News from the Networks
East Kent network
Temple Ewell Baptist Church
High Street, Temple Ewell, DOVER, CT16 3DU
Moderator: Revd Ewart Graham
Our big news at the start of 2019 is the completion of our refurbishment project (almost!) and the rededication of our buildings on the 12th January. We had a steady stream of visitors during our open day and were encouraged when every seat was taken for the service during the afternoon. Another high point was the number of visitors from our local community, more than one commenting on the feeling of welcome they experienced. We are looking forward to restarting fully all our regular weekly and monthly events, some of which have been paused during the work. Our church motto for this year reminds us of our roots in faith, and our wings in mission:
"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves." Zephaniah 3v17
Please pray for:
- Our presence in the local community, that we would be the light of Christ in our small village, and the message of salvation to all we meet.
- Our outreach programme, especially our small but popular Messy Church, our monthly service at a local assisted living facility and our programme of Lent lunches.
- Our spiritual journey, that as we study to become better disciples our faith would be honed and strengthened, the better to step out in mission and outreach.
East Sussex network
Sorry! Nothing this month - come back next time
Earlswood Baptist Church
St John's Road, REDHILL, RH1 6DZ
Minister: Revd Jonathan Hardwick
News & Prayers:
- We continue to be blessed by worship leaders and musicians from Redhill Baptist and Reigate Baptist churches visiting on two Sundays a month. We give thanks for their willingness to support us.
- Christmas is a time of great opportunity for us as a church and we were blessed this year. We once again joined with Churches Together in Redhill and District for the annual community carol service held in our local shopping centre and we had a full church for our Carols by Candlelight service which included Christingles made by the children at our Messy Church style event “Family Fun @ 3” the day before. Many from across our different clubs and activities joined us.
- A continued source of encouragement and blessing is our over 55’s coffee club, which is well attended and gives great opportunity for fellowship, conversation and support with many coming in from the community.
- We are planning a full range of outreach events for the coming year and would especially appreciate prayer for:
- We have a modest but strong children’s work which this year we anticipate broadening out to include the relaunch of a youth club. Please pray that we will have wisdom in making the arrangements for this, for growth in numbers, volunteers to run the activities and for the continued contact and outreach opportunities with parents and families.
- Please pray that we will have increased opportunities for outreach and to see fruit from our labours.
- We are currently looking for new Deacons and in particular a new treasurer to join the leadership team. Pray that the Lord will raise up the right people for this important part of church life.
Mid Sussex Network
Holland Road Baptist Church
65-71 Holland Road, HOVE, BN3 1JN
Ministers: Pastor David Treneer & Pastor Tim Vellacott
Praise God for:
- Those recently baptised in January
- Those who have come to the first week of "Alpha" this month at the church
Please Pray for:
- The Night Shelter run by many churches across the city for the homeless. We are hosting it on Sunday nights at the church over the next couple of months.
- The Alpha courses that are running for people to keep joining in these early weeks and people to come to Christ.
- The Holiday club we are doing in February half term.
North Downs network
Church Crookham Baptist Church
64 Basingbourne Road, CHURCH CROOKHAM, GU52 6TH
Minister: Pastor Paul Brice
- We rejoice in continuing growth in membership and attendances at our Sunday morning services. Although now well behind us it was very encouraging to welcome many visitors to our Christmas services, several coming as a result of us delivering some 2000 leaflets in the local area
- It has been good to welcome a third elder, Terry, to our leadership team who is focussing on evangelism and outreach. We are also very pleased to be supporting two students at Moorlands Bible College, increasing further our links with the College
- Please join us in our ongoing prayer for many to be saved, baptised and added to the church over the coming months
- Please pray for our two Moorlands students, Jamie and David, that they may grow and mature as men of God who will be used significantly in His Kingdom
- Please also pray for a significant number within the fellowship suffering from chronic illness or very challenging personal circumstances
North Kent network
Maidstone Baptist Church
Knightrider Street, MAIDSTONE, ME15 6LU
Minister: Revd Bill Miller
- 2018 saw a wonderful transformation in our dealings with a young non-verbal autistic boy. At times he used to be quite disruptive with shouting, running, snatching and throwing , but after lots of one-to-one care, a visit by two of our volunteers to his school to see the strategies used there, time, love and God’s grace, he is now very settled both in church services and in his Sunday Club class where he participates well. Back in Advent 2017 he ran to the front of the church, snatched a box of matches and ran off. By contrast in Advent 2018 he came with his family to light one of the candles. His mother said, “I have seen the amazing work God has done for my son, and this has strengthened my faith in Him.”
