Stories

Mission Project Grant

Ebenezer BC, Coalville have been awarded a Mission Project Grant to run an after school club at the local primary school whom they’ve been building connections with. To read the report click here

Good News Stores in film

Some really inspirational stories in film for you from Andrew Miles at Belper Baptist Church, Ruth Rice from Renew 37 & Sue Steer at Pathways – Films

BU President – Local Commissioning

The EMBA’s very own Dianne Tidball joined (below) by David Harvey, Mark Clay & Margaret Hanning at her local commissioning as BU President.

A wonderful afternoon as people gathered at Whetstone BC to hear Dianne outline her theme for the year, ‘As in heaven’.

We pray that God will bless her and equip her for this role.

Dianne’s address at the commission service is available to listen to on Whetstone BC’s website here.

Good News Stories shared at 2017 EMBA Ministers Conference

Melton Mowbray town centre chaplaincy – Helen Culy, a member at Melton Mowbray, joined in the Leicester leg of Chris Duffet’s year as President of the BU, when we went out into Leicester and shared good news on the street in a variety of ways, she sensed God calling her out into the community. She did the Mission shaped ministry on line course from Sept 2015- July 2016. She and a group of others began to pray around the centre, asking God where he wanted them to be. He has guided them step by step to various cafes, involvement with Help the Aged, café Uno, Now she has 16 others involved in 2 mornings a week in cafes using Jesus cards, painted stones and chatting, walking around sharing hugs and praying for people. A team are praying for those who are out and about. Helen is happy for visitors to join them, so if you would like you can contact her via the church. (http://www.mmbc.org.uk/contact-us/)

Greenhill Baptist in Coalville, an area of social deprivation. The small church family, currently without a minister, run drop ins for the estate, giving out food parcels and they organise a coach to take people out once a month to the countryside to a garden centre or café, they only pay a limited amount, and the church funds the rest, they ran out of money and having sought funding without success, they asked God to provide. Then the council phoned, they had heard about the lunch trips out and offered £1800, the exact amount they needed.

Gosberton have 9 members, they offered Christmas day lunch for the lonely in their community. The local community got to hear so a farmer offered them the vegetables, and put money behind the counter in the butchers so they could choose what meat they wanted, after they had ordered the meat the butcher gave them the money the farmer gave so that it would cover puddings!

Holbeach who have 5 members, have been praying as they have made contact with their local Polish community and are exploring some sort of English conversation group with them, meantime 8 Romanians turned up last Sunday.

Sawley Baptist logically should have closed some time ago. Without a leader and with only 10 members they have begun to organise social events – suppers, a Christmas fair, and have organised themselves to be a place where the local older folk can find care and friendship, and have found people to help them carry out a rolling programme of maintenance to their old chapel.

A New Approach at Retford

Retford’s local Baptist church, (The Well), has adopted a new and somewhaJohn Brewster - The Well, Spirt Cafet unusual approach to their community outreach. They have opened a Spirit Cafe, offering ‘Spiritual Readings’. They offer their spiritual giftings as a ‘gift from God’, and offer the ‘living water’ freely to anyone who goes by or drops in on the second Tuesday of the month, regardless of their religion or beliefs. Other treatments include: Peace Treatment, Physical Healing, Spiritual Cleansing, & Reflection Room. So
far the Spirit Cafe has had an incredible start. On the first night twenty people turned up. All but one had no connection with church. 26 treatments were carried out of which all but one found encouraging. That night there were 3 Salvation’s, 1 healing & 2 felt closer to God. One lady had recently lost her husband to cancer and has a four month baby. Another lady just popped in after gym and seeing the sign – Praise the Lord.
by Revd John Brewster

 

 

