‘We are God’s craftsmanship’
A number of ministers from the Central Baptist Association shared their stories at the April gathering of the Baptist Steering Group
Wollaston Baptist Church
Jacqui Green from Stony Stratford Community Church (close to Milton Keynes) shared how they are a loving family filled with the Holy Spirit. They are a Charismatic community and their prophets will regularly go out on to the streets to pray for those God has placed on their hearts. That is not an adult only expression of God’s love – their Sunday School regularly does the same.
The church decided to remove ‘Baptist’ from their name in an effort to connect more directly with their community. It has recently enabled five baptisms to happen.
When Michael Hogg arrived at Wollaston Baptist Church 14 years ago it soon became apparent change was needed. Having to break the ice on the outside toilets was one way that was made known! Their story was one of carefully listening to God over ten years.
In that time, the way forward was made known – knock the building down and start again (pictured). This was a painful decision, but they followed in obedience and since 2012 when it was completed they have seen why God wanted a new pot for an old plant. Apart from the growth of groups they now run, they support local businesses and hold events that bring up to 500 people.
‘We are God’s craftsmanship’ and ‘revival is happening one person at a time’ was the way Lisa Kerry described Croxley Green Baptist Church. A Baptist nun established the church during the war years as she wanted to give hope at a time of darkness.
Since then this loving, traditional church in a picturesque, traditional community has had a long obedience in the same direction. They have had 40 years of holiday club and it has always been filled within a day. Despite the area and church being a place where many aspects of life have stayed the same, Lisa shared stories of the people they are walking with where they are now having to support and reflect into the complexities of contemporary society. We may well hear more from them next year as the 2018-19 Baptists Together President will be Dave Gregory, the Senior Minister.
David Skinner has been at Houghton Regis Baptist Church for eight years and a changing landscape literally and metaphorically describes their ministry. They have moved from being exclusively white working class to now being significantly multicultural. They engage with the issues of their area where there is high deprivation.
When David started the church was supported significantly by Home Mission, but they no longer need a grant as they have grown. As part of this God has placed on their hearts a desire to pioneer and plant a community when two huge new expansions of the area begin shortly.