The Baptist Times News Round Up
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Welcome to the first Round-up of the New Year, a time of looking both back and ahead. We feature reflections on the year just gone, while a list of the ten most read pieces on the website in 2016 gives another snapshot. The list reveals a year of great change, but one not without hope - the EU referendum figures prominently, alongside meditations on global violence and stories of people finding faith and being baptised in large numbers.      

And so 2017 begins. The year heralds the latest Baptists Together magazine, an edition this time focused on Baptists and leadership with a the lead piece by Nigel Wright. Leadership, he writes, is 'about creating the conditions in which other people can thrive.'

Other reflections look ahead - is it time for a spiritual check up? How about using the web, social media and our smartphones in a way that’s aligned with our faith?

And reflecting on the words of Jesus to his disciples in Luke 8:25, Lynn Green asks: ‘Where is your faith?....  Will you follow Jesus with me, hard on His heels, and will you be willing to go where ever He takes us?’
Paul Hobson
Faith and Society Editor/Writer


 New Team Leader for Eastern Baptist Association
How a church is connecting with its community
Baptists in the latest New Year's Honours list
'A growing need for Night Shelters'
Nearly 2,000 people were welcomed into church and community based Winter Night Shelters last year - and that number expected to rise

New Year's Honours for Baptists
A church secretary who founded a youth charity, and a charity supporter whose work has made a difference to ‘thousands of vulnerable lives’ were among the Baptists receiving New Year’s Honours recognition

New Team Leader for EBA
Beth Powney, currently minister of Sandy Baptist Church in Bedfordshire and a former occupational therapist, will succeed Richard Lewis

‘It's so exciting being a Home Mission church’
How a church in South Yorkshire has been inspirational in the way it has connected with its community

The Esther Collective to launch in Sheffield
The Esther Collective – a leadership and discipleship initiative for women aged 18-30s – is launching in Sheffield in February 2017

The ten most popular articles in 2016
The Turning in Reading, the referendum on the European Union, and reflections on our differences on human sexuality all feature

'Helping Christians talk about their faith'
The good news of Jesus is something we all have a role in sharing - and a new website aims to help us do just that

Persecution and revival in India
Acid attacks, beatings and arrests can't stop God moving


A reflection on Baptists and leadership
The term leadership can split opinion among Baptists, but wholesome leadership is both biblical and vital in enabling others to thrive - Nigel Wright

Where is your faith?
Lynn Green reflects on challenging words from Jesus and how we can be Beacons of Hope

Pride disguised as humility?
It is right and good to pray for ourselves; but those prayers should not be selfish. How that can be?

Reclaiming your virtual self
How can we use the web, social media and our smartphones in a way that’s aligned with our faith?

6 lessons and 1 verse from 2016   
Jo Cox, Brexit, Donald Trump, church decline - drawing lessons from an eventful year

Education... and Baptist churches  
Why I belong to the Baptist Education Group - and why churches can engage with their local schools

Time for a spiritual check-up?

A Faithful Presence by Hilary Russell
The Thomas the Tank Engine Man - The life of Reverend W. Awdry by Brian Sibley
The Amish by Steven M Nolt  
The Lion and the Lamb by Pieter Lalleman
Film: Martin Scorsese's Silence

Baptisms and other notices

Dover Baptist Church, Kent: Carolyn Dixon
Paignton Baptist Church, Devon: Linda Axford
Streatham Baptist Church, London: Jennae Lee-Boreland, Hyacinth Smythe, Philippa Angus, Nicoletta Spiriades, Juuko Samuel, Jennifer Sentongo
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Penarth: Daisy Lawrence and Jamie Lawrence
Walsworth Road Baptist Church, Hitchin: Rohan and Julani Goonasekara, Will Henton Pusey

WOODS, the Revd Stan: 1936-2016

Stan Woods, Pastor to many, went to be with the Lord on 26 October. Many have said how they appreciated and 'enjoyed' his funeral service which was a very fitting tribute to a life well lived and in service to his Lord. More than 300 attended the service from far and wide, including a coachload from Canon Street Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham, who also ministered in song.

A tribute was given by his sons Bob and David covering his life which included four pastorates, missionary work in South America and working with the Yorkshire Baptist Association, including his Bible Times exhibition. Of course there were plenty of snippets of family life and a feel for his, and the families, sense of humour.

It goes without saying that Stan impacted so many lives not only here in the UK, but worldwide. He had a real Pastor's heart with the passion of an evangelist.

After 61 years of marriage Stan is survived by his wife Brenda, two sons, four grandchildren and 6 great grand children.

GILLIES, the Revd Thomas Paterson (Tom): 1928-2017
Died 1st January 2017 aged 88 yars. Beloved husband of Arderne. Formerly Minister of Pinchbeck, Gosberton & Sutterton Baptist Churches in Lincolnshire. Retired and living in Chorleywood. No flowers please but donations if desired to Chorleywood Free Church (Baptist). For details please contact James Peddle Ltd. Funeral Directors, Tel: 01923 286102

Click here for full obituary

Know anyone preparing for baptism? Check out our range of cards

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  • Associate Pastor, Southall Baptist Church
  • Next Generation Development Coordinator, The Baptist Union of Scotland
  • General Director, BMS World Mission
  • Chair of Trustees, St Philip's Centre


Mainly Music - How much fun can you take
New to the UK, mainly music is a concept providing churches with a way to connect Jesus and community – life-by-life. It’s not about preaching. It’s not about singing a stack of Christian songs with pre-school children and their grown-ups. To understand how this works, see this example

English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and is looking to establish sustainable ways forward for churches. It is conducting a survey and is keen to hear from Baptist churches.
The survey closes on 31st January. The link to the survey can be found at:

The Revd Dr Barrie White - DVD of thanksgiving service

“Remember those people” Hebrews 13:7-9
The Revd John Perry writes: 'With the recent death of the Revd Barrie White; Principal at Regents Park College in Oxford, we are reminded, in Hebrews 13, to pray for such people who train and serve us now in our churches; “who, by the manner of their lives” teach and inspire those of us in ministry.
'Such a man was Barry White. He and others like him continue to teach and inspire those training and serving others in their ministry and missionary work these days. Their initial and continued support is a vital link for us, here at home and overseas.
'This DVD of the Thanksgiving for Barrie reminds us to pray for such people. It lasts just 43 minutes and is available from our church office and elsewhere.                                                                                     
Anyone interested in the DVD should contact the Revd John Perry on 01628 825 670 or

Fire Camp
Fire Camp is the innovative, collaborative, 4 night, camping, mini-festival for baptists and friends on Mersea Island, Essex.
Fire Camp is now in its second year and the July 2017 theme is:
Heaven and Earth: what does it mean to welcome heaven rather than wait for it?
Tickets and further info at

Urban Life has recently celebrated the launch of its first two books: "An exciting new series written with the aim of equipping churches and church-planting teams with the theory and practical knowledge needed to develop significantly new approaches to mission."
Baptist festival: Fire Camp 2017
Connecting Jesus and community
New books from Urban Life
Copyright © 2017 Baptist Union of Great Britain, All rights reserved.

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