The Baptist Times Weekly News Round-Up
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News and views from across the movement

Europe, Calais and the sad news of the death of a Baptist historian feature this week. Two Baptist ministers who will be voting differently in the forthcoming referendum give their reasons for doing so. Some of the issues raised by both are related to the situation which prompted the Baptist Union to release a strong statement expressing “alarm and dismay” at the recent news stories of the treatment of refugees and migrants on European borders.

Last Thursday saw the passing of Roger Hayden, minister, Area Superintendent and author of English Baptist History and Heritage - former colleagues pay tribute. Elsewhere one writer highlights how knowing the backgrounds to the hymns which fed our ancestors adds a rich layer of understanding to our spiritual lives; another on why he’s set himself a baptism blogging challenge this Lent; and a third explaining why your faith is changing (and why that’s ok). A reminder too that Baptist Union Council is taking place 15-16 March - look out for a report hopefully at the end of next week.

Paul Hobson
Faith and Society Editor/Writer

‘A great servant of the Baptist family’
Tributes have been paid to the Revd Dr Roger Hayden, who died last Thursday (3 March), aged 80

Forty Days of Good News
More details of 40 Days of Good News, which emerged from the vision for each association to participate in ‘on the ground evangelism’ with the churches they serve

Statement on Macedonia and Calais
Baptists have expressed alarm and dismay at the recent news stories of the treatment of refugees and migrants on European borders

Blogging about baptism
Want to deepen your knowledge of baptism? A minister explains why he is sharing 40 different accounts of baptism on his blog throughout Lent

Reading church unveils redevelopment plans
The fellowship at Caversham Baptist Church hopes the substantial work will give the village an improved building fit for 21st century use



Baptist life and its European context
Rather than engage in the economic case for staying in the European Union (EU), Tony Peck invites British Baptists to reflect on some aspects of our Baptist story and identity that might inform our vote  

"Brexit is the solution"
The decision facing voters in the forthcoming European Union referendum is an overwhelmingly political one - and there are three key areas why it will be better for the UK to leave, writes Ian Tutton

Your faith is changing - here's why
Is it OK for my relationship with God to change?

Salvation songs - hymns and their stories
Knowing the backgrounds to the hymns which fed our ancestors adds a rich layer of understanding to our spiritual lives

Bishop's Stortford Baptist Church, Hertfordshire: Rianna Jamieson
Blaby Baptist Church, Leicestershire: Steve and Helen Allan
Bluntisham Baptist Church, Cambridgeshire: Carol-Ann Penfold, Lizzi Catterick, Pauline Beaumont, Rob Lemmon
Desborough Baptist Church, Northamptonshire: Judith Lewis-Warren, John Temple, Heather Temple
Dover Baptist Church, Kent: Neil Richards, Terri Smith
Kidderminster Baptist Church, West Midlands: Terry & Eunice Love, Jayne Green, Sally Shephard & Oluwaseun Osim
Kidlington Baptist Church, Oxfordshire: Catherine Nobbs & Ella Newton
Limbrick Wood Baptist Church, Coventry: Andrew Sedman
Oakham Baptist Church, Rutland: Leanne Martin
West Wickham and Shirley Baptist Church, Croydon: Hannah Whitman
Wokingham Baptist Church, Berkshire: Alex Freeney, Bethany Hudson, Lauren Clark and Nicole Smith

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Baptism stories
Sue Best writes: Andrew Sedman was baptised at Limbrick Wood Baptist Church on the morning of Sunday, 28 February 2016 - the first time the baptistery has been used in 14 years - Praise the Lord!

Michelle Gore writes: In February Bluntisham Baptist Church had the pleasure of baptising Carol-Ann Penfold, Lizzi Catterick, Pauline Beaumont and Rob Lemmon, all of whom attended our Puzzling Questions course last year and wanted to take their next step on their journey with the Lord.  It was a very emotional and uplifting service.

MARKWELL, Margaret widow of the late Revd. Kenneth Markwell passed away peacefully on 29th February aged 92 at Rushden Park Nursing Home, Rushden, Northants, where she had recently moved from Hitchin. The very loving and much loved Mum of Gill and David, Grandma, Great-grandma, relative and friend. Thanksgiving Service at Tilehouse Baptist Church, Upper Tilehouse Street, Hitchin SG5 2EE on Wednesday 9th March 1.45pm. Donations in her memory for Barnardo's and Save the Children may be sent to Chenery Funeral Services Ltd, 44 Bedford Road, Hitchin SG5 2TY. For further details contact Gill Matthews;; Tel. 01933 316155.


Family Worker, Carey Baptist Church, Preston
Finance Manager, the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Regional Minister, Heart of England Baptist Association
Ordained Minister, The Methodist Church in the Isle of Man
Youth Pastor/Worker, Downton Baptist Church
Public Engagement Officers, Sailors' Society  
Ecumenical Accompaniers, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine + Israel (EAPPI)
Tutor and coordinator of ministerial formation, Bristol Baptist College   
Ministerial Support Worker, Potter Street Baptist Church, Harlow, Essex

For more information on all these positions, visit


Flames of Prayer
Lynn Green is encouraging all our Baptist churches to join together in creating a Beacon of Prayer – sharing the ways in which God is at work in and through our churches and communities.  She would like church leaders to download and print a flame template (if possible on yellow or orange paper), and then write down where you see God at work in and through your church/community.  Bring it with you to this year’s Baptist Assembly in Oxford on 14 May, or send it to the Assembly office by 29 April.  Full details are on the Baptists Together website.

Refugee Response: sharing, listening, praying
In response to growing concerns and responses to the largest human migration since the second world war, Baptists are invited to come together for a day of listening, learning and praying together. 

New Pack Helps Churches to Address Domestic Abuse
1 in 4 women in the UK experience domestic abuse. This International Women’s Day (8th March), Christian charity Restored called on churches to make addressing domestic abuse a greater priority. To help them do so, Restored has developed and published a new 40-page Church Pack. Download your free copy at

Urban Life will be co-hosting with Pioneer Mission Leadership Training an upcoming Creative Conversations Day, free of charge, at Bristol Baptist College on Friday 15 April. More details here

Birthday greetings for the Revd Florence Bignell, 100 years on 17 March 2016
Ruth Ledger writes: "I wanted to bring to your attention the 100th birthday celebration of Rev Florence Bignell (birthday 17 March 2016) on Saturday 19 March at Halcon Baptist Church, Taunton from 12.30 until 3.30pm. Invites have been sent out but there may be some folk who would like to send a greeting. If so this could either be sent to me before 14 March on or to the church secretary Mrs D Shelley 3 Portland Street Taunton TA1 1VY."



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