nativity' in church, and have been asked, as part of our churches together group to finish the day with an openair community carol service.
Please pray for Birchington, especially that in the carol service we can share the 'heart of Christmas'.
We launched Messy Church in October 2017. This has enabled us to outreach into the community and run events during the summer holidays such as Messy Family Fun, we also have other groups running concurrently from that, Messy Mums group meeting each month in an evening. Messy play sessions. This has resulted in running a small Alpha Group.
We have expanded from our Youth Service “Re Fresh” meeting each month, to having additional worship and workshop sessions open to all ages.
The mission we were involved in “The Turning” has subsequently become a monthly event of a team being on the street on a Saturday morning, chatting the Gospel called “COTS” Church On The Street. They meet to pray each Saturday morning. We have also had success in getting the stores in Heathfield collecting for our local Foodbank (Hailsham) and we are a collection point for Operation Christmas Child.
Church meets on Sundat (10.30-13.00)at: Business Enterprise Centre, The Forest School, Compton Lane, HORSHAM, RH13 3NT
C/o 6 Curzon Avenue, HORSHAM, RH12 2LB
Minister: Revd Pete Dibdin
2019 has been the year of passing on the baton in the life of our church. We praise God for the seamless like transition from our retiring minister, at the end of December 2018, to Revd. Pete Dibdin’s commencement as our new minister on 1st January 2019. He and his family are now familiar and well established into our church family.
There have been several celebration events this year, including a special time on 3rd February for the induction service of our new pastor. We were encouraged by the number of visitors who came, including Stuart Davison, SEBA Regional Minister, who brought us a message that we are all called to be faithful servants of Christ. It was also good to see the Headmaster of Forest School, with his wife, attend. We are sensing God has provided us with an ‘open door, previously not evident, for building relationships with the school where we meet on a Sunday and with the local community.
As a church, we have refreshed our logo, the previous one was looking rather outdated. We have included a tree within the new design primarily to represent “The Tree of Life” but we also have several connections relating to tree words, including the area of Horsham where we meet being called ‘Oakhill’ and the school where we meet being ‘Forest School’.
We’re also beginning our journey into Whole Life Discipleship with other churches from the Gatwick Network through a Learning Hub run by The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. We’re looking forward to discovering how we can be more fruitful disciples for Jesus in our daily lives.
This year at Gateway, we have been seeking the Lord as we move into a new chapter of our history, following the retirement of our pastor of 20 years back in January.
We thank God for His continuing faithfulness to us, and especially for His consistent words of encouragement and challenge through recent visiting preachers, who have been a real blessing. It has also been a blessing to see the whole church family pulling together and expectantly waiting on God during what could potentially be an unsettling time.
We thank God that our "Activate!" children's holiday programme continues to attract an enthusiastic number of children who don't usually attend church. We look forward to our next event for them and their families, which is our Crib Service. We pray that this will be a time when we can also engage more with the families of our Nursery, "Fish and Bricks."
Points for Prayer:
We are so excited at all that Holy Spirit is doing in these days, and we are preparing ourselves for a revival that we believe is coming to our nation. In anticipation of that, we’ve taken a step of faith and appointed new staff and we are believing for the provision of a new building, having outgrown our building some years ago. Trying to buy a new building has proved extremely difficult, and we have lost a number of buildings over the past few years when Property Developers with bigger budgets snap them up for residential development. However, we remain confident that Heavenly Father will lead us to the right building at the right time - and we are currently at an advanced stage of negotiations regards a building, whilst simultaneously pursuing other options too - much wisdom needed!
The most important thing, however, is worship. It’s all about Jesus. We are discovering more and more how much God loves to move in power when we focus utterly and completely on Him. We love to wait upon the Lord and allow Him space to minister to us - and seeing lives transformed when people allow their Heavenly Father to heal their heart, soul and body is one of life’s greatest joys - and as Christians we all get to be channels of His love and His power - what a privilege!
We’d love to ask you to pray for the following:
Thank you so much for praying for us - we truly appreciate it.