Homelessness Sunday at Ozzy Road

At Ozzy Road Church we run a series of drop-ins each week for people who are homeless, addicted, lonely or broken and in the last year have served about 23,000 meals – always with an opportunity to talk, listen, pray and be with people who will talk about the difference Jesus makes to our lives. For the last three years we have played a central part in Derby Churches Nightshelter offering dinnerOzzy Road Service for Homeless, a place to sleep and breakfast for up 35 homeless guests per night. Last winter 274 different guests used the night shelter, and this winter we are likely to exceed this number. Ozzy Road hosts the “guest support” session each week helping each guest with their next step to getting their lives together, and is the night shelter venue on Saturday night/Sunday morning. This
year we have seen an increase in the number of homeless guests trying out Sunday worship. At the end of January we did a special service for homelessness Sunday applying the words of Jesus in John 14 about Jesus preparing a place for us in his Father’s house. We dressed dining tables at the front to begin the service, and then had testimonies from a number of volunteers and guests from the
nightshelter and midweek dropins about what makes them feel welcome in the nightshelter, in church or in God’s presence. Two of those who shared had never been in church of any kind
before, but have kept coming. We got everybody to write their names on place tags and place them on the tables, and then to write down people who we would find it hard to welcome and add their names to the tables as well – one of God’s values that we try to bring to the nightshelter is that we never give up on anybody.
by Revd Graham Watkins

Prayer Strategy

Burgh Baptist Church are to build a new extension. The story of God at work so far is wonderful so we asked Colin Bowden their minister to share their prayer strategy. The disciples plea to Jesus ‘Lord teach us to pray’ echoes in each of our churches today so have a read and see how the Lord leads you ……

Prayer Strategy
There is nothing new or rocket science about what we did, but we did learn from experience of past failings.
We decided for the outset that prayer was essential to any success and keeping in touch with God’s will, but this was to be allied to open communication with the whole of the church, not just Church Members.
We formed a Prayer Strategy Team of 4 people now 5 who meet once a week to pray for specific things with regards to the extension. Every Sunday without fail a member of the team shares with the church areas for prayer that week. They also report back on answered prayer.
So:
1 Specific Targeted Prayer
2 Clear Communication – being transparent throughout
What we noticed was that everyone remained on board with the project which was launched in May 2015. There has been no dissenting voice, and there has been a clear spirit of unity and ownership of the project as a whole
The theme that seems to constantly reoccur is that God has changed hearts and minds of potential opposition

1 Lincolnshire Highways on parking
2 ELDC Senior Planner on design
3 ELDC Tree Officer on removal of trees with preservation orders on them
4 Burgh Town Council (50% of council)
5 Neighbours – positive reaction throughout
6 ELDC Case Officer monitoring objections to the design dismissed the one objector (The Georgian Group) as being out of touch with reality.
I suppose the one overriding factor, is that the first prayer we asked people to pray was that God would guide the hand of the Architect, and when the plans were revealed we were amazed that the design was that given 8 years previously at a Church Weekend Away to 6 separate Groups. We were then totally convinced that they were God’s Plans for us and our community that we serve.

‘A Christmas Celebration’

A Christmas Celebration held in the main sports hall at Belper Leisure Centre, saw 650 people gather for the event. Eighty children from local primary schools came together as ‘One Voice Children’s Choir’ and sang beautifully! We also had a play entitled ‘Over The Hill’ performed by Belper (secondary) School. The play, written especially for the event, puts a very modern and slightly humorous slant on the shepherd journey to find the baby Jesus.

York City Gospel Choir came with their Belper Christmas Event 2015 - 2wonderful array of musical gifts. Singing gospel and also Christmas songs, they had everyone clapping and toe tapping. Belper Church Pastor bought a reflective and though provoking message of the true meaning of Christmas.

It was a truly wonderful event and we thank God that He entrusted us with His vision and plan.

Revd Andrew Miles
Belper Baptist Church

A Place of Blessing and Peace

Renew37 is a wellbeing cafe on Abbey Road in West Bridgford promoting emotional mental and Renew37spiritual wellbeing. Run and funded by volunteers from New Life Baptist Church, the space is shared with Tiffin Tea house next door which means there is always great coffee and cake to hand!
The activities there are based around the 5 ways to wellbeing and run along the principles of co production. This is a collaborative community approach to finding people’s strengths to help improve wellbeing.
From furniture restoration to origami , if you fancy learning something new or sharing a hobby then this ” shared front room ” style drop in is the place.
At the heart of it all is the quiet room. Here we pray 3 times a day and offer the space for prayer and reflection on the four days a week that the centre is open.
It’s a lovely oasis. A place of blessing and peace.
Already this little seed of hope is helping people find better rhythms of life and we are discovering that folk are hungry for God
We believe the simple practice of being present to God , ourselves and others is multipliable We have found a real willingness to partner for wellbeing and are working with Rushcliffe mental health team , CVS , NHS patient liaison and local businesses.
With one in four people in this nation suffering from some form of mental ill health we believe the church has a vital role to play in providing safe spaces of welcome and peace alongside the need to keep campaigning for even better funded mental health care provision
Do come and have a look, ( NG2 5NG – on Monday’s to Thursday’s 9am to 6pm ), or chat to us if we can help with any ideas you may have about safe spaces.
www.renew37.co.uk