- One particular emphasis in 2018 was a weekly prayer meeting asking God to revive us as individuals and as a church. In November we had six baptisms, which was a great encouragement to us all. Family ties, our toddler group, Brigades and long-term relationship building were all part of the testimonies shared.
- Our theme verse for 2019 is Romans 1:16. Please pray that we will not be ashamed of the gospel and that we will share it with increased boldness and passion. Pray especially for our members’ engagement with the “Talking Jesus” course in the first half of the year.
- We have a sense over the past year that we have been under spiritual attack, especially in the area of relationships. Please pray for protection for us.
- January 2019 sees the beginning of a new initiative called The Gathering - a monthly Thursday evening service characterised by contemporary worship music, testimony-sharing and a simple gospel message. Pray that this will prove spiritually significant both for Christians and for seekers.
South Kent network
Willesborough Baptist Church
Hythe Road, Willesborough, ASHFORD, TN24 0QR
Minister: Revd Alan Dinnie
News & Prayers:
- Our pastor, Alan, is retiring this year and so we are beginning the process of seeking a new pastor. We would very much appreciate your prayers for this person to be found and for us to know as a Church, God’s plan during this time of change. Also for the Leadership to be guided by God.
- WBC has again been involved in the Ashford Winter Night Shelter for the Homeless with anything up to 17 local homeless being given a hot meal, a warm bed and breakfast on a Friday night. Pray that God’s love will be shown to them in a practical and spiritual way.
- We are about to enter a period of prayer and fasting for our church: Dream big: pray bigger for 21 days. During this time we will be asking God to reveal more of His dreams for us and his big purposes to become realities.
- We are currently going through planning permission for refurbishment of part of the premises.
- Pray that God will help us as a Fellowship to draw together and seek His face in prayer, to listen to Him.
West Kent network
Westerham Evangelical Congregational Church
Minister: Pastor Phil Sutton
Westerham Evangelical Congregational Church were encouraged by the numbers of visitors from the village that attended the Carols By Candlelight and who listened to a presentation of the gospel for 20 minutes.
We are encouraged that our pastor is now invited to take two school assemblies per term at the local primary school.
- We have run a Café Church Service on a monthly basis at 5pm on the last Sunday in the month for the past seven years and this has been a positive means of evangelism. (Due to holidays, the next one is scheduled for March.)
Thanks for praying, Phil
West Sussex network
West Worthing Baptist Church
45 South Street, Tarring, WORTHING, BN14 7LU
Ministers: Revd Dr Hazel Sherman & Revd Luciana Damascena
Middle photo: Group picture in Manse - “toasting a year’s journey with the bible"
Bottom photo: Outside church - some of the congregation after ‘doorway blessing’, first Sunday of the year
On Epiphany Sunday, the first Sunday of this year, we left the building before the blessing and gathered in groups outside each of the main entrance/exit doors, where we ‘chalked the doors’ (an Orthodox Christian custom, but we can learn from everyone!). It was good to be acting out a sign of blessing for all the different people who come and go in our building, which we aim to keep making a ‘home’ of peace, hope and safety.
We grateful for steps forward during the last year, which have included:
- the ordination of our Minister in Training, Luciana, and her induction to continue to serve in Ministry alongside Hazel. A season with two Ministers, not because we are large in numbers (we’re not) but in order to deepen our discipleship and encourage one another in outreach.
- We read through the whole Bible together: during Sunday services, in Home Groups and in mid-week ‘Bible Chat’ at church. Many took up the challenge in their personal bible-reading and surprised themselves by reading from Genesis to Revelation. We discovered unexplored riches and perplexities and have moved on into a year of Discipleship Challenges.
- We were blessed in Christmas Services and events, as we welcomed families to a Christmas Party, visitors and old friends to the Candlelight Carol Service and Christmas Eve Christingle, and gathered in joy to worship on Christmas morning.
We value your prayers particularly:
- not just for this Congregation but for the Church at East Worthing, with whom we are linked in ministry for the time being;
- for the development of our two-service model on Sundays, especially as we seek a skilled and sensitive musician to lead and teach our small group of ‘those who try their best’ to lead worship at the contemporary service.