In the last year our average Sunday service attendance has increased from 19 to 25 with a large proportion of children among our regulars, for which we praise God! We have moved from the small hall to the larger one to ensure we always have space for everyone. It is wonderful to see new people joining us to worship the Lord and get to know Him better.
We now have a monthly group for young people aged 11 and over as we have a growing number in this age group- we are thankful to Katie for being willing to lead this. One of the group was recently baptised, a great encouragement.
Our building now has a completely new toilet area which includes an accessible toilet and baby changing facility for the first time! At the same time, we also renewed a flat area of roof which had been leaking on a regular basis. We praise God for the provision of the funds for this, mostly from faithful giving by the congregation over a number of years, as well as some fundraising and the income from hiring out the building to other groups.
Points for prayer:
Tenterden High Street
Minister: Revd Freddy Farais-Palacios
In June 2019 Rev Freddy Farias-Palacios was inducted as the new minister at Zion Baptist Church. His arrival has brought an increase in the number of weekly events and activities within the church, such as Coffee Mornings on Fridays, Church Open for Prayer on Tuesdays, and the introduction of Bible courses for the different home groups in our church. We give thanks for ‘Rainbow Tots’, our Parent and Toddler Group. We thank God for the parents, grandparents and childminders who bring the children to Tots (about 20 per week), and we give thanks for the helpers.
In 2018 we had our first “Christmas Tree Festival”. The desire of the congregation was to get Zion Baptist Church more ‘on the map’; known to the people of Tenterden. However, God blessed us in so many ways, particularly affirming people who helped, showing the church fellowship that He wants us to be welcoming with open doors and practicing hospitality; sowing seeds of faith in conversations.
Since Freddy’s arrival at the Church he and his wife Cecilia have been getting to know the congregation, and exploring where God might be leading us for the future. We have been encouraged by the number of local people coming through the doors, particularly on Fridays each week. Fruitfulness on the Frontline by Mark Greene was the course used by the different home groups from July to September. This has helped us to reflect about making a difference where we are (our frontlines). Therefore our fellowship is recognizing the ‘Christmas Tree Festival’ as a Frontline activity, and has put in a lot of effort and prayer.
Park Lane, SEVENOAKS, TN13 3UP
Retiring – Revd Jim Crockett
Appointed – Revd Andrew Diaper
It’s been a busy year for Vine Baptist Church (VBC), Sevenoaks, as we have been preparing for the retirement of our pastor Rev. Jim Crockett, after nearly 15 years as our minister. And 2020 promises to be just as busy and exciting as we prepare to welcome our new minister Rev. Andrew Diaper.
We feel blessed by God as our interregnum will consist of just 6 weeks! There have been challenges, as we have been in the unusual position of preparing to say farewell to a loved Pastor, whilst talking with Pastor Andrew and preparing for what God has planned for our future.
Pastor Andrew, with his wife Alice and their two young boys, will bring a new youthful vitality to our fellowship, whilst maintaining a strong emphasis on inter-generational worship.
For any friends or passed members, Jim’s retirement party and farewell service are on the 11-12th January, and Andrew’s Induction Service is planned for Saturday 14th March. Further details can be obtained from the church office.
Points for Prayer:
Our Pastor Steve visits 8 Schools undertaking Assemblies on weekly and monthly basis and gets involved in other ways. He is also Chaplain of Local District Scouts which provides gospel opportunities. Some of the Children we have contact with in this way take part in our Holocaust Service in January each year and they come to our very successful Arundel Festival Fun Days. Our Church Anniversary in July was wonderful.
The past year has seen many changes in within our smaller congregation as some of our elderly have gone into Nursing Homes and some are now house bound which has reduced our Sunday worship numbers. So the Pastor and Leadership Team are involved in visiting our sick and shut ins. Our fellowship remains in good heart though.
Our Monthly Lunch for the community and our Monthly Arty Krafter’s Group which also reaches out are positive meetings. We also are also leading two outreach Carol Services in the Town Square this Christmas over the weekend of the 6th to 8th December.
Matters for Urgent prayer:
for more information on the networks; including dates for Network Celebrations, please go to the Networks page