Hungarian Experience

In late July, a group of 9 young people and three adults from Oundle Road Baptist Church, Peterborough went to Pestszentlorinc in the outskirts of Budapest in Hungary to lead a children’s English camp arranged by the short term missions department of Operation Mobilisation.Hungary Photo

This was the group’s first mission trip and much planning and prayer preceded the visit. The visit cost £6000 and the group raised the money by running coffee mornings, concerts, doing gardening, babysitting, washing cars etc. Individuals from the church were very generous in supporting the group financially as well so the whole amount was raised with some extra for a treat at one of Budapest’s lovely spa pools.

We were based at a Reformed Church in what was a fairly socially deprived area. We stayed with church families which gave our young people a really good taste of Hungarian food and culture. The camp was for children aged between 4 and 18 years and the English learning was done through teaching from the Bible and vocabulary surrounding the stories. About 60-80 children came to the camp and really good relationships were built up with them. – especially between our young people and the teenagers there. In fact, we are hoping that some of them will come and visit us next summer. Our young people worked very hard – from 7.00am to 4.00pm each day – and then either did activities together run by the church or with their host families in the evenings.

As is often the case with such activities, our young people really grew in their faith. They amazed us by what they did and how they used their gifts and they will never forget their time in Hungary.
We are so thankful to God for His blessing and provision before, during and after the trip.

Tom and Judy McGibbon
Oundle Road Baptist Church,
Peterborough

Oasis of calm, coffee and connection

Before his sudden death, the late Revd Peter Lanigan, a Home Mission funded minister reported on a new community facility imaginatively developed by Hugglescote Baptist Church, Leicestershire.

The Oasis, at 67 Central Road, Hugglescote, had its official opening in May 2014 when tea, coffee and cakes were served all day. This new community facility developed by Hugglescote Baptist Church provides the church with an opportunity to make new connections with the community and is ideally situated in the main shopping area in the village.
Oasis of Calm, Coffee and Community

A number of years ago the church building in Hugglescote was demolished and that released some funding which allowed the church to purchase and redevelop this former chemist’s shop in Central Road. Church services on a Sunday take place at 10.30 in Hugglescote Community Centre, but The Oasis gives the church new opportunities to be more involved in the community. The church realised that for many people, coming in to a church service without knowing anyone at the church is often a daunting prospect, whereas coming in to a cafe style setting is much more accessible. Rather than holding on to our funds in the hope of one day building a traditional church building for worship, we realised that God was calling us to think differently and focus on mission in a different context.

Initially The Oasis will be opened on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays as a cafe with refreshments and light lunches available, providing a relaxing and peaceful oasis where people can take time out from their busy lives to meet friends, chat with volunteers, and reflect on life and faith. Moving forward, other activities will develop in response to the needs of the community. There are plans to work with Heartland Youth For Christ to offer a space for young people to meet after school, possibilities for running advice sessions, special interest groups, quiz nights and opportunities to explore the Christian faith for those who may wish to do so. A retreat area is planned and the garden has potential to be a haven of peace.

“I have been very encouraged that the Hugglescote Baptist fellowship, a relatively small group with Home Mission funding to support a part-time pastor, nonetheless has a big heart for mission. They have been willing to take on this exciting challenge of running a cafe several times a week with the prospect of other events in The Oasis as they move forward. It has also been great to see that as we have moved out in faith, offers of volunteer help from other churches in the village have been given and we are convinced that God will provide all that we need for the running of this centre. The Oasis is all about making connections with people at street level, providing a listening ear and an encouraging word, and responding to the needs that emerge”.

More information is available at Hugglescote Baptist Church.